The LPGA Tour returns to U.S. soil this week at the Mitchell Company Tournament Of Champions in Mobile, Alabama. The Magnolia Grove Golf Course will once again host the event, won last year by Christina Kim. The tournament starts Thursday and all four rounds will be televised (apparently tape-delayed, but I am definitely not complaining) by TGC.
The Magnolia Grove Crossings course is par-72 and 6253 yards. The weather looks good for this weekend – highs near 80 with a 30% chance of rain on Saturday, less chance the other days. The Caddy Corner reports a large amount of mosquitos in the area – I hope the ladies brought enough Off. Mobile is about a six-hour drive from where I live and the wife and I toyed with the idea of making the trip, but previously scheduled Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations overrode that possibility. Family first, golf second…maybe next year.
The field consists of 40 players, all of whom have been victorious on Tour over the last four seasons. Not all eligible players are attending – Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb are the most notable absentees – but the field is a strong one, indeed. The tournament winner earns an automatic berth in the ADT Championship next week, while the Top 20 finishers all earn points toward making that field. See my ADT Qualifying post for more info on that topic. I’m going to pick Lorena Ochoa to win and take Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer as CYAs.
With the available television coverage, I expect to be able to come up with better posts for each round over the next two weeks. It’s been pretty difficult summarizing the action when you only have the lpga.com leaderboard and interview notes to reconstruct what happened. While I’m thinking about it, be sure to tune in for these last two events (or at least the final round of the ADT on NBC, if you don’t have TGC). If you don’t, you’ll be waiting a couple of months to see the ladies back in action.