The Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I is the final week of a long summer stretch of domestic tournaments. There are two different philosophies: some players are in dire need of rest and recovery, while others couldn't pass up a chance to compete at one of the best run tournaments of the year. The Marathon Classic also presents an opportunity for a final tune up before the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish and Ricoh Women's British Open. Remember, there is a week off after Marathon.
With that said, we've assembled our trusty experts - Amy Rogers, Ron Sirak, Adam Stanley and Bret Lasky - to make their picks. It might be the first time this year that no player was selected by more than two of our experts.
Sei Young Kim, also now know as Ms. 31-under, was selected for obvious reasons by Bret and Adam, but Amy and Ron didn't include her. They may be onto something. Shanshan Feng was the last player to win consecutive starts during the 2017 Asia swing when she won the TOTO Japan Classic and the Blue Bay LPGA. It's pretty rare to see a player win two starts in a row. Prior to Shanshan, Ariya Jutanugarn was the last to win consecutive when she won three in a row in 2016 - Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship and LPGA Volvik Championship.
Ron and Adam went with the sentimental pick in Stacy Lewis, who will have her husband on the bag in her final start of the year before she takes a break to prepare for a baby girl. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but it definitely would be one of the amazing stories in LPGA history. Lewis is over five months into her pregnancy.
There were a couple sleeper picks too. Amy selected Chella Choi, who quietly finished T7 last week at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. Adam gave a Canadian nod to rookie Brittany Marchand, who also finished in the top 10 last week and Bret picked Mariah Stackhouse, who is coming off her fourth top 20 in the last six weeks.
The best pick of all may have been Amy's selection of In-Kyung Kim. She's kind of an under the radar type player, but she is the defending champion and the No. 7 ranked player in the world.
Amy Rogers' Picks
In-Kyung Kim: This week’s defending champion is trending towards her first win of the season with three top 10s, including a T8 in her last start at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Kim arrives in Toledo well rested and re-energized after spending the last week at the Special Olympics USA Games, a program to which she is an ambassador.
Lexi Thompson: A runner-up in Ohio last year, Thompson is eager to get her first win of the season and capitalize on the momentum she’s found in recent weeks. She hasn’t finished outside the top 15 in her last four starts and got some much-needed rest by skipping last week’s event.
Angel Yin: One of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour, Yin can use her length to her advantage at Highland Meadows Golf Club where she finished T8 in 2017.
Chella Choi: She likes this course. Choi picked up her lone victory on the LPGA Tour at the 2015 Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I. She’s also coming into the week fresh off her second top 10 of the year after finishing T7 last week in Wisconsin.
Ron Sirak's Picks
Stacy Lewis: This is her last event of the year as she prepares to give birth in November. She's goes out in style and returns in January, 2019, feeling good about her family and her golf.
Brittany Lincicome: Bam-Bam gets ready for her stint against the men the following week at the Barbasol Championship. She's a momentum player and is likely already in high gear.
In-Kyung Kim: The defending champion has been playing well of late. Looking for something big from her this week.
Angel Yin: It's only a matter of time for this 19-year-old blaster to break through and get into the winner's circle. This could be the week.
Adam Stanley's Picks
Sei Young Kim: I mean, how could you not? After a record-breaking performance last week, she’s got nothing but confidence going into this week. Hopefully, she didn’t use up all her birdies a week ago.
Brittany Marchand: The Canadian has been having a steady summer so far, capped last week with her first-career LPGA Tour top-10 finish. I feel the momentum is going to continue this week.
Stacy Lewis: It would be a tremendous way to put a bow on the year for Lewis who had announced previously this was going to be her final event before she became a mother. And how appropriate if she was to find the winner’s circle in her hometown event.
Emma Talley: The 2018 rookie has been very solid of late, and her third-place finish last week was her best of the year. More of that kind of play to come this week, I feel.
Bret Lasky's Picks
Emma Talley: She is definitely trending and has the confidence that bellies her experience on the LPGA. She never looks frazzled. It's always the exact opposite. She always appears incredibly comfortable on the course. She's also coming off a 20-under performance in Oneida, Wisconsin, so her confidence should be oozing at this point.
Mariah Stackhouse: Something just tells me her time is coming. She's so much better this year compared to last year. She has finished inside the top 20 in four of her last six starts. My gut is she becomes the first African American to win on the LPGA by the end of the 2019 season. Maybe it happens on Sunday.
Lexi Thompson: The top four players in the world are not in the field so Lexi has to the betting line favorite this week. While she doesn't say it publicly, she has to be hungry to hoist a trophy this year.
Sei Young Kim: I learned that Sei Young really likes to challenge herself. She wanted to best her own record of 27-under and now I think she'll want to better 31-under.