What to watch for as the 2023 LPGA season kicks off

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The 2023 LPGA Tour seasonThis week, you can tee off at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions, Orlando, Florida.

From now to mid-November, golfers compete in 33 events across 11 U.S. states as well as 12 foreign countries. Theyll be competing for a record $11 million purse, which includes $9 Million at Baltusrol Golf Courses KPMG Womens PGA Championship, and $10 Million at the U.S. Womens Open.

The U.S. team will attempt to end the European team’s dominance in the Solheim Cup in Spain in September.

In 2022, there were 11 first-time winners of the LPGA Tour, and many rising stars joined the circuit this year as rookies, including Lucy Li and Hae Ran Ryu.

Will Lydia Ko, world No. Will Lydia Ko, world No.1 golfer, see a resurgence in her career? Will Nelly KordaRecuperate No. Can you regain number 1 after missing four month in 2022? Can Lexi ThompsonFinally, win another major?

Here are some things to look out for on the LPGA Tour this year:

Whats next for the LPGA?

Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

When: Thursday-Sunday

Where: Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Orlando, Florida

Champion of defense: Danielle Kang

Purse: $1.5million

Three storylines to follow

Kangs defenseKang won by 3 strokes over Brooke HendersonLake Nona. It would be her sole win of the season. At the U.S. Womens Open at Pinehurst, her brother revealed that she was suffering from a spinal tumor. She was absent for 10 weeks before she returned in late August.

Kang posted top-15 finishes in four of her past five starts, including a runner-up at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Kang has a fresh perspective and a new coach — she parted ways from Olly Brett, her longtime looper — going into her title defense attempt.

Kang said that her injury made her realize she didnt need to play golf every day. Kang also went on a safari to Kenya, where she observed a lion hunt a Zebra and was chased away by a rhino.

Ive had low points, but I feel good. I have learned a lot. Kang said. Kang said, I believe people who struggle with whatever it may be, its all relative. You have to understand why you are going through this.

Star players are missing: This week, only three of the top ten womens golf players — Henderson, Korda and Nasa Hataoka – are in the field.

Golfweek reported that the U.S. Women’s Open winner was one of the top-10 players Minjee Lee, Jin Young KoThe LPGA could fine them $25,000 for failing to comply with the 1-in-4 rule. This requires players to be in the top 80 on the CME points list in order to play in an American tournament once every four years. Golfweek was informed by Tommy Tangtiphaiboontana, LPGA Vice President of Tour Operations, that players have the right to appeal the fines.

The Honda LPGA Thailand is the next LPGA event. It will take place February 23-26. There are also scheduled events in China and Singapore. Lee, who is from Australia, and Ko from South Korea might decide its better not to travel long distances for one start in the U.S. The LPGA wont be returning to the U.S. after the LPGA Drive On Championship, which will take place in Gold Canyon, Arizona, March 23-26.

Korda said, It is kind of tough. You have one week, then four weeks off. It can be hard to get into the swing.

This week, Orlando still has plenty of star power. Vince Carter, Emmitt Smith and Greg Maddux are just a few of the celebrities and actors who will be competing in the pro-am celebrity tournament. John SmoltzAnnika Sorenstam and Larry the cable guy.

Kordas big move: Korda, No. The No. 2 player in world, Korda, was unable to play for four months last season due to a blood clot in her right side. In June, she returned and tied for eighth at the U.S. Womens Open. In November, she won the Pelican Women’s Championship and regained her No. For a couple of weeks, she ranked No.

The 24-year old is making many changes in the run-up to 2023. Shell be wearing Nike apparel as well as TaylorMade equipment. She was previously on Titleists staff. Korda stated that she was a member of Titleists staff when she was a child and began testing the new equipment in October.

Korda stated, Obviously, it took a lot of testing because I wanted to make the switch 100 percent sure. Everything went really smoothly, honest to goodness. I was hitting every ball really well. TaylorMade has the best technology in every company. I felt TaylorMade was the best for me going forward.

