Primer: 2017 Blue Bay LPGA

The fifth and final leg of the LPGA’s Asian Swing takes the professional women’s golf tour to China for the fourth-edition of the Blue Bay LPGA.

The 81-player field includes five of the top 10 players in the world, highlighted by a trio of major champions: World No. 1 Sung Hyun Park, No. 3 Shanshan Feng and No. 5 Anna Nordqvist.


HISTORY

The Blue Bay LPGA debuted in October 2014 at Jian Lake Blue Bay Golf Course on Hainan Island.

The inaugural winner was South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, who posted a 16-under three-day total. The next two contests (2015 and 2016) were played over four rounds, and won by Sei-Young Kim and Minjee Lee, respectively.

FORMER CHAMPIONS

2016: Minjee Lee 65-67-73-70 (−13)
2015: Sei-Young Kim 70-72-74-70 (−2)
2014: Lee-Anne Pace 67-66-67 (−16)


THE SKINNY

Name: Blue Bay LPGA
Course: Jian Lake Blue Bay GC
Where: Hainan Island, China
Distance: 6,680 Yards, Par 72
Field: 81 players
Format: 72-hole stroke play/no cut
Total Purse: $1,500,000
Winner’s Share: $225,000
2016 Winner: Minjee Lee (Australia)


GOLF CHANNEL COVERAGE

Round 1: Wed. 11:00 pm – 3:00 am
Round 2: Thu. 11:00 pm – 3:00 am
Round 3: Fri. 11:00 pm – 3:00 am
Round 4: Sat. 11:00 pm – 3:00 am


2016 BLUE BAY LPGA WINNER

In 2016, Minjee Lee captured her third career Tour win at the Blue Bay LPGA. The Aussie carded a final-round 2-under par 70 to win with 13-under par.

Lee’s four-day 275 was one shot better than Jessica Korda (-12) and two strokes clear of 2016 Rolex Player of the Year Ariya Jutanugarn (-11).

2016: FINAL 5

1 Minjee Lee (-13)
2 Jessica Korda (-12)
3 Ariya Jutanugarn (-11)
4 Pornanong Phatlum (-6)
4 Caroline Masson (-6)


THE FIELD: BY THE NUMBERS

2017 LPGA WINNERS (7)

  • Anna Nordqvist
    • Bank of Hope Founders Cup, Evian Championship
  • Haru Nomura
    • Volunteers of America Texas Shootout
  • Shanshan Feng
    • LPGA Volvik Championship, TOTO Japan Classic
  • In-Kyung Kim
    • ShopRite LPGA Classic, Marathon Classic, Ricoh Women’s British Open
  • Ariya Jutanugarn
    • Manulife LPGA Classic
  • Sung Hyun Park
    • U.S. Women’s Open, CP Women’s Open
  • Mi Hyang Lee
    • Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open

2017 LPGA ROOKIES (8)

Nicole Broch Larsen, Peiyun Chien, Laura Gonzalez Escallon, Nelly Korda, Olafia Kristinsdottir, Sung Hyun Park, Emily Pedersen, Mel Reid

FORMER BLUE BAY LPGA WINNERS (2)

  • Minjee Lee (2016)
  • Lee-Ann Pace (2014)

CME FINAL STRETCH

The Blue Bay LPGA is the final tournament before the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.

Following last week’s TOTO Japan Classic, Lexi Thompson took the lead in the Race to the CME Globe standings.

Thompson has 3,304 points and holds a less than 300 point lead over So Yeon Ryu (3,064 points).

Neither Thompson or Ryu are in the field at this week’s Blue Bay LPGA, leaving the door open for Rolex Rookie of the Year Sung Hyun Park, who enters the week third in the standings with 3,029 points.

Similar to the PGA Tour’s FedExCup, and Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup, the top five finishers entering Naples control their own destiny at the finale, meaning if a player in the top five wins in Naples she will win the $1M CME Globe.

Here’s a look at how the top five shapes up heading into the Blue Bay LPGA.

CME GLOBE STANDINGS

1 Lexi Thompson 3,304
2 So Yeon Ryu 3,064
3 Sung Hyun Park 3,029*
4 Brooke Henderson 2,785
5 Shanshan Feng 2,647*
—-
6 In Gee Chun 2,611
7 Cristie Kerr 2,583
8 Ariya Jutanugarn 2,321*
9 Anna Nordqvist 2,214*
10 Moriya Jutanugarn 2,213*

*Players are in the Blue Bay LPGA field.


Credit: LPGA Communications, Getty Images


Kevin Reid

Kevin Reid is a Pro Golf Weekly producer and contributor. Kevin calls himself a professional golf fan.



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