Date: February 14, 2017
Author: LPGA

This week on the LPGA Tour



The LPGA Tour's second event of 2017 showcases the southern coast of Australia for the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open. The tournament is in its sixth year as an official LPGA event since it became a part of the Tour's schedule in 2012.

Haru Nomura will be back to defend her title in the tournament where she became a Rolex First-Time Winner, one of her two victories in 2016 (also won the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic). Nomura's final round 65 was enough to give her a three-shot victory over 2015 champion and world No. 1 Lydia Ko.

This year's setting is the links style Seaton course at The Royal Adelaide Golf Club, site of Queensland native Karrie Webb's first professional appearance at the 1994 Australian Open. Royal Adelaide joins Ocean Club (Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic) and Reignwood Pine Valley (Alisports Reignwood) as the only par-73 layouts on the 2017 LPGA schedule.

WHO’S IN THE FIELD (as of 2/13/17)

Past ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open Winners (6)*:

Haru Nomura (2016), Lydia Ko (2015), Karrie Webb (2014, 2008, 2007, 2002, 2000), Yani Tseng (2011, 2010), Laura Davies (2009, 2004), Catriona Matthew (1996)

*Became an LPGA event in 2012

Australian Players (23)

Rebecca Artis, Adriana Brent, Cathryn Bristow, Liv Cheng, Karis Davidson (a), Ellen Davies-Graham, Emma de Groot, Hannah Green, Alizza Hetherington (a), Lauren Hibbert, Whitney Hillier, Stacey Keating, Sarah Kemp, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Grace Lennon, Katelyn Must, Stephanie Na, Su Oh, Eui Kyung Shin, Sarah Jane Smith, Jessica Speechley, Karrie Webb

Amateurs (7):

Hye Jin Choi, Karis Davidson, Alizza Hetherington, Yu Lu Hsin, Jo-Hua Hung, Tze-Han Lin, Han-Hsuan Yu


With new equipment (PXG), a new coach (Gary Gilchrist) and a new caddie (Gary Matthews), world No. 1 Lydia Ko will make her season debut in Australia where she has never finished outside the top 19 in five starts, including a win in 2015 and runner-up finish last year.

Five-time Australian Open champion Karrie Webb and top ranked Aussie Minjee Lee will also tee off for the first time this season amidst a field that includes 23 Australians.

India's Aditi Ashok and American Mariah Stackhouse (sponsor invites) will be making the first appearance of their rookie seasons and are among 15 2017 LPGA rookies in the field.


The Americans started the 2017 season off with a bang at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Brittany Lincicome came out on top of a red, white and blue leaderboard, the first time that five Americans finished in the top-5 since the 2011 Canadian Women’s Open.

During the 2016 season, Lexi Thompson (Honda LPGA Thailand) and Brittany Lang (U.S. Women’s Open Conducted by the USGA) were the only Americans to take home a tournament title.

The following Americans finished in the top 16 in the Bahamas and will be vying for the trophy at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open: Nelly Korda (T5), Austin Ernst (7th), Marina Alex (T13), Katie Burnett (T16) and Megan Khang (T16).


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 of 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 to win by a score of 14½ to 13½, the closest in the Cup history.

Juli Inkster 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 seven 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, that 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.


With her win at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic Brittany Lincicome took the early lead in the Race to CME Globe.

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:

o 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

o The top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe

o Please note that previously, the Top 3 controlled their destiny and Top 9 had a mathematical chance


Karrie Webb was inducted as a Life Member of the Australian Ladies Professional Golf (ALPG) in 2008. Webb has 13 career ALPG wins and leads the Tour's all-time money list with $1,994,142.44 (according to

Karrie Webb's last LPGA win came at the 2014 JTBC Founders Cup, part of a two-win season that included her 2014 Australian Open victory. Webb has nine top-8 finishes on the LPGA since her last win including a runner-up performance at The Evian Championship in 2014 and a season-best third place finish at the 2016 Australian Open.

Minjee Lee is the top Australian playing in her country's national championship and is one of three Aussies inside the top-100 of the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. That list includes Lee (17), Karrie Webb (62) and Su Oh (70). Sarah Jane Smith currently sits just outside of the top-100 at No. 107. Lee, Webb, Oh and Rebecca Artis represented Team Australia at the 2016 UL International Crown, while Lee and Oh played for Australia at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Perth native Minjee Lee was one of nine players with multiple victories on the LPGA Tour in 2016 with wins at the LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY and the Blue Bay LPGA. That list also includes two Australian Open champions in Haru Nomura (2016 champion; two wins in 2016) and Lydia Ko (2015 champion; four wins in 2016).

Minjee Lee had a breakout season on the LPGA in 2016 – she finished 12th on the season-ending money list and 10th in the final Race to the CME Globe standings. Lee had two wins and six additional top-10 finishes while finishing ranked fourth on Tour in birdies (402), fourth in eagles (11) and fifth in putts per GIR (1.76).

Victoria's Su Oh, winner of the 2015 RACV Australian Ladies Masters on the LET, had two top-10 finishes on the LPGA in her rookie season in 2016 including a career-best solo second at the Kingsmill Championship. Oh finished fourth in the Rolex Rookie of the Year race and is hoping to build on a T3 performance at last week's Oates Vic Open.

Entering this week, New Zealand's Lydia Ko has spent 69 consecutive weeks at the top of the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings. The 19-year-old has 14 LPGA wins in her career, including the 2015 Australian Open, and is seeking her first victory since the 2016 Marathon Classic Presented by Owens Corning and O-I last July.

Thailand's Prima Thammaraks earned her way into this week's field by winning the RACV Gold Coast Challenge.

England's Mel Reid won last week's Oates Vic Open in a three-hole playoff over Germany's Sandra Gal. With her win, Reid, a 2017 LPGA rookie, earned her sixth career LET title.

Several Aussies have gained momentum entering this week – After missing the cut at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, 34-year-old Queenslander and two-time LPGA winner Katherine Kirk is coming off of a fourth place finish at the RACV Gold Coast Challenge and a T18 finish at the Oates Vic Open. 2010 ALPGA rookie of the year Rebecca Artis finished 30th at last week's Oates Vic Open; she has played in this event five years in a row with her best finish coming in 2012 (T18). Whitney Hillier has collected four top-20 finishes on the ALPG this season including a T6 finish at the Oates Vic Open; Hillier's T18 finish in 2013 is her best in four Australian Open appearances. ALPGA rookie Hannah Green, who finished T20 at last year's Australian Open, earned a sponsor invite this week as the current ALPGA Order of Merit leade. In January alone, the 20-year-old won the Pennant Hills Pro Am and Hope Island Pro Am and most recently finished T6 at the Oates Vic Open.