After a thrilling finish at the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA, the excitement continues this week as the LPGA Tour heads to Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, N.J., for the inaugural HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship, which pits 64 of the top golfers in the world head-to-head in six matches over four days. The HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship marks the first U.S.-based official match-play event on the LPGA schedule since 1954.
The field will be narrowed with one round of play on Thursday and Friday, with 16 players teeing it up on Saturday morning followed by the quarterfinals in the afternoon. The semifinals are set for Sunday morning with an 18-hole championship match that afternoon.
Annika Sorenstam sits atop the bracket as the No. 1 seed in the field, and the Tour's all-time money winner is looking to pad her $17 million-plus bank account with the $500,000 first-place paycheck, the largest winner's check in LPGA Tour history.
Rounding out the top four seeds are some of the hottest golfers on Tour.
No. 2 seed Cristie Kerr won the Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill in early May, while No. 3 seed Lorena Ochoa is coming off one of the greatest comebacks in Tour history at the Wegmans Rochester LPGA two weeks ago.
The surprise in the top-four seeds has to be rookie Paula Creamer. To get the No. 4 seed, the 18-year-old rookie won her first event on Tour at the Sybase Classic presented by Lincoln Mercury and finished second two weeks ago to Ochoa. She already has racked up almost $700,000 in earnings in just the first half of her rookie season.
Courtesy of her best season to date, Natalie Gulbis will be the No. 5 seed.
Gulbis has tallied six top-10 finishes and currently leads the LPGA Tour in birdies.
Jumping into the tournament field is U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim.
With her chip-in on the 18th hole, Kim not only clinched her first win on the LPGA Tour, but she also punched her ticket to fill out the 64-player field. With her payday, Kim moved from 66th on the money list to sixth and will be the No. 6 seed.
Rounding out the top 10 seeds are Rosie Jones at No. 7, Candie Kung at No.
8, Catriona Matthew at No. 9 and Gloria Park at No. 10.
Potential quarterfinal match-ups are Sorenstam vs. Kung, an American matchup in Kerr vs. Jones and Creamer vs. Gulbis, with international stars Ochoa possibly taking on the U.S. Women's Open champion Kim.
While taking the top 60 from the ADT Official Money List after the Wegmans Rochester LPGA, the field is rounded out by the current money leader on the Japan LPGA Tour, Ai Miyazato, as well as sponsor exemptions Se Ri Pak and amateur Shinobu Moromizato.
The entire tournament bracket will be released on Tuesday.
HSBC Women's World Match Play Championship final field:
Top-60 players from the ADT Official Money List as of June 19 (ranking at that time in parenthesis) Shi Hyun Ahn (28) Marisa Baena (52) Tina Barrett (35) Heather Bowie (25) Silvia Cavalleri (36) Paula Creamer (4) Beth Daniel (45) Laura Davies (12) Dorothy Delasin (32) Laura Diaz (22) Wendy Doolan (51) Moira Dunn (26) A.J. Eathorne (50) Natalie Gulbis (8) Sophie Gustafson (55) Hee-Won Han (15) Candy Hannemann (54) Rachel Hetherington (46) Maria Hjorth (53) Pat Hurst (30) Karine Icher (33) Juli Inkster (7) Jeong Jang (10) Rosie Jones (5) Lorie Kane (38) Jimin Kang (19) Soo-Yun Kang (39) Cristie Kerr (2) Christina Kim (24) Joo Mi Kim (40) Mi Hyun Kim (16) Young Kim (27) Emilee Klein (34) Carin Koch (13) Candie Kung (14) Meena Lee (37) Leta Lindley (43) Meg Mallon (60) Catriona Matthew (6) Jill McGill (17) Janice Moodie (49) Joanne Morley (59) Liselotte Neumann (31) Lorena Ochoa (3) Gloria Park (9) Grace Park (29) Nicole Perrot (41) Stacy Prammanasudh (18) Reilley Rankin (42) Michele Redman (21) Laurie Rinker (56) Jennifer Rosales (20) Kim Saiki (47) Annika Sorenstam (1) Angela Stanford (57) Karen Stupples (44) Wendy Ward (11) Karrie Webb (23) Lindsey Wright (58) Sung Ah Yim (48)
Also in the field, leading Japan LPGA Tour player Ai Miyazato; sponsor exemptions Shinobu Moromizato (amateur), Se Ri Pak and U.S. Women's Open champion Birdie Kim.