by Jeff Skinner
The LPGA Tour starts the season this week at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. This is an important season for the LPGA Tour. All of Mike Whan’s hard work should begin to pay off as the ladies play more events this season and Whan can showcase his product to more potential sponsors.
The ladies start off with a bang at a classic course which should be familiar to many golf fans. We got a good look at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club at last year’s Presidents Cup. This is the first time a ladies professional event has been staged at Royal Melbourne and the ladies will be playing essentially the same composite layout that the Presidents Cup teams played.
World Number One and Player of the Year, Yani Tseng will be defending her 2011 title and be looking to get a jump on a repeat of last year when she won 12 events worldwide. Suzann Pettersen (2) and Cristie Kerr (4) are among six of the top ten players in the world that will be trying to keep Tseng from repeating.
Making her debut as a card carrying member of the LPGA will be Lexi Thompson who turns 17 on Friday. Thompson became the youngest LPGA winner in history last year at the Navistar LPGA Classic. She earned the same accolade on the Ladies European Tour when she won at The Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.
This season starts with great expectations for the players and the tour itself. Starting with a good field on an historic course is a grand way to start the 2012 season.