There are going to be some awfully happy golf fans in The Great Lakes State this week.
And they should be, as the LPGA Tour returns to Michigan for the first time since 2000 with a stellar field ready to take on Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids for the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. The par-71, 6,414-yard course has hosted a number of prestigious events in the past, including the 1961 Western Open won by none other than Arnold Palmer.
Major champions Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Mo Martin will all be there to take on the new course, and they will be joined by world No. 1 Stacy Lewis and two-time 2014 champions Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, Anna Nordqvist and Karrie Webb. In addition, 2014 tournament winners Paula Creamer and Inbee Park are teeing it up this weekend.
Ko won the LPGA’s most recent full-field event on July 20 in Sylvania, Ohio, and three of the four Spaniards who won the inaugural International Crown two weeks ago – Belen Mozo, Azahara Munoz and Beatriz Recari – will be in Michigan looking to continue their stellar play. Other big names in this week’s field include former world No. 1s Cristie Kerr and Ai Miyazato, as well as Suzann Pettersen and Shanshan Feng.
University of Michigan sophomore Grace Choi will tee it up with the pros this week thanks to a sponsor’s exemption, and the accomplished amateur no doubt will have an experience to remember.
This week’s $1.5 million event kicks off a four-tournament August swing that features $7.3 million in total prize money and ample opportunity for any number of players to make significant moves in the standings. After that, it’s on to the Tour’s fourth major of the season, the Wegmans LPGA Championship, in Pittsford, N.Y., so players will be looking to hone their games this week in preparation for what lies ahead.
The last time the LPGA played in Michigan was 2000, when the Oldsmobile Classic completed a nine-year run at Walnut Hills Country Club in East Lansing with a victory by Webb.
Meijer is a family owned retailer based in Grand Rapids that operates 210 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. The company donates more than six percent of its net profits each year to charities – including hundreds of food banks – throughout the Midwest.
Golf Channel will broadcast the tournament from 5-7 p.m. ET each day.
Topics: Meijer LPGA Classic