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Ladies of the Links: June 19 - Meijer LPGA Classic

Jun 19th 2022

Ladies of the Links: June 19 - Meijer LPGA Classic

The LPGA Tour headed to the Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Michigan for the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. The event, in its eighth year, is a 72-hole format on a par 72 layout of 6638 yards. Last year, Nelly Korda outlasted Leona Maguire in the final round for her fifth LPGA Tour victory. The purse this week was $2.5 million with 500 points towards the Race to the CME Globe for the winner.

First Round

Scoring was outstanding in the opening round, led by Jennifer Kupcho, who posted a 30 on the front nine and finished with a nine-under par round of 63. She held a one-shot lead over Gerina Mendoza, who went five-under over the last six including a birdie/eagle finish. Madelene Sagstrom, Anna Nordqvist, and Lexi Thompson were just two shots back without a bogey between them. Andrea Lee was seven-under through 15 and finished at six-under. Lurking at five-under including Nelly Korda, Megan Khang, and Stacy Lewis.

A large group of 31 players were bunched at three and four-under par. Big names among the group included Minjee Lee, AtthayaThitikul, Brooke Henderson, Jessica Korda, Lilia Vu, Leona Maguire, and Cristie Kerr. Among those seven shots back included Yealimi Noh, Hye-Jin Choi, and Lydia Ko. Posting rounds of 71 and still under par included Moriya Jutanugarn and Nasa Hataoka. Other notables well off the pace include Yuka Saso (even), Patty Tavatanakit (one-over, which included an eagle, three birdies, four bogeys, and double bogey), and Inbee Park, also at one-over.

Second Round

Jennifer Kupcho got off to a fast start, posting four-under par on the front nine. She finished with a 67 and held a three-shot lead at 14-under par. Nelly Korda had five birdies and an eagle for a round of 65 and was tied at 11-under with Carlota Ciganda. Brooke Henderson got into the mix at the midway point after a round of 66. She was tied at 10-under along with Lexi Thompson. Lurking at nine-under par were Caroline Masson and Anna Nordqvist.

Paula Reto pulled to within six after a round of 65 which included eight birdies. Twelve more players sat at seven and six-under par, including AtthayaThitikul, Minjee Lee, Nasa Hataoka, Lydia Ko, and Stacy Lewis. A multitude of players sat at five-under, including Brittany Altomare who struggled to a 76. Yealimi Noh and In Gee Chun were the big names sitting at four-under. Notables at three under were Cristie Kerr and Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

The cut sat at two-under after 36 holes of overall great scoring. Among those missing the cut were Patty Tavatanakit (one-under), Ally Ewing, Gaby Lopez, Yuka Saso (even), and Inbee Park and Moriya Jutanugarn (two-over).

Third Round

Nelly Korda vaulted to the lead after a round of 66 that included eagles on the 9th and 18th. At 18-under par, she held a one-shot lead over Jennifer Kupcho, who posted a round of 69. Brooke Henderson recorded four birdies on the back nine and was in sole possession of third at 15-under par. Just one more shot back was Lexi Thompson, after a round of 68. The stellar leaderboard continued with Lydia Ko and Minjee Lee at 13-under after rounds of 65 and 66, respectively. AtthayaThitikul and Madelene Sagstrom stayed within striking distance at 12-under. Rounding out the top 10 at 11-under was Anna Nordqvist, Leona Maguire, Jessica Korda, Caroline Masson, and Carlota Ciganda.

Cristie Kerr showed a flash from the past, recording four birdies over the last five holes for a round of 65. She was tied at 10-under along with Haru Nomura. Chella Choi dropped nine birdies and posted a 65, leading a group of five at nine-under. Paula Reto struggled to a 73 after a 65 in the second round and fell into a tie for 28th at seven-under par. Yealimi Noh, Lilia Vu, and Megan Khang were at six-under.

Other notables include Brittany Altomare, Nasa Hataoka, and Stacy Lewis (five-under), Andrea Lee (four-under after a round of 75), and Ayaka Furue at two-under par.

Final Round

Leona Maguire came from seven shots back to post a 65 and tied Jennifer Kupcho and Nell Korda at the top of the leaderboard. Korda was two-over on the front and got back to 18-under before a bogey on 12 dropped her to 17-under. She birdied the last to get into a playoff with Maguire and Kupcho, who had an up and down round that included a double bogey and an eagle. On the first hole of the playoff, Kupcho missed an eagle putt for the win, but tied Maguire with a birdie. Korda recorded a par and was eliminated. On the second playoff hole, Maguire escaped trouble off the tee with a great approach, but three-putted for bogey. Kupcho birdied for her second win of the year and second career LPGA victory.

Lydia Ko finished in 4th at 17-under. Jessica Korda, Carlota Ciganda, Lexi Thompson, and AtthayaThitikul tied for 5th at 16-under par. Wei-Ling Hsu moved into a tied for 9th with Brooke Henderson after a stellar round of 66. Allisen Corpuz finished in sole possession of 11th after a round of 65. Lilia Vu led a group of four at 13-under. Minjee Lee struggled to a 74 and dropped to a tie for 18th. Ayaka Furue posted the round of the day with a 64 and was in an eight-way tie for 24th at 10-under par. Other notables included Stacy Lewis (nine-under), Hye-Jin Choi and Celine Boutier (eight-under), Nasa Hataoka (seven-under), Yealimi Noh (six-under), and In Gee Chun (three-under).

Coming Up

The LPGA Tour heads to the Congressional Country Club, Blue Course in Bethesda Maryland for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. This event, which began in 1955, is the third of five majors on the LPGA Tour. The tournament is played over four days on a par 72 course of 6831 yards.

Nelly Korda earned her sixth victory of her LPGA career last year in the tournament by posting a score of 19-under par. The victory vaulted her to number one in the Rolex Rankings. The purse for this year’s events is $4.5 million with 650 points towards the Race to the CME Globe for the winner.