Korda took part in the QBE Shootout Denny McCarthyIn December, she was able to attend the PNC Championship along with her father Petr.

Korda stated that she is feeling good. I didn’t have too much offseason. I took a week off.

Korda stated that she now appreciates golf more after being forced to sit last year.

Korda stated, I think that I was just a bit more grateful to have been playing, to have traveled, to do what I love, Obviously, appreciation for it grows when its taken away from us. Its clear that I have just come to appreciate it more, the simple things, like being able to hit some balls and putt some putts, and the opportunity to travel.

Its Lydia Kos World

World No. World No. 1 Lydia Ko, who won three times last seasons, took home the CME Group Tour Championship Championship, the largest purse in womens golf. She is however not in the Tournament of Champions 29-player field. Theres a reason for that: She was married last month in South Korea and was on her honeymoon.

Ko hasn’t given up on her clubs. Chung Jun, her husband, was playing when she scored a hole-in one on the par-3, 182-yard 2nd hole at Tara Iti Golf Club Mangawhai in New Zealand. There are published reports.

Ko will make her season debut at Aramco Saudi Ladies Internation on February 16-19. In 2021, she won this event.

Predicting the majors

The Chevron Championship

WhenApril 20-23

Where: The Club At Carlton Woods, The Woodlands Texas

Champion of defense: Jennifer Kupcho

Purse: $5.1 Million

Who is going to win?Nelly Korda

What should you know?: The Chevron championship, formerly known under the ANA Inspiration, has moved to Texas to be closer its title sponsor. Korda will not be able to jump into Poppie’s Pond when she wins her second major. She was second in the 2020 event, and third in 2021. Although there will be some adjustments due to TaylorMades recent equipment switch, her sweet swing is still so great.

KPMG Womens PGA Championship

When: June 22-25

Where: Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, New Jersey

Champion of defense: Gee Chun

Purse: $9,000,000

Who is going to win?: Atthaya Thitikul

What should you know?Baltusrols Lower Course will be hosting its second womens major championship, and the first since 1961 U.S. Womens Open. Thitikul, the youngest ever professional golfer to win a tournament at age 14, will be able to pick up her first major in her ninth pro event. She was LPGA Rookie-of-the-Year and placed in the top 10 at three of five majors in 2022.

U.S. Womens Open

WhenJuly 6-9

Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California

Champion of defense: Minjee Lee

Purse: $10 Million

Who will win 2023?: Lexi Thompson

What should you know?Pebble Beach will host the most prestigious championship in womens golf. The iconic California course will host the event in 2035 and 2040 as well as 2048. Thompson has had three top-five finishes in her five previous U.S. Open starts.

Amundi Evian Championship

WhenJuly 27-30

Where: Evian Resort Golf Club Evian-les-Bains France

Champion in defense: Brooke Henderson

Purse: $6.5million

Who will win 2023?: Lydia Ko

What should you know?Ko is poised to be inducted into LPGA Hall of Fame at the age of 25. Just two points are needed to reach 27, the required number for Ko, a 19-time LPGA winner. She can win two more LPGA events, or one major. In 2015, she won the event and was in the top 10 in four out of five previous starts. She also tied for third in 2022.

AIG Womens Open

When: Aug. 10-13

Where: Walton Heath Golf Club (Surrey, England).

Champion in defense: Ashleigh Buhai

Purse: $7.3 Million

Who will win 2023?: Minjee Lee

What should you know?: Australias Lee will soon win her third major title at the AIG Womens Open. She won the 2021 Evian Championship as well as the 2022 U.S. Womens Open. In nine starts in Womens British Open, she has seven top-25s. Five top-10s and 3 top-5s. She finished fourth at Muirfield in last years final.

Watch out for rookies

Lucy Li

Li, 20, was the youngest qualifier to the U.S Womens Amateur at age 10. She won her age division at Augusta National Golf Clubs first Drive, Chip and Putt Championship. She was just 11 when she competed at the 2014 U.S Womens Open at Pinehurst. After turning pro, Li won twice on Epson Tours last season and was the 54-hole leader at the LPGA Tour’s Dana Open before she tied for fourth.

