ShopRite LPGA Classic fantasy picks

Anna Nordqvist. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Anna Nordqvist. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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ShopRite LPGA Classic fantasy managers will be working with a relatively strong field up and down the rankings.

The ShopRite LPGA Classic is a popular annual stop on the Tour‘s schedule.  This week begins the final four-event run-up to the Tour’s second major, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, June 29-July 2. If you’re playing Ladies Dream Golf Pick-4, it’s time to give some thought to this week’s fantasy golf team.

Tony Jesselli rates the strength of field at 59%, a slight increase from last year. Seventy-five percent of the top 50 players on the Tour’s Priority list, 13 of the top 25 Rolex Ranked players, will compete. The field opens opportunities for lower-ranked players to get in contention and make a charge for the top of the board and, as my fantasy tips make clear, it also gives fantasy golf players a greater variety of choices.

The Track and the Weather

The links-style Bay Course at the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club provides a challenging setting for the 54-hole ShopRite event. Ocean breezes, which can at times escalate to howling off-shore winds, always add to the skills test involved in playing links golf.

Weather variations will figure into the ShopRite this year. Friday will be warm, sunny, and windy but the pleasant weather isn’t likely to hold. By Saturday afternoon the 2nd round will be complicated by thunderstorms and shifting winds, so the afternoon groups are likely to experience some weather delays.  Showers and a wind shifting to off-shore on Sunday will dramatically change course conditions.

The weather challenges will test the adaptability of the field and players who are more experienced with the vagaries of links golf in Scotland and Ireland are very likely to have an advantage this week. I’m going to be looking for that advantage in my fantasy picks.

With 12 events completed and 12 different winners in the 2017 circle of champions, I’m going into the ShopRite LPGA Classic convinced that just about anything could happen and and that this is a uniquely open competitive year on the LPGA Tour. That said, let’s take a look at the options for our fantasy teams this week.

My picks are geared for the Ladies Dream Golf fantasy game but the field review will be useful for other fantasy games as well.