Michelle Wie West in LPGA match play at Shadow Creek on sponsor invite


Before one shot is even struck, the new Bank of Hope LPGA Match Play event has already generated buzz. Fans have been hungry for this format. The women’s tour hasn’t had a match-play event on its schedule since 2017 when Lorena Ochoa hosted a tournament in Mexico City that wasn’t even televised.

This one will be televised – live for five days on Golf Channel starting next Wednesday – and the venue, Shadow Creek, certainly draws some interest. The Tom Fazio design hosted The Match: Tiger vs. Phil in 2018 and the PGA Tour’s CJ CUP, won by Jason Kokrak last October.

Now add sponsor invites to the intrigue. Michelle Wie West and Alison Lee, both part of MGM’s Golf Ambassador program, have been offered spots in the 64-player field.

This will give Wie West another opportunity to get tournament-ready before her hometown U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic Club. Wie West has made three starts on the LPGA since returning to the tour after maternity leave, her last coming in late April at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open. She has missed the cut in all three tournaments.

Other marquee names in the field include World No. 1 Jin Young Ko, Inbee Park, Patty Tavatanakit, Ariya Jutanugarn, Danielle Kang, Sei Young Kim, Stacy Lewis, Sophia Popov and Brooke Henderson.

Notables who didn’t sign up include: Nelly and Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson and Lydia Ko.

There’s a spot left open for the winner of this week’s Pure Silk Championship. Should that player already be in the field, the first alternate is Ayako Uehara.

The field will be divided into 16 groups of four players with three days of round-robin matches deciding the final 16-player bracket. From there, a series of single-elimination matches will determine Sunday’s championship match.



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