Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Preview
- When: January 16 – 19, 2020
- Where: Lake Buena Vista, Florida
- Course: Tranquilo Golf Course At Four Seasons Golf and Sport Club
- Field: Winners from the 2018 and 2019 seasons; 49 Celebrities
- Format: Professionals: 26 players; 72 holes, stroke play, no cut
- Celebrities and amateurs: 49 players; 72 holes, Modified Stableford scoring format, no cut
- Defending Champion Eun Hee Ji
2020 Diamond Resorts Tournament Of Champions Opens LPGA Season
The 2020 LPGA Tour seasons begins with the second Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions. The field consists of winners from the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
Notable players include:
- 2019 DRTOC winner Eun Hee Ji
- 19-time LPGA Tour winner Inbee Park
- No. 3 Nelly Korda
- No. 4 Danielle Kang
- No. 5 Sei Young Kim
- No. 6 Nasa Hataoka
- No. 8 Brooke Henderson
- No. 10 Lexi Thompson.
The field also includes 49 celebrities from the worlds of sports and entertainment.
- defending DRTOC celebrity winner and World Series champion and 2018 U.S. Senior Open competitor John Smoltz
- reigning Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin
- NFL star Larry Fitzgerald
- Michael Pena
- Jack Wagner.
TV TIMES (all times Eastern)
- Thursday, Jan. 16 – 12-3 p.m., Golf Channel
- Friday, Jan. 17 – 12-3 p.m., Golf Channel
- Saturday, Jan. 18 – 2-3 p.m., Golf Channel; 3-5 p.m., NBC
- Sunday, Jan. 19 – 2-3 p.m., Golf Channel; 3-5 p.m., NBC
A Look At The Celebrities
Former major league pitcher Mark Mulder is listed as a slight favorite over two fellow past champions, ex-tennis star Mardy Fish and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz, in this week’s Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions.
Mulder, the two-time MLB all-star who won here in 2017, is listed at 2-1 odds, according to William Hill Sports Book. Fish, winner in 2016 and ’18, is next at 3-1. Smoltz, a surprise winner last year, is 4-1.
The LPGA champions will play four days of stroke play, with no cut, for $1.2 million. The celebrities will play for a separate $500,000 purse, using a modified Stableford scoring format.
Smoltz, the Atlanta Braves legend and current top broadcaster, edged Mulder in the final round last year. The long-hitting Mulder has been a dominant force in prominent celebrity golf tournaments, having won three consecutive American Century Championships in Lake Tahoe, Nev.
Actor Jack Wagner (12-1) and Iraqi war veteran Chad Pfeifer (18-1) round out of the top five in odds. Pfeifer suffered combat injuries that required the amputation of his left leg above the knee.
Other celebrities, in order of lowest odds first, include Sterling Sharpe, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Ivan Rodriguez, Larry Fitzgerald, Roger Clemens, Terry Francona, Marcus Allen, Justin Verlander, Grant Hill, Larry The Cable Guy and Richard Dent.
Notable First Round Groupings
Defending LPGA DRTOC winner Eun Hee Ji will tee off at No. 1 at 8:30 a.m. with NFL stars Patrick Peterson and Case Keenum
Defending celebrity DRTOC winner John Smoltz will tee off No. 1 at 9:10 a.m. with Brooke Henderson and fellow MLB player Josh Donaldson
Leading American Nelly Korda will begin her season at 9:30 a.m. off the first tee with World Series champions Justin Verlander and Roger Clemens
Playing in her first event since giving birth to daughter Emery in July 2020, Brittany Lincicome will tee off No. 1 at 9:40 a.m. with NBA stars Ray Allen and Grant Hill
A Look At The Diamond Resorts Invitational Field
26 LPGA Tour Winners from 2018 and 2019
Marina Alex (2018 Cambia Portland Classic), Celine Boutier (2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open), In Gee Chun (2018 LPGA KEB Hana Bank Championship), Cydney Clanton (2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), Georgia Hall (2018 Ricoh Women’s British Open), Nasa Hataoka (2018 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, 2018 TOTO Japan Classic, 2019 Kia Classic), Brooke Henderson (2018 LOTTE Championship, 2018 CP Women’s Open, 2019 LOTTE Championship, 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give), Mi Jung Hur (2019 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, 2019 Indy Women in Tech Championship), Eun Hee Ji (2018 Kia Classic, 2019 Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018 Kingsmill Championship, 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open), Moriya Jutanugarn (2018 HUGEL-JTBC LA Open), Danielle Kang (2018 Buick LPGA Shanghai, 2019 Buick LPGA Shanghai), Sei Young Kim (2018 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic, 2019 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, 2019 Marathon Classic, 2019 CME Group Tour Championship), Cheyenne Knight (2019 Volunteers of America Classic), Jessica Korda (2018 Honda LPGA Thailand), Nelly Korda (2018 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA, 2019 ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open, 2019 Taiwan Swinging Skirts LPGA), Bronte Law (2019 Pure Silk Championship), Brittany Lincicome (2018 Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic), Pernilla Lindberg (2018 ANA Inspiration), Gaby Lopez (2018 Blue Bay LPGA), Annie Park (2018 ShopRite LPGA Classic), Inbee Park (2018 Bank of Hope Founders Cup), Angela Stanford (2018 Evian Championship), Jasmine Suwannapura (2018 Marathon Classic, 2019 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), Lexi Thompson (2018 CME Group Tour Championship, 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic), Amy Yang (2019 Honda LPGA Thailand)
The Celebrity Field at The Diamond Resorts Invitational
Marcus Allen, Maurice Allen, Ray Allen, Josh Beckett, Lee Brice, Joe Carter, Roger Clemens, Richard Dent, Mark DeRosa, Josh Donaldson, Mardy Fish, Larry Fitzgerald, Mike Flaskey, Colt Ford, Terry Francona, Eric Gagne, Tom Glavine, Denny Hamlin, John Hart, Ben Higgins, Grant Hill, Case Keenum, Jon Lester, Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, Brian McCann, Kevin Millar, Mark Mulder, Phil Nevin, Bud Norris, Blair O’Neal, Michael Peña, Patrick Peterson, Chad Pfeifer, A.J. Pierzynski, Alfonso Ribeiro, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Sterling Sharpe, John Smoltz, Cole Swindell, Larry The Cable Guy, Brian Urlacher, Justin Verlander, Frank Viola, Jack Wagner, Tim Wakefield, Michael Waltrip, David Wells, Deron Williams
Modified Stableford Scoring For The Celebrity Field
Double bogey – 0
Bogey – 1
Par – 2
Birdie – 3
Eagle – 5
Hole-in-One – 8
Double Eagle – 10
2020 RACE TO THE CME GLOBE BEGINS AT #DIAMONDLPGA
Starting this week at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando, 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.
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).
Tournament: @DiamondResorts (Twitter and Instagram), #DiamondLPGA
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)