ShopRite LPGA Classic Preview and TV Schedule


Apr 5, 2015; Rancho Mirage, CA, USA; Stacy Lewis tees off on the second hole during the final round of the ANA Inspiration at Mission Hills CC – Dinah Shore Tournament Course. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Stacy Lewis is defending her title at the ShopRite LPGA Classic this week and there will be no shortage of challengers.  Lewis’s 2014 victory gave her the edge she needed to unseat Inbee Park from her 59-week reign at the top of the Rolex Rankings.  This year Lewis is still hunting her first 2015 victory and will be fighting back a bevy of hot rookies as well as some serious veteran contenders with the hope of holding on to her number 3 spot in the rankings. What a difference a year makes!

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The Venue

The 21st edition of the ShopRite LPGA Classic will be contested on the Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, New Jersey.

The Donald Ross-designed, links-style track is famous for its small, undulating greens and for the coastal winds that often figure heavily in course management strategies.  Ross has made good use of the coastal ecology in the form of some lateral hazards that will challenge the field and engage the fans.

The Bay Course specializes in subtleties right through the greens, where there is seldom a completely level putt, but where a sharply breaking sidehill putt is just as unlikely to be found.  This is the kind of track where Lewis’s game excels.

This week the par-71 Bay Course will play 6,177 yards.

The Field

Lewis will face off against 7 of the top-10 ranked players this week and they’re all capable of playing for the win.  (Lydia Ko and So Yeon Ryu are not in the ShopRite field.)  But, like Lewis herself, Shanshan Feng, Lexi Thompson and Suzann Pettersen are still winless in 2015.  Look for all four of these champions to be playing aggressively.

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I’m also watching Alison Lee.  The young rookie is headed for a win.  She came achingly close again at the Kingsmill Championship.  When she figures out how to put that 4th round into her week — and I don’t think it’s going to take her long to sort out that problem — she’ll keep herself in contention.

With Hyo Joo Kim, Sei Young Kim, Minjee Lee and Ha Na Jang in the field, the top-ranked veterans aren’t the only competition Lewis is going to face.  Among this dynamic rookie quartet only Jang has yet to notch her first Tour win.

Among the Europeans, I’m also looking for some aggressive play by Anna Nordqvist, Sandra Gal, Azahara Munoz and Caroline Masson.  At this point Nordqvist, Gal and Munoz are practically guaranteed spots on Europe’s Solheim Cup team.  Masson, the only likely German candidate in addition to Gal for the 2015 team, could increase her chances of getting tapped for the team as a captain’s pick with a very high finish or two before the teams are finalized.

Media Coverage

Golf Channel will provide live coverage for the ShopRite LPGA Classic: Friday, May 29, 1-3:30pm, and Saturday, May 30 and Sunday, May 31, 3-6pm. All times are ET.

You can follow the action live through the LPGA’s electronic leaderboard and ProGolfNow will also provide ongoing commentary and updates through the tournament.  Follow us on Twitter @ProGolfNow and you’ll receive notification when we publish new updates.

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