Tiffany Chan and Youngin Chun have been granted sponsor exemptions for the Bank of Hope LPGA match play, completing the 64-man squad for next week’s $1.5 million tournament at Shadow Creek on Friday.
It’s an area highlighted by Las Vegas star Danielle Kang, as well as many major championship winners and rising stars on the LPGA Tour.
The field, however, is missing a slew of top players. World number one Jin Young Ko, who admitted he didn’t like match play last year, will not be in Las Vegas. Nor Nelly Korda, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, Inbee Park, Jessica Korda, Patty Tavatanakit, Nasa Hataoka and Yuka Saso.
Many of the top players chose to skip the event to rest and prepare for the US Women’s Open, which takes place the following week at Pine Needles Golf Club in Southern Pines, North Carolina.
The match play field will include defending champion Ally Ewing and the woman she defeated in the inaugural event final, Sophia Popov.
Other top players in Las Vegas include Jennifer Kupcho, who won the first major of the year at the Chevron Championship in March; Minjee Lee, who leads the points list for the season; three-time grand prize winner Anna Nordqvist; and former world number 1 Ariya Jutanugarn.
Solheim Cup captain Stacy Lewis will also be on the court along with many of the newer USA team members including Lizette Salas, Mina Harigae, Megan Khang, Yealimi Noh and Brittany Altomare.
The five-day tournament begins Wednesday at Shadow Creek with the field divided into 16 four-player pods. Golfers will play a round-robin tournament among their group for the first three days, with one player from each group emerging for a single-elimination tournament.
Saturday will feature the Round of 16 in the morning and the Quarter-Finals in the afternoon, with Sunday being the Semi-Finals and the Championship Game.
Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at [email protected].