ShopRite LPGA Classic Preview
ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer
Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club – Bay Course
Galloway, New Jersey
- A year ago I.K. Kim’s fabulous season really got kick-started at the three round ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by ACER after a two-shot victory over two-time defending champion Anna Nordqvist.
- Kim shot rounds of 66-67-69 to notch her fourth career LPGA Tour title, almost a decade after she broke through as a 20-year-old to win her maiden professional event.
- Last year, Kim went on to win the Marathon Classic in July and the RICOH Women’s British Open in August, her first major championship.
- Kim has had an up-and-down season so far, having missed just two cuts, but notching only two top-10 finishes.
- Those finishes, however, have been solid ones.
- She tied for 4th at the Kia Classic and was runner-up at the LPGA Volvik Championship two weeks ago.
- She returns to defend her title this week in New Jersey ranked 31st on the Race to the CME Globe, and 7th in the world on the Rolex Rankings.
For more on the field, visit: http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-shoprite-lpga-classic-fieldbreakdown
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC
- This is the 30th edition of the Kingsmill Championship – began in 1986 (no tournament from 2007-09)
- From 1986 through 2006, the tournament was played at two different courses near Atlantic City, with the first two and last nine years played on the Bay Course of the Stockton Seaview Resort
- It was a 54-hole tournament played over three days, except for 1990 when it was a four-day, 72-hole event
- For a decade (1988-97), the event was played at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point, known as Sands Country Club until 1991
- The tournament was originally known as the Atlantic City LPGA Classic – its name was changed in 1992 to the ShopRite LPGA Classic when Wakefern Food Corporation took over as the sponsor
- One of three 54-hole tournaments on the 2018 LPGA schedule along with the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the TOTO Japan Classic
- Multiple winners of the event are Betsy King (1987, 1995, 2001), Annika Sorenstam (1998, 2002, 2005), Juli Inkster (1986, 1988), Stacy Lewis (2012, 2014) and Anna Nordqvist (2015, 2016)
- There have been two playoffs, in 1988 and 1992
- Four past champions are in the field this week: In-Kyung Kim (2017), Anna Nordqvist (2015, 2016), Stacy Lewis (2012, 2014) and Karrie Webb (2013)
- Three players from New Jersey are in the field: Marina Alex (Wayne, N.J.), Taylor Totland (Tinton Falls, N.J.) and Joanna Coe (Mays Landing, N.J.)
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DEFENDING CHAMPION IN-KYUNG KIM
- In 2018, Kim has made six cuts in eight starts, with two top-five finishes including a runner-up result two weeks ago at the LPGA Volvik Championship
- In 2017, Kim and Shanshan Feng led the LPGA Tour with three victories on the year
- Kim posted a career-best year in 2017 with three wins including her first career major championship, five additional top-25 finishes and the fourth year of her career with over $1 million in season earnings
- At No. 7 in the Rolex Rankings, Kim is the fourth-highest ranked Korean player which could land her a spot on Team Korea at the 2018 UL International Crown in Korea in October
- At the ShopRite LPGA Classic, Kim has never missed a cut in seven starts with a win in 2017 and three additional top-10 finishes
- She is an avid guitar player and won the 2015 Kia Community Assist Award for her charitable efforts with the Special Olympics
SHOPRITE LPGA CLASSIC IS LAP 15 IN RACE TO THE CME GLOBE
- The 24th edition of the ShopRite LPGA Classic presented by Acer marks the 15th lap of the 2018 Race to the CME Globe.
- With her Tour-leading two wins coming in the last three events, 2016 Race to CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn has taken a commanding lead in the standings with 2,450 points. Ariya’s older sister, Moriya Jutanugarn, is in second place with 1,600 points and is followed closely by LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park (1,598) and 2018 winner Minjee Lee (1,509).
- 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.
