INAUGURAL THORNBERRY CREEK LPGA CLASSIC
The first edition of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic will be held this week in Oneida, Wisconsin. This year’s tournament is the eighth in the LPGA Tour’s busy 12 week tournament stretch, and is right in between two major championships. This week’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic marks the 18th tournament of what has been an exciting 2017 LPGA season, which has seen one Rolex First-Time Winner along with 16 different tournament winners.
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn will headline a field of 144 LPGA stars at the inaugural event. Jutanugarn, a six-time LPGA winner and the 2016 Rolex Player of the Year, is one of 12 major champions in the field including familiar LPGA names:
- Fan favorite and 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion Paula Creamer
- Four-time LPGA winner and top Canadian star Brooke Henderson
- Top-earning American and 19-time LPGA winner Cristie Kerr
- 15-time LPGA winner and European Solheim Cup legend Suzann Pettersen
- LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Karrie Webb
The inaugural Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, on the Oneida Reservation immediately near Green Bay, Wisconsin will take place at Thornberry Creek at Oneida, a course owned by Oneida Nation and managed by the Oneida Golf Enterprise Corporation.
NEW TOURNAMENTS ON THE BLOCK
The 2017 LPGA schedule includes the addition of four new tournaments and an increase of $4.35 million in total official prize money. In addition to the four new events, 11 of the 30 returning official events feature increased purses in 2017. Four of the Tour’s five major championships will have higher purses, including a $5 million purse ($900,000 to the champion), at the U.S. Women’s Open conducted by the USGA that will be the largest purse in LPGA history.
This week’s tournament marks the first new LPGA stop of the season. The Tour visits Oneida, Wisconsin for the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, the first time the LPGA or PGA Tour has hosted a sanctioned event in the Green Bay area. Three weeks later, the LPGA travels across the pond to play the LPGA and LET co-sanctioned Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open, at Dundonald Links in Ayrshire, Scotland, the same course as the men’s Scottish Open.
In September, the Tour makes a pit stop in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy Women in Tech (IWIT) Championship Presented by Guggenheim, on the Pete Dye-designed Brickyard Crossing Golf Course that weaves through the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Following the season’s final major (The Evian Championship), the LPGA will take a week off before traveling to the home of former Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko to play in the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open.
HENDERSON HEATING UP
Brooke Henderson’s 2016 season, which featured two wins and 13 additional top-10 finishes (2nd on Tour), is certainly a tough act to follow. The 19-year-old had just two top 10s through her first 14 starts of 2017 but has been on top of her game in the past month.
In her last three starts, Henderson hasn’t finished outside the top-11. She captured her fourth career LPGA victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and followed that up with a runner-up finish at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, falling one shot shy in her title defense at the major championship.
After the final round, Canada’s top-ranked player had her eyes on her next start at Thornberry Creek. “That new event in Green Bay next week, I’m really looking forward to it,” Henderson said on Sunday. “Getting up there, maybe tonight, but early tomorrow morning and getting a look at the course. I hear great things about it.”
WISCONSIN IS LAP 18 OF RACE TO CME GLOBE
This week’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic will mark the 18th event in the season-long Race to CME Globe. World No. 1 and two-time LPGA winner this season, So Yeon Ryu holds a narrow lead in the current Race to the CME Globe standings with 2,266 points. Top-ranked American and 2017 Kingsmill champion Lexi Thompson is close behind with 2,199 points, and is followed closely by reinging Race to the CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn (2,177) and Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give winner Brooke Henderson (1,653).
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
CME GROUP CARES WEEKENDS EAGLES UPDATE AFTER KPMG WOMEN’S PGA CHAMPIONSHIP
CME Group Cares Weekend is a season-long charitable giving program that turns eagles into donations. For each eagle recorded during weekend play (Saturday and Sunday) throughout the 2017 LPGA Tour season, CME Group donates $1,000 to the program’s total donation count. The money raised will go towards a charitable pool and be split evenly between Wounded Warrior Project® and Bright Pink®.
Players scored four eagles over the weekend at the 2017 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, raising $4,000 for charity. This brings the total to 161 eagles on the year, which translates to $161,000 dollars raised.
SPONSOR INVITE SPOTLIGHT
The Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic field of 144 players features three sponsor invites who will bring a crowd of their own out to the Thornberry Creek at Oneida course. Wisconsin-native Casey Danielson will be making her professional debut in Green Bay following a stellar collegiate career at Stanford University.
At Stanford, Danielson was team captain and a member of the 2015 NCAA Champion team. She also received the Dinah Shore Trophy, recognizing the most well-rounded female college golfer in the country. Danielson has also qualified to play the U.S. Women’s Open next week.
Ladies European Tour player Carly Booth will be in action one week prior to the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open which she qualified for as well. Booth, a native of Scotland, is a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour. In 11 starts on the LPGA she has made five cuts.
Selanee Henderson rounds out the trio of the inaugural event’s sponsor invites. Henderson is a Walla Walla Native American and a Symetra Tour golfer. Henderson has five career top-10 finishes on the Symetra Tour and a career-best finish of T2 in 2015.