Ko, Jutanugarn headline Manulife LPGA Classic
The LPGA Tour concludes its Canadian swing this week with a stop in Cambridge, Ontario, for the Manulife LPGA Classic.
Lydia Ko (New Zealand) and Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand), the first and second ranked players in the world, respectively, headline the field.
Jutanugarn arrives at the Whistle Bear Golf Club seeking her sixth win of the season and third in succession. The 20-year old scored a four-shot victory at the Canadian Pacific Women's Open in Calgary last week, although she was still dealing with the effects of a knee injury that forced her out of the Olympic tournament.
“Actually, I (started feeling) the pain after the second round (of the Olympics),” Jutanugarn said, “and I went to see the doctor and they say it is really tight with my muscle. … Actually, it's hard for me to explain in English, but I know what's wrong with it.
“After that, my doctor just (told) me to rest and work out more to make it stronger.”
Jutanugarn, who also won the RICOH Women's British Open just prior to the Olympics, says she's worked to maintain a positive attitude on the golf course.
“I really want to be happy on the course,” she said. “It just makes me not forget about the outcome. So I'm not scared I'm going to make the cut, I'm not scared I have to make this putt to win the tournament. The only key I want to be is really happy on the course.”
Defending champion Suzann Pettersen is happy to be back at Whistle Bear, where she recorded her 15th LPGA win last summer.
“I remember every hole like it was yesterday,” she said. “I played nine holes earlier today. It's not a course I feel like I have to go out and grind to get to know. I feel like I know the lines. I feel like I had a good feel for the greens. The greens are really true. They break, what you see is what you get. They're rolling at a nice pace.”
The field features 13 Canadians, including reigning KPMG Women's PGA champion Brooke Henderson. U.S. Women's Open champion Brittany Lang and fellow American Stacy Lewis are on hand along with Minjee Lee and Karrie Webb from Australia and Sei Young Kim and In Gee Chun from South Korea.
The tour is off next week before the Evian Championship, the season's final major, begins on Sept. 15.