2017 SEASON KICKS OFF IN THE BAHAMAS
The 2017 LPGA season will kick off in the Bahamas for the fifth edition of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic.
In 2016, Hyo Joo Kim captured her third title on the LPGA Tour with a final round 7-under par, 66 to win at 18-under par, two-strokes ahead of Stacy Lewis, Anna Nordqvist and 2015 champion Sei Young Kim.
Sei Young Kim may be the player to beat this week as the two times she has competed in the event she has a victory and a runner-up finish.
CAN ARIYA DO IT AGAIN?
Ariya Jutanugarn had a historic season in 2016 winning five times en route to capturing the Rolex Player of the Year award and Race to CME Globe.
In her second season on Tour, Jutanugarn started her run in May with a win at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic to become the first player from Thailand to win on the LPGA Tour and then won the next two events, the Kingsmill Championship and the LPGA Volvik Championship, becoming the first player in Tour history to have the first three wins of her career come in consecutive tournaments. Jutanugarn went back-to-back again with victories at the RICOH Women’s British Open and the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. She is the first-ever major champion (male or female) from Thailand.
STRONG ROOKIE CLASS MAKES THEIR DEBUT
The Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will be the debut event for 14 rookies.
The 37 member class features several notable players including Madelene Sagstrom who set nearly every record on the Symetra Tour including the single-season earnings record ($167,064) and Nelly Korda, younger sister of former Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic champion Jessica Korda.
SOLHEIM CUP YEAR
The Solheim Cup will return to U.S. soil at Des Moines Golf & Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 18-20, 2017
The U.S. leads Europe 9-5 all-time in Solheim Cup competition following their historic comeback win in September in 2015 at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany. The Americans trailed 10-6 heading into Sunday’s singles matches and overcame the largest deficit in the event’s history, winning 8 ½ points in the final session. Team USA won by a score of 14½ to 13½, the closest score in the history of the Cup.
Juli Inkster, who is in the field this week, will return as captain for the U.S. squad while LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will lead the European team which will be looking to bring the cup back across the pond.
With just eight months to go until the 2017 Solheim Cup, the battle for a berth on Team USA will intensify in the 2017 LPGA season. Solheim Cup points, which determine eight of the 12 American golfers who make the team, will double for each of the five majors (ANA Inspiration, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, U.S. Women’s Open, RICOH Women’s British Open, and The Evian Championship) and increase by one-third during the year’s other LPGA tournaments.
The increase in awarded points means players can make big moves in a hurry by carding top-20 finishes during 2017.
ARE YOU #CMERACEREADY?
Heading into the fourth year of the Race to CME Globe, LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan announced some exciting changes to the 2017 Race to the CME Globe via a Twitter video from Daytona International Speedway. The video kicked off a new social media campaign #CMERaceReady where players, sponsors, tournaments and fans are encouraged to show how they are getting ready for the 2017 LPGA Tour season and the Race to CME Globe.
In 2017, the reset points for the Race to the CME Globe will be modified slightly. As a result of these modifications:
The Top Five (5) Finishers entering Naples will control their own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship - meaning if they win in Naples, they will also win the $1M CME Globe.
The top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.
Please note that previously, the Top 3 controlled their destiny and Top 9 had a mathematical chance
2016 NUMBERS TO KNOW
- 22.30 - The average age of winners was 22.30
- 24 – 24 of 33 events won by players 23 years old or younger
- 16 – 16 of 33 won by players 21 or younger
- 18 - 18 different winners from 12 different countries
- 5 - 5 players finished with a scoring average under 70 for the first time in LPGA history
2016 LPGA LEADERS
Below are the list of the players who led the LPGA in six of the key statistical categories during the 2016 season. Jutanugarn and Henderson are each in the field this week at the Ocean Club.
- Wins - 5 (Ariya Jutanugarn)
- Top-10s - 15 (Brooke Henderson)
- Money List - $2,550,947 (Ariya Jutanugarn)
- Race to CME Globe - 6,800 (Ariya Jutanugarn)
- Scoring Average - 69.583 (In Gee Chun)
- Rolex Player of the Year - 260 (Ariya Jutanugarn)