LPGA Tour hits American soil in Phoenix
BY Bruce Young | LPGA Tour | 2014 JCTB LPGA Founders Cup | Preview | 19 Mar 2014
The LPGA Tour is about to play its fifth event of the 2014 season but just its first on US soil when the JTCB Founders Cup gets underway at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix in Arizona this Thursday.
The field is stacked with the elite of the game will all ten of the Role World Ranking players teeing it up.
The event is being played for just the fourth occasion with Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng and Karrie Webb the previous winners.
Inbee Park reinforced her position at the top of the female game with victory in China recently but her record over this layout is ordinary at best having finished 25th and 26th in her two starts in the event. She is a significantly better player now admittedly but there is concern about her lack of success at the Wildfire Golf Club.
Defending champion Stacy Lewis played well in Australia and Thailand although was disappointing in Singapore. With three weeks off to recharge the batteries she can be expected to do well aagin on a golf course where she has played well on two of her three visits.
Suzann Pettersen was runner-up to Park in China and 4th in Singapore but like Park she has a poor record in this event.
Karrie Webb won in 2011 and has played well enough in her two subsequent visits. She has made a great start to the season with a win in Australia and a 3rd place finish in Singapore. She obviously likes the layout and there is no real reason why she can’t be in the mix and give her coach Ian Trigg’s stable consecutive wins after John Senden’s victory last week.
Lydia Ko plays the tournament for the first time as will be the case with many events for the 16 year old this season. The New Zealander has been solid if unspectacular this season but perhaps that is because the expectations on her are now so high.
Paula Creamer has been a good performer in this event including when runner-up to Webb in 2011. She has played beautifully this season with a win and two thirds in four starts. Expect her to do well.
Other Australians in the field aside from Webb are Katherine Kirk, Lindsey Wright and Sarah Jane Smith.