LPGA Tour plays Honda LPGA Thailand
BY Bruce Young | 19 Feb 2014
The LPGA Tour this week moves from Melbourne to Thailand and more specifically the Siam Country Club in Chonburi for the second event of their season, the Honda LPGA Thailand.
The involvement of several leading players who were not in Melbourne last week adds depth to the field with Inbee Park, Na Yeon Choi and So Yeon Ryu in particular likely to make a difference in the outcome.
World number one and defending champion Inbee Park will start as the favourite for those reasons but she is an unknown quantity this season given this is her first event since early December.
Stacy Lewis has been 3rd and 5th in her last two starts in the event and having finished 6th last week in Melbourne and second in the Bahamas her chances look good.
Suzann Pettersen was too bad to be true during last week’s final round in Melbourne but the previous winner was in good form prior and so a bounce-back can be expected.
Lydia Ko plays this event for the first time as a professional having finished 14th last year. She is playing well enough at present to be a genuine factor.
Karrie Webb was brilliant in her last round charge to win the Women’s Australian Open last Sunday. She has generally played this event well with three top tens in five starts and a back up win is not beyond her.
Yani Tseng has the best record of all in this event with two victories, two 3rds, and a 7th place finish in five starts. At some point Tseng must return to at least a glimpse of her former glory and this week seems to have some of the ingredients for her to do so.
There has been the occasional indication that she might be on the way back but i expect a much better showing this week.
There will be a lot of local interest and sympathy for local golfer Ariya Jutanugarn who last year tripled bogeyed the final hole to lose a chance to gain an LPGA Tour title and status on that Tour. The then 17 year old injured herself in May after five top fives in LPGA Tour events she played on invite and after missing the cut at the Australian Open on her return last week she gets another chance to regain form.
The only other Australian in the field aside from Webb is Katherine Kirk