No.4 Stacy Lewis Tops The Field
As the Tour comes to the end of four consecutive weeks on the road, many players are taking a break this week. Nine of the top-20 players in the Rolex Rankings are in the field this week at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. The top-ranked player in the field is world No.4 Stacy Lewis, who looks to add her fifth top-6 finish in this event, which includes a win in 2012. No.5 Brooke Henderson is also in the field this week, making her second start in this event where she finished T-13 last season. With a move in the schedule from the Fall to Spring, No.10 So Yeon Ryu is returning to Alabama for the first time since 2012, when she finished T-8.
Kris Tamulis broke through for her first win on the LPGA Tour at last year’s Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in what was her 11th season on Tour. It was an emotional victory for Tamulis whose caddie Thomas “Motion” Frank lost his home after being struck by lightning and eventually burnt to the ground earlier in the year. This week Tamulis will look to pick up her first top-10 finish of 2016.
In addition to Tamulis, several former winners of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic will return looking to duplicate the good luck they found in Alabama. 2007 champion Maria McBride, 2010 winner Katherine Kirk, 2012 champion Stacy Lewis, and 2014 winner M.J. Hur are all in the field this week. Absent is 2011 winner Lexi Thompson, who picked up her first victory on the LPGA Tour with her victory that year. 2008 and 2009 winner Lorena Ochoa is also not in the field.
Three of this season’s winners on the LPGA Tour are in the field in Alabama including Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic winner Hyo Joo Kim, LOTTE Championship winner Minjee Lee and two-time winner Haru Nomura who captured both the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. A third victory for Nomura would give her the most victories of any player so far this year, she’s currently matched with Lydia Ko and Ha Na Jang with two wins.
19 of the 29 rookies this season are in the field this week, including 2015 U.S. Women’s Open champion In Gee Chun, who currently leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings ahead of Megan Khang and Gaby Lopez, who are also in the field this week.
*In Gee Chun has since withdrawn from the field.