The first edition of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic will be held on the Oneida Reservation which is located in the Greater Green Bay, Wisconsin area. In fact it is the official golf course of the Green Bay Packers.
This week’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic is the eighth tournament of the Tour’s uninterrupted 12 week summer stretch, and falls between two two major championships. It also marks the 18th tournament of what has been one of the most exciting LPGA Tour seasons in recent memory, with 16 different tournament winners, and three changes to the Rolex Rankings.
The field of 144 LPGA Tour players will be headlined by World No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, a six-time Tour winner and the 2016 Rolex Player of the Year. She is one of 12 major champions in the Greater Green Bay field including:
- Paula Creamer – 2010 U.S. Women’s Open champion
- Brooke Henderson – Young Canadian star who finished runner-up to Danielle Kang last week in her defense of the KPMG Women’s PGA title
- Cristie Kerr – America’s all-time LPGA money leader, and 19-time winner
- Suzann Pettersen – European Solheim Cup legend, and 15-time LPGA winner
- Karrie Webb – LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member
- Sei Young Kim – Six-time LPGA winner including a win in 2017 at the Match Play
Name: Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic
Where: Thornberry Creek at Oneida (WI)
Vitals: 6,376 yards | par 72
Architect: Rick Jacobsen
Winning Share: $300,000
Round 1: 6-8:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Round 2: 6-8:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Round 3: 5:30-8:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Round 4: 5:30-8:30 PM (Golf Channel)
Storyline 1: First of Four New Tournaments
The 2017 LPGA schedule includes the addition of four new tournaments and an increase of $4.35 million in total official prize money. The Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic is the first of these four new tournaments.
The second new event is scheduled in just three weeks at the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open – a tuneup before the Ricoh Women’s British Open, which caps off the LPGA’s 12 week summer stretch.
At the start of the LPGA’s fall season, in September, the Tour stops in Indianapolis, Indiana at the Indy Women in Tech (IWIT) Championship Presented by Guggenheim, on the Pete Dye-designed Brickyard Crossing Golf Course that weaves through the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Following the season’s final major (The Evian Championship), the LPGA will take a week off before traveling to New Zealand for the MCKAYSON New Zealand Women’s Open, the season’s fourth and final new event.
Storyline 2: Henderson Heating Up
Brooke Henderson won twice in 2016, including a major, and added 13 additional top-10 finishes. In her first 14 starts of 2017, the 19-year-old Canadian struggled to match her remarkable 2016 season, with just two top 10s.
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 4, 2017
But as of late, the former youth hockey goalie, is back in fine form.
In her last three Tour starts, Henderson hasn’t finished outside the top-11. First, she captured her fourth career LPGA victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and followed that up with a runner-up finish at last week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, falling one shot shy of winner Danielle Kang.
Storyline 3: Thornberry is Lap 18 of Race to CME Globe
This week’s event in the Green Bay area marks the 18th tournament in the LPGA’s season-long Race to CME Globe.
Number 1 spot "not that important" to Ariya @jutanugarn
— LPGA (@LPGA) July 5, 2017
Current world No. 1, and two-time LPGA winner this season, So Yeon Ryu (2,266 points) holds a narrow lead over recent Kingsmill champion Lexi Thompson (2,199 points) and 2016 CME Globe winner Ariya Jutanugarn (2,177) in the current Race to the CME Globe standings. Brooke Henderson (1,653) rounds out the top four.
In 2017, the Race to the CME Globe reset points will be modified slightly. As a result of these modifications:
- The top five (5) finishers entering Naples will control their own destiny at the CME Group Tour Championship – meaning if they win in Naples, they will also win the $1M CME Globe.
- The top twelve (12) finishers entering Naples will have a mathematical chance to win the $1M CME Globe.
Source/Credit: LPGA Communications, Getty Images