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Just the second full-field event of the season, the DIO Implant LA Open has attracted a host of high-profile characters, from the top of the Rolex World Golf Rankings to exciting local products. Though there’s plenty of exciting pairings for fans, one group has it all, both Southern California talent and the best in the world.
After relinquishing the No. 1 spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking at the beginning of the 2022 season, Korda has been on a quest to regain the top spot. She’s since climbed to No. 2 after a strong finish to the 2022 season that included a win at The ANNIKA Driven by Gainbridge at Pelican, and a more than solid start to 2023. The American superstar recorded three straight top-10 finishes to start the season including a runner-up result at the HSBC Women’s World Championship just a few weeks ago. The DIO Implant LA Open is just another step in the climb back to the top and Korda is well positioned to make her case for No. 1. Though she didn’t play in the event last year, she finished T10 in her last appearance in 2021.
After a stunning rookie season that saw two wins, a brief stint at world No. 1 and the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award, it’s no exaggeration to say that Thitikul is a rising star that commands the attention of all who watch her. Unsurprisingly Thitikul has continued to ride that wave of excellence into 2023, having yet to finish outside of the top 20. Going back to last year, Thitikul hasn’t finished outside the top 20 since the Dana Open presented by Marathon in September. Her best result so far came at her opening event, the Honda LPGA Thailand, where she shot 20 under for solo control of third place. Currently world No. 4, Thitikul is sure to win and do it sooner rather than later.
Kang will certainly draw a crowd of fans at the Palos Verdes Golf Club and not just for being a Southern California product – though she will have a strong home-field advantage. The 30-year-old has started her 11th season on the LPGA Tour strong, turning in a T12 finish to open the year at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and most recently finishing T3 at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. A veteran of the tour with six wins under her belt, Kang knows what it takes to pull of a win in an increasingly competitive field. She also tends to do well when she plays near home, with her best finish coming at the 2019 iteration of the event where she shot six-under for a T10 finish.