This week the LPGA Tour heads to “The Land Down Under” for the third playing of the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. The second event on the 2014 LPGA schedule will feature a field of 156 players competing for a $1.2 million purse at The Victoria Golf Club in Victoria, Australia.
After claiming her second-career LPGA Tour victory at the season-opening Pure-Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, the red-hot Jessica Korda will return to Australia where she became a Rolex First-Time Winner in 2012. Korda showed nerves of steel and claimed her first-career LPGA Tour victory in dramatic fashion, sinking a 25-foot birdie putt on the second hole of a six-player playoff.
With the absence of Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park in Australia, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen and No. 3 Stacy Lewis will have the opportunity to close in on her commanding lead in the Rolex Rankings. While Lewis began her season with a runner-up finish in the Bahamas, this week will mark the start of Pettersen’s 2014 campaign. The Norwegian will look to continue the momentum she gained last season after picking-up four wins, including one major title.
Teen sensation and New Zealand standout Lydia Ko will be one to watch this week as she returns to Australia where she finished third in 2013. With two LPGA Tour victories already under belt, Ko finished in a tie for seventh in the Bahamas and leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings.
As the 2014 LPGA Tour season continues to heat-up, the excitement surrounding the inaugural Race to the CME Globe will also ramp up in Australia. The season-long points race will culminate at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship and will award the winner with a $1 million prize check – the largest in all of women’s golf. With her win in the Bahamas, Jessica Korda jumped out to the early lead with 500 points.