A Hollywood writer could not have scripted a better finish for last week’s LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf.
Hawaii’s own Michelle Wie shot a stellar 5-under 67 on Saturday to come from behind and win the tournament – her first victory on the LPGA Tour since 2010. An emotional Wie reveled in the glory of her triumph – which came the week after finishing second to Lexi Thompson in the year’s first major – and is one of the favorites this week at the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in San Francisco.
The Tour and its players are extremely excited about the new LPGA event, which will take place at the iconic Lake Merced Golf Club. Wie will have her work cut out for her in the $1.8 million event – one of five new LPGA tournaments this season – as the 144-player field is brimming with talent.
Whether it’s 2014 two-time winners Karrie Webb and Anna Nordqvist, Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda – who also have wins this season – or top-ranked stars Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen and Stacy Lewis, the leaderboard will be crowded with the Tour’s elite. Park found her putting stroke in the final round in Hawaii and finished third, while Pettersen will be testing an ailing back that has kept her out of the last three events.
The field will be an eclectic mix of LPGA players and some of Taiwan’s best, as the tournament is the first co-sanctioned LPGA event ever held on U.S. soil. The Taiwan LPGA is co-sanctioning the event, and the top 10 players from its current money list will join 120 LPGA players, seven specially exempted Taiwanese players, five sponsor exemptions and two Monday qualifiers to complete the field.
In addition to a one-of-a-kind field, the tournament also features a unique sponsor and beloved host club.
The Swinging Skirts Golf Team is dedicated to growing women’s golf and the golf industry in Taiwan. In addition to staging the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters (Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Tour co-sanctioned event), the Swinging Skirts Golf Team has conducted the “Dream Chasing Cup” throughout northern, central and southern Taiwan to help lay the path for Taiwanese junior golfers to make it to the international stage.
Founded in 1922 in Daly City, Lake Merced Golf Club was one of the United States’ first golf clubs to eliminate gender restriction from its membership policies. That’s just one of the things that makes it the perfect place to host the LPGA this week.