The Preview: LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship – Golf Australia Magazine – The Women’s Game

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DEFENDING CHAMPION: Last year’s Player of the Year Sei Young Kim shot seven-under-par 281 at Lake Merced in 2019, defeating her South Korean compatriot Jeongeun Lee6 and Englishwoman Bronte Law in extra holes.

COURSE: The Willie Lock-designed layout at Lake Merced Golf Club opened in 1923 and has hosted this event since its inception in 2018. The 5,990-metre, par-72 course has been subjected to numerous renovations and redesigns over the past 100 years, most notably by Alister MacKenzie (1929), Robert Muir Graves (mid-1960s) and Rees Jones (1996).

PRIZEMONEY: US$1,500,000.

PLAYERS TO WATCH …

Five-time LPGA Tour winner Minjee Lee has an excellent record at this event, making the playoff at the inaugural event in 2018 and finishing T8th in 2019, despite opening with a four-over 76.

The West Australian – currently 14th in the world rankings – won’t be bringing her best form with her to Lake Merced this week, however, having shared 54th place at the US Open last week.

Lee, who is usually one of the most consistent players on Tour, has only posted two top-10s so far this season and it’s largely due to her short game. The 25-year-old finished last year ranked 24th for her putting average and is currently 101st. This drop in putting performance has also seen her slip from first in sand saves to 35th.

RIGHT: Despite starting the final round with double bogey, Kim won the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship when it was last played in 2019. PHOTO: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images.

World No.7 Lexi Thompson played brilliant golf at The Olympic Club last week – for 63 holes, at least.

The American collapsed on the back nine at the US Open, giving up her five-shot lead and handing Yuka Saso the chance to become the second teenager to lift the Harton S. Semple Trophy.

Thompson will be hurting, to be sure, but she will have a golden opportunity to ease some of the pain this week at Lake Merced, where she finished T4th in 2019.

72-HOLE RECORD: Former World No.1 Lydia Ko shot 12-under-par 276 when she defeated Minjee Lee on the first extra hole during the inaugural staging of this event in 2018.

PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: No previous Australian winners.

AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Hannah Green, Katherine Kirk, Minjee Lee, Su Oh and Sarah Jane Smith.

TV TIMES*

Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8am – 11am)Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 8am – 11am)Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 12pm)Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 9am – 12pm)

*AEST, check local guides

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