The Best of the Best
The season’s first major championship hosts the strongest field to start 2017 with the world’s top-25 ranked players competing at the ANA Inspiration. World No. 1 and defending champion Lydia Ko headlines the field along with world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and new world No. 3 So Yeon Ryu, who jumped into the top-3 with her runner-up finish at last week’s Kia Classic.
Ko arrives in Rancho Mirage off a rare missed cut at the Kia Classic – just the second of her career since joining the Tour in 2014. She made history with her win at the 2016 ANA Inspiration when she became the youngest two-time major champion in LPGA history at 18 years, 11 months and 9 days. Jutanugarn led much of the final round, but made bogey on her final three holes to settle for a final round 71 and fourth place finish.
Back for More
10 former winners of the ANA Inspiration are in the field this week at Mission Hills. Two-time winners Juli Inkster (1984, 1989), Karrie Webb (2000, 2006) and Brittany Lincicome (2009, 2015) are in the field. Stacy Lewis (2011), Sun Young Yoo (2012), Inbee Park (2013), Lexi Thompson (2014) and defending champion Lydia Ko are also in the field.
Last Minute Luck
Jackie Stoelting, Marissa Steen, Caroline Hedwall and Peiyun Chien earned their way into the field at the season’s first major following their performance at the Kia Classic. After missing the cut in the first three events of 2017, Stoelting posted a T-18 finish to earn her way into the field. Hedwall posted her best finish of the season with a T-11 showing in Carlsbad to play her way into the season’s first major. Chien, a rookie this season on Tour, posted her second top-20 in four starts at last week’s Kia Classic to earn her spot. Steen finished just inside the top-50 at the Kia Classic to also earn her way into the field at the ANA Inspiration.
A Familiar Face
11-year-old Lucy Li stole the show, and viewers’ hearts, at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst where she donned star-spangled apparel and other outfits befitting a pre-teen. Now, 14-years-old, Li won the Junior ANA Inspiration on Sunday at Mission Hills to earn a spot in the field at the season’s first major championship. Li won by four-strokes at three-under par to join fellow amateurs Hannah O’Sullivan, Eun-Jeong Seong and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit.