This week marks the first playing of the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, the first full-field event of the 2020 LPGA Tour season. The 70th year of the LPGA kicked off last week with 2018 and 2019 winners teeing it up alongside celebrities at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. After seven playoff holes, Gaby Lopez hoisted the trophy on Monday morning in Orlando before driving down to Boca Raton.
The inaugural event at Boca Rio Golf Club this week features six players in the top 10 of the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in No. 3 Nelly Korda, No. 4 Danielle Kang, No. 5 Nasa Hataoka, No. 6 Sei Young Kim, No. 8 Brooke Henderson and No. 10 Lexi Thompson.
19-time LPGA Tour winner Inbee Park also highlights the field which includes eight native Floridians: Lindy Duncan, Jaye Marie Green, Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda, Brittany Lincicome, Madison Pressel, Morgan Pressel and Lexi Thompson.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE GAINBRIDGE LPGA AT BOCA RIO
- This is the inaugural playing of the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio
- The tournament is one of two new events on the 2020 schedule (joined by the Pelican Women’s Championship presented by DEX Imaging)
- Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio is one of four total tournaments on the LPGA Tour schedule to be contested in the Sunshine State
- This event is the second of the 2020 LPGA Tour season, following the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America
- Natalie Gulbis and Madison Pressel are the two tournament sponsor exemptions
- Eight players in the 108-player field are from Florida (Lindy Duncan, Jaye Marie Green, Jessica Korda, Nelly Korda, Brittany Lincicome, Madison Pressel, Morgan Pressel, Lexi Thompson)
- Alison Lee and Kendall Dye secured the final two spots in the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio field through the Monday Qualifier. Dye survived a 3-for-1 sudden death playoff that was completed on Tuesday morning
JAYE MARIE GREEN FEELING RIGHT AT HOME IN BOCA RATON
Jaye Marie Green is sleeping in her own bed this week, the one she grew up in for 22 years. Everything on the walls has stayed the same, including the scribbles from friends and family written on by sharpie which she calls her “graffiti.” The Boca Raton native loves the hometown support, even if reserving 60 tickets at will call for the week at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio was a tad stressful.
“It’s so nice to have that many people that support and love me. It's actually a great feeling,” said Green. “I know when I'm on the course, like they respect that this is what I do, so if I don't run over and give them hugs and kisses, like they get it.”
Green spent much of her offseason in Boca Raton, practicing when she could and enjoying her mom’s home-cooked meals every night. She also was able to spend time at Boca Rio, preparing for her first start of the season.
“I've been working with my mental coach. I've been really working on being focused,” said Green, “I think that's really what I've been working on is trying to tap into that zone, because when you're out on the golf course, that's all it is, it's just you, the clubs, the course and your caddie. So that's really what I've been working on.”
Green remembers a couple memorable moments from the 2019 season – holding the 54-hole lead at the Volunteers of America Classic and being one shot out of the lead at the U.S. Women’s Open going into the final round, to name a few – and wants to use those experiences to her advantage at the Gainbridge LPGA.
“A thousand percent wanting to win this week,” said Green. “It is my hometown; I've been working really hard and that's all I'm focused on.”
2020 RACE TO THE CME GLOBE CONTINUES AT BOCA RIO
The 2020 Race to the CME Globe continues this week with the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio. LPGA Tour Members will accumulate points in every Official LPGA Tournament to get into the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship with an equal opportunity to take home a $1.5 million bonus, the biggest prize in women’s golf.
After winning the season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, Gaby Lopez takes the early lead in the season-long points race with 500 points. Lopez is followed by DRTOC runners-up Inbee Park and Nasa Hataoka with 300 points each.
The LPGA Tour’s 2020 Race to the CME Globe competition continues through the event held immediately prior to the CME Group Tour Championship. All tournaments have the same point values except for the five major championships, which carry 25 percent more value, and two additional events. For the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions, points will be awarded to the top 20 and ties, and for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, points will be awarded to members who make the cut. 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. Only LPGA Tour Members are eligible to earn points in the Race.
After the event immediately prior to the CME Group Tour Championship, points earned during the season will be eliminated and no points will be allocated at the CME Group Tour Championship. Instead, the top 60 players in the Race to the CME Globe (plus ties) compete on an equal playing ground for an official purse of $5 million, with a first-place prize of $1.5 million.
Since the competition began in 2014, four LPGA Tour players have earned the title of Race to the CME Globe champion – Ariya Jutanugarn (2016, 2018), Sei Young Kim (2019), Lydia Ko (2014, 2015) and Lexi Thompson (2017).
UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN RANKINGS
As the 2020 season continues in Boca Raton, the UL International Crown standings are beginning to take form in preparation of the prestigious team event at the Centurion Club in London, England. The field of eight countries is determined by the combined Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking of the top four players from each country as of June 1, 2020.
Here are the following countries and players in the UL International Crown rankings as of Jan. 21, 2020:
- Republic of Korea: Jin Young Ko, Sung Hyun Park, Sei Young Kim, Jeongeun Lee6
- United States: Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda
- Japan: Nasa Hataoka, Hinako Shibuno, Ai Suzuki, Mone Inami
- England: Charley Hull, Bronte Law, Georgia Hall, Jodi Ewart Shadoff
- Australia: Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Su Oh, Katherine Kirk
- China: Shanshan Feng, Yu Liu, Jing Yan, Xiyu Lin
- Thailand: Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Pornanong Phatlum, Jasmine Suwannapura
- Sweden: Anna Nordqvist, Madelene Sagstrom, Caroline Hedwall, Pernilla Lindberg
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will showcase female golfers from around the world on a global stage. The field is restricted to 60 players for each of the men’s and women’s competitions. The International Golf Federation (IGF) uses the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings to create the Olympic Golf Rankings.
As of the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio, 35 countries are represented in the current Olympic Rankings. 33 of the 60 potential Olympic participants will tee it up this week, including all representatives from the current United States standings – Nelly Korda, Danielle Kang and Lexi Thompson. Inbee Park, who made a January start to the season last week at the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions for the first time since 2016, continues her Florida swing as she fights for a spot on the Korean Olympic roster. Only one member of the team in the current rankings, Sei Young Kim, will make an appearance this week in Boca Raton.
For more information on the Olympic Women’s Golf Rankings, click here: https://www.igfgolf.org/olympic-games/tokyo-2020/tokyo-2020-qualification-system/tokyo-2020-olympic-golf-rankings/
108 players; 72 holes, stroke play, cut to top 70 and ties after 36 holes
$2 million USD; $300,000 winner’s portion
SOCIAL MEDIA - #DriveOn
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Tournament: @GainbridgeLPGA, #GainbridgeLPGA
TV TIMES (all times Eastern on Golf Channel)
Thursday, Jan. 23 – 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 24 – 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 25 – 3-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 26 – 3-5 p.m.