Swinging in rain! 🌧️

Our morning rains bring us sunshine @danaopenlpgaLeaders on the first tee 🏌️‍♀️

— LPGA (@LPGA) September 4, 2022

Haeran Ryu

The 21-year-old South Korean received medalist honors in the LPGA Q-Series. She has won five times at the LPGA Tour of Korea. Prior to that, she competed in six LPGA Tour events. This included a tie for 13th at 2020 U.S Womens Open.

Alexa Pano

Pano (18 years old) was featured in The Short Game, a 2013 Netflix documentary that followed a group junior golfers. She was the national finalist for Drive, Chip and Putt three times and was also the youngest participant in Augusta National Womens Amateur. She left college at 17 to become a pro golfer in April. Pano is the first female golfer to be sponsored and her bag and polo are emblazoned with the New England Patriots logo.

Rocking the Elvis en route towards the @LPGA. @alexapanogolfShe will be the first female professional golfer to be sponsored on the pro tour by an NFL team:

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 15, 2022

Bailey Tardy

The former University of Georgia star was very close to winning an LPGA Tour card for three consecutive seasons. She ended up back in Q-Series last season after finishing 11th on this years money list, just $2,303 short of automatic membership. After her coach encouraged her to persevere, she signed up for Q-Series. She managed a 7-under 65 in her final round.

Ines Laklalech

Laklalech, a Moroccan national who played at Wake Forest in 2015-16 is the first LPGA Tour member to come from North Africa. She passed all three stages of LPGA qualifying school. She was the first LET winner from Morocco, North Africa, and Arab countries when she won the Lacoste Ladies Open de France in September.

Minami Katsu

Katsu was the youngest winner of the LPGA Tour of Japan Tour. She finished first as an amateur at the 2014 KKT Cup Vantelin Ladies Open, age 15. She has won eight times on JLPGA overall, including major victories in the 2021 Japan Womens Open Golf Championship and 2022. She was 22nd at U.S. Womens Open 2019.

Solheim Cup update

The Solheim Cup is a biennial competition between the U.S.A. and Europe that will be held in Spain from Sept 22-24. The tournament will be held at Finca Cortesin (Casares Andalucia) one week before the Ryder Cup.

The Europeans have won four out of six Solheim Cups in the past, including a victory at Inverness Club in Ohio (2015-16) Stacy Lewis, the U.S. team captain, will attempt to turn things around. European captain is Suzann Petersen from Norway.

As we head into the 2023 LPGA season there are seven Americans in top 30 of Rolex Womens World Golf Rankings. Five of them are in the top 20. Six of them were on the U.S. roster in 2021. Three Europeans are in the top 30 and three in the top 20.

! 🔥🔝@vivecostadelsol | @viveandalucia #VamosGirls | #SolheimCup2023

— Solheim Cup 2023 (@SolheimCup2023) January 15, 2023

The Solheim Cup points list will determine the teams composition. This is after the CP Womens Open, Aug. 24-27. Lewis will be able to choose three captains.

Players get points for finishing in the top 20. Points are doubled for majors. Solheim Cup years will see points increase by 50%.

Thompson, Nelly Korda. Kang. Kupcho. Andrea Lee. Lilia Vu. Megan Khang. Jessica KordaTwo qualifiers from the world rankings would be Ally Ewing, and Ally Ewing.

The 2024 Solheim Cup will be played at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Gainesville, Virginia. A new points system will be in place. Points will be awarded to players who finish in the top 40 at official LPGA events. This weeks Lake Nona tournament will start the qualifying period to become a 2024 player.

Maja Starks of Sweden, Linn Grant, Madelene Sagstrom, Anna Nordqvist, Irelands Leona Maguire, Frances Celine BoutierIf the European team was picked today, Georgia Hall and Charley Hull from England would be guaranteed spots. Pettersen will pick four captains choices.

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