The LPGA opens its 67th season Thursday at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic with five of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings in the field. Golf Channel is televising the event live, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday and from 3-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (All times Eastern). Here are five groups to watch at the Ocean Club course on Paradise Island (click here for full tee times):
Inbee Park, Cristie Kerr and Gerina Piller: 8:05 a.m. Thursday, 12:15 p.m. Friday.
Park begins her march to Hall of Fame qualification in the Bahamas this week. Park met the 27-point requirement for LPGA Hall of Fame induction winning the Vare Trophy at the end of last season, but she needs 10 years of active service to meet all the induction requirements. She’ll meet that with her 10th start this year. Kerr will be looking to win two consecutive LPGA starts. She won the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship late last year, her second title of 2015. Piller was a Solheim Cup star last fall and is looking for her first LPGA victory.
Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel and Brooke Henderson: 8:16 a.m. Thursday, 12:26 p.m. Friday.
Lewis tees it up looking for her 12th LPGA title, her first since winning the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in June of 2014. She knocked hard on the door last year with five second-place finishes and three third-place finishes. Pressel is looking for her third career LPGA title after rebuilding her game and getting into contention with five finishes of T-5 or better last year. Henderson, the 18-year-old phenom from Canada, will be looking to make a fast start and take advantage of the full LPGA membership she claimed winning the Portland Classic as a 17-year-old last fall.
Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim and Paula Creamer: 12:15 p.m. Thursday, 8:05 a.m. Friday.
Thompson, who turns 21 in two weeks, is coming off a two-victory season. Kim’s the defending champ in the Bahamas, a three-time winner as the LPGA’s Rolex Rookie of the Year last season. Creamer showed returning form helping the Americans win the Solheim Cup and will be looking to build on that.
Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Yani Tseng: 12:26 p.m. Thursday, 8:16 a.m. Friday.
Michelle Wie’s 2015 struggles started when she struggled through strep throat and missed the cut in the Bahamas last year. She didn’t record a single top-10 with sickness and injury helping spoil her bid to follow up a strong year in ’14. Lincicome will be looking to build early and take some momentum into her title defense at the ANA Inspiration in April. Tseng showed promise in her search for lost form with a couple runner-up finishes toward the end of last season.
Jessica Korda, Charley Hull and Alison Lee: 12:04 p.m. Thursday, 7:54 a.m. Friday.
Korda, a four-time LPGA winner, is looking to get her 2016 season off to as fast a start as she did when she won Pure Silk Bahamas as the opener two years ago. Hull and Lee are both second-year LPGA pros looking for their first titles.