The women's first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, is set to get underway on Thursday. Who will be making the famed leap into Poppie's Pond in 2017? We take a look at the big stories going into the tournament.
Can Lydia Ko Regain Her Form In Time?
Heading into the ANA Inspiration last year, Lydia Ko, having won on the LPGA the week before and leading the World No. 1 ranking by a considerable distance, was odds on favourite to win the tournament. She did so in style. Twelve months later however, it's a very different story. Following a dip in form at the end of last year, Ko made the drastic decision to switch her caddie, coach and equipment manufacturer. The changes have yet to pay off, with Ko missing only her second professional cut at last week's Kia Classic. Will she regain her form in time to defend her title?
Will Ariya Jutanugarn Claim The Number One Spot?
Jutanugarn has history at the ANA Inspiration, having held the lead for much of last year's final round only to bogey the final three holes. With her first major title, the Ricoh British Women's Open, and five LPGA titles now under her belt, the Thai golfer has the opportunity to avenge that defeat and climb to World No. 1 in the process.
A British Winner?
Can Charley Hull go one better than last year and claim her first major championship. The 21-year-old has had a few weeks off in the run-up to the event, as she did before her first LPGA victory at the season-ending CME Globe last November. Perhaps a good omen? Yorkshire's Jodi Ewart Shadoff is also in great form, with a handful of top-twenty finishes this season, and will be in search of her first tour victory.
Lucy Li To Play Second Major
Eleven-year old Lucy Li stole the show, and viewers' hearts, at the 2014 US Women’s Open at Pinehurst where she donned star-spangled apparel and other outfits befitting a pre-teen in the process of becoming the youngest ever golfer to play in a major championship. By winning the ANA Junior Inspiration on Sunday she earned the final spot in this week's tournament.
Outside The Ropes
Billie Jean King, tennis great and one of the 20th century’s most respected and influential people, will headline the second-annual ANA Inspiring Women in Sports conference.
King will deliver the keynote address followed by a question-and-answer session with conference emcee Julie Foudy. Other participants include former World No. 1 tennis star Maria Sharapova, three-time Olympic gold medal winning gymnast Aly Raisman and 2014 ANA Inspiration champion Lexi Thompson.
Image Credit- LPGA
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