JUTANUGARN ON CUSP OF NO. 1, UL CROWN TEAMS TAKING SHAPE
Ariya Jutanugarn is now on the cusp of returning to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. After her survival at the U.S. Women’s Open, she moved from No. 5 to No. 2 in the world. She’s now less than one average point behind Inbee Park. Jutanugarn last was No. 1 in the world after her win at the Manulife LPGA Classic in 2017, but her stay was short-lived at the top. She went to No. 2 just a couple weeks later after a missed cut at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Jutanugarn has opened a rather large gap in many of the main statistical categories. She has earned nearly $900,000 more than anyone else on Tour, is over 800 points ahead of her sister, Moriya, in the Race to the CME Globe standings and is over 70 points ahead of Inbee Park in the Rolex Player of the Year race. It’s safe to say that it has been the year of Ariya through the first third of the season.
Kang Moves into Striking Distance of Wie
Danielle Kang turned in three strong rounds at Shoal Creek to finish in solo fourth to move up three spots in the Rolex rankings to No. 20. She is now only two spots behind Michelle Wie for the fourth and final spot on Team USA for the UL International Crown. Kang and Wie are the best of friends, but will now have to battle over the next month to try to snag the fourth spot. It appears as if Lexi Thompson (No. 2), Jessica Korda (No. 11) and Cristie Kerr (No. 12) are pretty safe to make Team USA. There are four more events remaining to try and qualify including the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, which Kang won in 2017.
Kang had a fast start to the season, then struggled in March and April, but she has turned it back on of late. She has finished inside the top 20 in three straight starts and inside the top 10 in the last two.
For more on the Rolex Moves of the Week, visit: http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-jutanugarn-on-cusp-of-number-one-in-rolex-moves
144 players; 54 holes, stroke play; after 36 holes, the field will be cut to the top 70 and ties
$1.75 million USD; winner’s portion is $262,500
Tournament: (Instagram and Twitter) @ShopRiteLPGA, @SeaviewGolf, @StocktonSeaview (Instagram), #ShopRiteLPGA, #WorldsLargestProAm
LPGA: @LPGA, @LPGAMedia (Twitter), @lpga_tour (Instagram)
WHITELINE PAR AND YARDAGE
37-34–71, 6,217 yards (par and yardage are subject to change through the start of the tournament)
TV TIMES (all times EST on Golf Channel)
Friday, June 8: 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 9: 3-5 p.m.
Sunday, June 10: 3-5 p.m.
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONS AND RUNNERS-UP
2017: In-Kyung Kim, 202 (-11); Anna Nordqvist, 204 (-9)
2016: Anna Nordqvist, 196 (-17); Haru Nomura, 197 (-16)
2015: Anna Nordqvist, 205 (-8); Christel Boeljon, 206 (-7)
2014: Stacy Lewis, 197 (-16); Christina Kim, 203 (-10)
2013: Karrie Webb, 209 (-4); Shanshan Feng, 211 (-2)
TOURNAMENT SCORING RECORDS
18 holes: 62 (-9), four times, most recently Karine Icher (second round, 2016)
36 holes: 130 (-12), five times, most recently Karine Icher (2016)
54 holes: 196 (-17), Anna Nordqvist (2016) and Annika Sorenstam (1998, 2005)
IN OTHER NEWS
VERSANT HEALTH TO JOIN THE LPGA FAMILY AS AN OFFICIAL MARKETING PARTNER
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today that Versant Health, a leader in managed vision and eye health benefits that provides services as Superior Vision and Davis Vision, has been named an Official Marketing Partner and will have a presence throughout the season during television broadcasts, on LPGA.com and with on-course signage and hospitality at select events.
Fans will get another glimpse at the very best of all the action on the LPGA Tour during television broadcasts with ‘A Second Look’ and they will also be able to gain special insights on players through a digital content series on LPGA.com that will ‘Look Back’ and offer a ‘Behind the Scenes’ view.
For more information, visit: http://www.lpga.com/news/2018-versant-health-joins-lpga-family
THIS WEEK ON THE SYMETRA TOUR
After a week off, the Symetra Tour picks back up with the seventh tournament on its 2018 schedule, as the road to the LPGA Tour rolls into Blackthorn Golf Club for the 7th annual Four Winds Invitational from June 8-10.
Follow the action at http://www.symetratour.com/