31-time LPGA winner Juli Inkster is Northern California born and bred. The LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame member was born in Santa Cruz, she was a three-time All-American at San Jose State and currently lives in Los Altos, about 30 miles from Lake Merced Golf Club. As expected, Inkster is happy the LPGA has returned to the Bay Area this season.
“My kids and all their friends are going to come out,” Inkster said. “It’s nice to have family close by. Got some players staying with me so we’re cooking in every night and having fun there. Even though the South Bay, it’s only a 35-minute drive straight up, it’s a great home game for me just to have my friends come out here and watch me play.”
Inkster has great memories of playing at Lake Merced Golf Club; it was the site of her most recent top-20 finish at the 2016 Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic where she finished T19. At the same event in 2015 she finished T15. As a seven-time major champion, Inkster enjoys the challenge a course like Lake Merced presents.
“I like where it’s not a birdie-fest out here,” Inkster said. “Lake Merced’s probably in the best shape it’s been, it’s in amazing shape. The weather seems like it’s going to be okay this week, so the course is playing tough. I mean, this is like an Open golf course, it’s a tough golf course. You’ve got to really play well here. I think it’s going to be a good week.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE INAUGURAL LPGA MEDIHEAL CHAMPIONSHIP
- One of three new events on the LPGA schedule in 2018
- The final of four LPGA tournaments in California in 2018
- Built in 1922 on what was once coastal sand dunes, the golf course at Lake Merced Golf Club has undergone renovations by Dr. Alister MacKenzie, architect of Augusta National, and in 1996 by Rees Jones, the praised “U.S. Open Doctor”
- In addition to hosting an LPGA tournament from 2014-2016, numerous championship events have taken place at Lake Merced Golf Club, including U.S. Open Qualifiers, an NCAA West Regional Championship, a U.S. Boys’ Junior Championship and a U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship
- MEDIHEAL, a Korean based cosmetics company, has previously partnered with the LPGA through sponsoring top LPGA Tour player, So Yeon Ryu. The LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship will be the company’s first event sponsorship
- In 2018 at Lake Merced Golf Club, tournament officials flipped the front nine and back nines, so the event now will end with the holes normally played as No. 7, No. 8 and No. 9
SAN FRAN IS LAP 10 IN RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
The finale of the LPGA Tour’s West-Coast swing, the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, marks the 10th lap of the 2018 Race to the CME Globe. With her win at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and three additional top-three finishes, LPGA Hall of Fame member Inbee Park has the early lead in the Race to CME Globe with 1,458 points. HUGEL-JTBC LA Open winner Moriya Jutanugarn is close behind Park with 1,179 points.
Throughout the season’s 33 official events, LPGA Members will battle for position, with the top 12 players after the Blue Bay LPGA heading into the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship with the opportunity to take home a $1 million bonus, the biggest prize in women’s golf.
All tournaments have the same point values except for the five major championships, which carry 25 percent
more value; there are 625 points up for grabs this week at the ANA Inspiration. For all events with a cut, points are awarded to members who make the cut, while for events without a cut, points are awarded to members who finish in the top 40 and ties.
Points will be reset for the CME Group Tour Championship following the Blue Bay LPGA, with the top 72 LPGA Members, as well as any non-Member winners and alternates, seeded into the championship field. For the top five players, it’s easy – win the CME Group Tour Championship and take home $1 million. However, the top 12 in the points race all have a mathematical chance to take the title of Race to the CME Globe Champion and win the coveted check.
In 2017, Lexi Thompson became the first American winner of the Race to the CME Globe and the accompanying $1 million prize. She joined Lydia Ko(2014, 2015) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2016) as the only players to hoist the crystal trophy.
IN OTHER NEWS
IRENE AGNOS NOMINATED FOR XL CATLIN VOLUNTEER SERVICE AWARD
As an avid amateur photographer, Irene Agnos has a knack for capturing light in people when she walks the streets of her San Francisco home looking for compelling images of urban life.
Agnos also brings that kind of focus on detail to her role as volunteer chairperson at golf championships staged at her home course, Lake Merced Golf Club. She has become an experienced volunteer organizer at Lake Merced, beginning when her club played host to the 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship, and later to the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, held from 2014-2016.
This year, Agnos will again lead the volunteer corps at Lake Merced for the inaugural LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, and because of her continued leadership at the Northern California venue, she has been nominated as a recipient for the LPGA’s XL Catlin Volunteer Service Award – a new program launched in 2018 to recognize exemplary volunteers at each LPGA tournament.
LPGA PARTNERS WITH UBS AND PRUDENTIAL TO INTRODUCE MORE BUSINESS WOMEN TO GOLF
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is excited to announce the launch of ‘On Par with the LPGA’s Best – UBS and Prudential Women and Golf’, a multi-faceted program designed to introduce more business women to the game of golf.
This program will include a series of events ranging from the first one, hosted earlier this week by Golf Channel’s Lisa Cornwell at Golf and Body NYC and titled “Demystifying the Game”, to a day spent with World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez and individual lessons provided by LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals.
TV TIMES – SHOWTIME IN PRIMETIME (all times EST on Golf Channel)
Thursday, April 26: 6:30-9 p.m.
Friday, April 27: 6:30-9 p.m.
Saturday, April 28: 6-9 p.m.
Sunday, April 29: 6-9 p.m.