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  • Writer's picturePiers Manktelow

Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational & Santander Golf Tour LETAS Valencia 2019 Previews & 4 to watch!


Date: 17/07/19

Location: Midland, Michigan, USA

Course: Midland Country Club

Prize Fund: $ 2,000,000

Yardage: 6,599

Defending Champion: This is the inaugural year for the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational

The Format

It’s the first iteration of a team event in LPGA history, taking on two styles of stroke play this week, better ball and foursomes (alternate shot). The first and third rounds will be foursomes, where each player on a team will take turns playing the same ball. The second and fourth rounds will be best ball, where both players on the team will play through the hole and the team will take the best score of the two players. It’s not a match play event, all players will have to play out the hole and have a counting score. There will be 71 teams battling it out for the title. Below we look at the teams who could be lifting the trophy come the weekend.


Jin Young Ko (South Korea) / Minjee Lee (Australia)

The highest ranked team involved this week are number 2 and number 3 in the world rankings. Ko has 2 wins this year including victory at the ANA Inspiration. She has also had 6 top 10 finishes in her 13 starts. She currently leads the CME race to the globe.

Lee, has 1 victory to her name this year winning at the LA Open. She has also had 5 top 10's and currently sits 6th in the race to the globe.

The two have been incredibly consistent this season, having only four finishes outside the top 25 between the two of them in 28 starts. They will be the ones to catch this week and must start favorites for the event.

Ariya Jutanugarn (Thailand) / Moriya Jutanugarn (Thailand)

Grouped together with the Korda sisters it should be a great fourball to watch! Ariya, who started the year as world number 1 is currently 6th. She got off to a poor start in 2019 and seemed a bit tired. However, in the last few weeks she has looked like the Ariya of old with 3 top 10 finishes in her last 4 starts.

Sister Moriya had her fourth top 10 finish of the season at the Meijer LPGA Classic and is currently 26th in the world and 28th on the CME rankings. She has had 4 top 10's in her 16 starts this year. Can the sisters create history by winning together.

Brooke Hendseron (Canada) / Alena Sharp (Canada)

Henderson, is having another year to remember with 2 wins and 7 top 10's in her 16 starts. Her wins came at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii where she successfully defended her tittle she won the year before and at the Meijer Classic. Now 9th in the world and 4th in the CME rankings.

Fellow Canadian Sharp has had 2 top 10's in her 13 starts this year. Her best finish was 6th place at the Australian Open. Alena, has had some good rounds this year and has been in the mix in a few events. These two should play well together as Sharp loves an eagle with 6 already this year.

Nasa Hataoka (Japan) / Suzuka Yamaguchi (Japan)

Nasa is having another good year on tour with a win and 3 top 10's. Last year she was so good with the putter and has not really go to that level again this year, if she does she will be challenging every week. Her win came at the KIA Classic which included a brilliant 64.

Yamaguchi is a very talented 18 year old who is having a tough time as a rookie on tour. She has the game and has shown moments of brilliance this year but has missed too many cuts. Playing with the more experienced Nasa could bring out the best in Yamaguci and they could provide a shock or two.

Santander Golf Tour LETAS Valencia

Date: 17/07/19

Location: Valencia, Spain

Course: Club de Golf Escorpion

Prize Fund: € 35,000

Rounds: 3

A very strong field has assembled for the next leg of the Access Series in Valencia. This is a combined event with the Santander Tour based in Spain. Nine of the top ten players on the order of merit will competing. Laura Gomez Ruiz, who is now ranked 1st in the Access Series rankings after another strong performance in the Ribeira Sacra Patrimonio de la Humanidad International Ladies Open will be here as well as last weeks winner Rachael Goodall. Below we look at 4 other players who could perform well here this weekend.

Silvia Banon (Spain)

Silvia, has only played in the 1 event on the Access Series this year finishing 9th last weekend. The majority of her golf has been played on the LET where she currently sits 56th on the order of merit. Her best result came at the South African Open finishing in 12th.

Silvia, likes this course after she won here last year on the Santander Tour with rounds of 66 and 70 to win by 4 shots. Just coming into form for the Spanish stretch of the Access Series. Should play well again here this week.

Currently 483rd in the Rolex Rankings.

Laura Murray (Scotland)

Laura, has come into some good form on the Access Series in recent weeks after missing a few cuts at the beginning of the year. She finished 7th last week in Spain and 16th (2nd best lady) the week before at the Saint-Malo Mixed Open.

Currently 32nd on the order of merit and up to 677th in the world rankings, Laura, will look to maintain her form here this week.

Elia Folch (Spain)

Our 2nd Spanish player on the list in Elia Folch. Elia, won on the Access Series last year and will look to pick up her first win this year here this week.

Elia, has moved between both the LET and Access Series quite a bit this year. On the Access Series she has two top 10 finishes to her name and ended up 16th last weekend. She is currently 26th on the order of merit.

On the LET she has had a best finish of 45th at the Canberra Classic and is 92nd on the order of merit. She finished 3rd in the tournament here last year on the Santander Tour. Currently 453rd in the world.

Laura Fuenfstueck (Germany)

Laura is making her debut on the Access Series this year where she is looking to pick up her first win of the year. Laura burst on the scene last year after winning on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in South Africa and then built on that with solid performances back in Europe.

This year she is currently 9th on the order of merit on the LET. Her best performance came at the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco where she finished 4th.

She performed well at the Golf Sixes on the European Tour and was unlucky to lose in a nearest the pin playoff against the Australian men's team. Now up to 375th in the world, Should be the one to catch here this week.

Laura is One of "our 10 to watch for 2019"

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