Nine of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings led by World No. 1 Jin Young Ko and World No. 9 So Yeon Ryu will be in actions in the the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give at the Grand Rapids due to start on Thursday.
At the 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic, Ryu closed with a 5-under 67 to capture a two-stroke win over Caroline Masson and went on to donate $100,000 of her winner’s check to the Simply Give charitable program.
This Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give event helps raise awareness about Meijer Simply Give, support local food pantries and to bring the community together through local events and the game of golf. Proceeds from the tournament and each of the week’s festivities will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament raised $1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the tournament has generated more than $3.1 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE MEIJER LPGA CLASSIC FOR SIMPLY GIVE
- This is the sixth playing of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, with all tournaments held at Blythewood Country Club
- Four of the five past champions are in the field – Brooke Henderson (2017), Mirim Lee (2014), So Yeon Ryu (2018) and Lexi Thompson (2015)
- The course was rerouted in 2019 to heighten the experience around the 25,000-square-foot Grand Taste pavilion, which is billed as the best food experience on any tour
LEXI THOMPSON STILL RIDING EAGLE HIGH
With an eagle on the final hole at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, Lexi Thompson earned the 11th victory of her LPGA career and reached the winner’s circle for the seventh consecutive season, the longest active streak on Tour. Combined with a tie for second at the previous week’s U.S. Women’s Open and Thompson heads to the Meijer LPGA Classic, where she has finished in the top 10 the last four years, as a force to be reckoned with.
“I just feel good where my game's at, I feel confident, and just coming into a new week, new golf course,” said Thompson, who is still using the claw putting grip she switched to on the Tuesday of the U.S. Women’s Open. “Just try to get to know the golf course and go out with the same attitude that I have been the last few weeks.”
Thompson will tee off at 12:59 p.m. on No. 10 on Thursday with fellow past Meijer LPGA Classic champions Brooke Henderson and So Yeon Ryu.
WORLD NO. 1 KO RESTED AND READY FOR BLYTHEWOOD
Fresh off a week of vacation with her parents in Atlanta, World No. 1 Jin Young Ko, the self-proclaimed Happiest Player in Golf, is right back in her happy place.
“I went to an aquarium in Atlanta with my family because it was my mom's first time to an aquarium,” said Ko, who hosted her parents from their home in the Republic of Korea over the last two weeks. “We had great time. I'm happy playing golf again, so I'm looking forward like this week and the next week, too.”
Ko is making her second appearance at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give after finishing T13 in 2018.
Ko will tee off at 8:10 a.m. on No. 1 on Thursday with Gaby Lopez and Gerina Piller.
NOTABLE FIRST-ROUND GROUPINGS
Jeongeun Lee6, who finished second at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic and won the U.S. Women’s Open the week prior, tees off at 1:10 p.m. off No. 10 with Shanshan Feng and Nelly Korda
2014 Meijer LPGA Classic winner Mirim Lee tees off at 1:32 p.m. off No. 1 with Megan Khang and Angela Stanford
Monday qualifier Gabrielle Shipley, who won the 2016 NCAA Division II women’s golf title for Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, tees off at 2:05 p.m. off No. 10 with Jenny Haglund and Youngin Chun
LPGA, J.M. SMUCKER COMPANY CELEBRATE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The timing could not be more perfect: as the LPGA Tour experiences a 'Baby Boom', The J.M. Smucker Company is extending its partnership with the LPGA while it celebrates the 25th anniversary of its support for the LPGA Child Development Center.
The LPGA pioneered the concept of providing the children of its athletes with high quality and familiar child development services and, in 1993, the Smucker LPGA Child Development Center became the first traveling childcare center in the world of professional sports. The program has provided childcare services to LPGA athletes and staff since its inception and has been invaluable in helping the LPGA's athlete moms continue their careers after having children.
Three full-time credentialed child development staff members, led by the center’s director, Bardine May, travel to each LPGA Tour event in North America to provide consistent care and education for the children of players. The facility is also supported by temporary credentialed staff and volunteers. This year, the Smucker LPGA Child Development Center will travel to 21 LPGA tournaments in North America.
"I don't think there will ever be enough ways to say thank you to The J.M. Smucker Company for all they have done to support the Smucker LPGA Child Development Center," said Heather Daly-Donofrio, a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour who retired from competition in 2008 and is now the LPGA's Chief Tour Operations Officer. "Smucker was way ahead of the times when they signed on to support our athletes 25 years ago with full-time childcare, enabling our athletes to show the world that they can be both world-class athletes and world-class mothers.”