The Forecaddie: Expect LPGA to join team competition party

CHONBURI, THAILAND - FEBRUARY 25: Jessica Korda and Nelly Korda of United States celebrate after the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on February 25, 2018 in Chonburi, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images) Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

The Forecaddie: Expect LPGA to join team competition party

Forecaddie

The Forecaddie: Expect LPGA to join team competition party

The guys can’t have all the fun. The Forecaddie hears the LPGA plans to follow the PGA Tour’s lead with a new team competition, à la the Zurich Classic. The Man Out Front already can hear the walk-up music. Perhaps another Justin Bieber tune for the likely pairing of Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang. (Players choose walk-up music at the both the International Crown and Solheim Cup.)

A new blue-chip sponsor will host the full-field event, which likely will have a similar format to the Zurich, featuring both best-ball and alternate-shot.

Sister acts should be among the favorites next summer in Michigan. The Jutanugarns – Ariya and Moriya – are ranked Nos. 6 and 11, respectively, and have previously partnered at the International Crown.

“I think it’s automatic,” Nelly Korda said. Not that she’d want anyone other than big sister Jessica, one of the hottest players on tour. Nelly said friend Ryan Ruffels, who paired with Jason Day at the Zurich, raved about his experience in New Orleans.

LPGA Hall of Famer Inbee Park believes team competitions are particularly hard because she hates the idea of letting down a partner. (Cue the Wie/Kang Bieber song, “Sorry.”) Good friend So Yeon Ryu would be a natural fit for Park; the best friends just happen to be ranked Nos. 1 and 4, respectively.

The Forecaddie took the liberty of fashioning a short list of potential partnerships. Might he suggest mic’ing up the comedy team of Tiffany Joh and Jane Park? After watching Lorena Ochoa and Juli Inkster pair up last May at Ochoa’s Hall of Fame Celebration in Mexico, he can’t help but dream of another reunion. How good would that be?

Potential LPGA team event groupings

  • Inbee Park/So Yeon Ryu
  • Ariya Jutanugarn/Moriya Jutanugarn
  • Jessica Korda/Nelly Korda
  • Michelle Wie/Danielle Kang
  • Suzann Pettersen/Carlota Ciganda
  • Paula Creamer/Morgan Pressel
  • Lexi Thompson/Cristie Kerr
  • Stacy Lewis/Gerina Piller
  • Brooke Henderson/Alena Sharp
  • Brittany Lincicome/Brittany Lang
  • Pernilla Lindberg/Azahara Munoz
  • Jane Park/Tiffany Joh
  • Cheyenne Woods/Olafia Kristinsdottir
  • Emma Talley/Lindsey Weaver

(Note: This story appears in the May 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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