LPGA: Sweet Home Alabama Preview & TV Schedule


Jun 15, 2014; Pinehurst, NC, USA; LPGA player Lexi Thompson hits tee shots on the practice ground during the final round of the 2014 U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst Resort Country Club – #2 Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Tour will play its final domestic event this week in Prattville, Alabama before heading out for the fall loop through Asia.  The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Capitol Hill Senator Course will host the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Thursday, September 18 – Sunday, September 21.  Players will be competing for a share of the $1.3 million dollar purse and those 500 Race to the CME Globe points.

The Venue

Beginning in the northern part of Alabama, at either Muscle Shoals or Huntsville, meandering down the center of the state through Birmingham, on to Montgomery, and then into the simply luscious Mobile Bay area, with side trips east and west along the way, the storied Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is an amazing network of diverse tracks that form a golfing paradise designed to accommodate and challenge every level of play.

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Capitol Hill features three championship courses, The Judge, The Legislator, and The Senator. The Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic will be played on The Senator, named one of the top-10 new courses in the country by Golf Magazine.

The  Scottish-Links style track with beautifully manicured Champion greens, holds over 160 pot-hole bunkers and mounds 20 to 40 feet in height to create a secluded setting for each hole and more than enough opportunities to challenge the field.

The Field

Brittany Lincicome

World ranked no. 1 Stacy Lewis is the defending champion and headlines the field. Lexi Thompson who won in 2011, and 2010 champion Katherine Kirk are also teeing it up this week, and they and Lewis will also have to contend with the likes of Cristie Kerr, Ai Miyazato and 2014 tournament champions Austin Ernst and Lizette Salas.

But I’m looking at Brittany Lincicome as a very likely contender and very viable this week.  Lincicome’s game just keep getting stronger and stronger as she gets better at managing the demons that are looking over her shoulder.

Stephanie Meadow is playing on a sponsor’s exemption and we’ll get to take another look at the young US Women’s Open standout as she attempts to play her way onto the Tour.

Jaye Marie Green

I’m also going to be watching three LPGA Tour rookies: 2013 Symetra standout Yueer Cindy Feng has struggled with the cut line, but she keeps getting closer to the weekend, and that’s the first step up the ladder to the big stage; Jaye Marie Green struggled with the cut line early in the season but started getting to the weekend in the middle of the season and finished T41st at the Evian Championship; Xi Yu Lin, who made the cut at both the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Wegman’s LPGA Championship has recorded her first top-10 finish at the Portland Classic.

This week is a great opportunity for an up-and-coming player to make her presence felt, and the field is wide open and talented. The situation seems prime for another Rolex First-Time Winner to emerge on Sunday.

Media Coverage

Golf Channel will provide coverage of all four rounds of the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, Thursday, September 18 through Sunday, September 21, 5-7pm ET.

If you are playing Ladies Dream Golf you can also log into that web site for real-time chats with other LDG players during the rounds.  If you’re not signed up and you’re a women’s golf fan, you’re missing some fun.  It’s free to sign up and it’s easy.

My colleagues and I at ProGolfNow will also provide ongoing updates and commentary throughout the tourney.

Follow me on Twitter @bethbethel and Annette Walker @TinkWalker and we’ll notify you as we publish tournament news and commentary.