A field of champions covering the last four seasons of LPGA play will square off in the annual Mitchell Company LPGA Tournament of Champions. Magnolia Grove’s The Crossings, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, in Mobile, Alabama will be the site of this winners-only event. Lorena Ochoa lapped the field last year, winning by 10 strokes. The 72-hole tournament begins Thursday, with all four rounds being televised by The Golf Channel.
The Crossings is a par-72, 6253-yard course which played a little bit on the easy side last year. The scoring average was 72.621, about 0.3 strokes lower than the 2006 average. Given the strength of the field (or more correctly, the relative lack of poor players), better-than-average scoring seems logical here. The forecast is for temps in the mid-70s with little chance of rain, so those numbers ought to be repeated this year.
Everyone in the field has a victory on Tour since the beginning of the 2004 season. While the field is a strong one, there are some surprising absentees. Stacy Prammanasudh, Cristie Kerr, Jee Young Lee, Jeong Jang and Maria Hjorth are all eligible to play but elected to not attend. Among those playing this week whose trophy ceremonies you may have forgotten are Moira Dunn, Wendy Doolan, Kim Saiki-Maloney, Heather Young and the amazing Heather Daly-Donofrio. Double-D won this event in 2004 in her last opportunity to retain her full exempt status. She is in that same pickle again this week – could lightning possibly strike twice?
I’m not gonna predict that happening without getting some great odds from somebody. Hello? Since no one is offering, I’ll serve up my usual trio – Lorena Ochoa to win, with Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer as CYAs.
Stats: Winners 8-28 (11-28 with CYAs), Top Tens 43-82.