Wie, C. Kim headline past champs at Ochoa Invtl.

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The LPGA returns to North America this week for the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Invitational Presented by Aeromexico and Delta.

Most of the LPGA's biggest names are taking the week off. Just 36 players, the smallest field of the season, will tee it up at the Club de Golf Mexico in Mexico City for the 72-hole, no-cut event. Three of the 36 are Mexican amateurs and only the top 20 finishers will earn ranking points.

Defending champion Inbee Park of South Korea will not be on hand; she is still recuperating from a thumb injury.

"For the past couple months after the 2016 Rio Olympics, I've been focusing on recovering from my left thumb injury," Park said in a statement. "I had to put on a cast for about four weeks which was during the Evian Championship. So far, I'm seeing some positive improvements on my rehab and I've started to hit some balls. However, my injury is still not fully recovered. I'm very cautious regarding my injury and if possible would like to take extra precautionary measures since the injury can negatively recur."

Park may be among the missing but there are four past champions in the field however, including 2014 winner Christina Kim (United States), 2010 winner In-Kyung Kim (South Korea), 2009 winner Michelle Wie (United States) and 2008 champion Angela Stanford (United States).

The field also includes Canadian Brooke Henderson, American Paula Creamer and Sweden's Anna Nordqvist.

Nordqvist in particular has something to play for this week. This is the final event before next week's season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. A total of 72 players will qualify for that event, based on points; once the field has been determined the points will be reset.

The top nine players in the points standings will have a mathematical chance to win the season long CME Race to the Globe.

At the start of this week, Nordqvist is ranked 10th but she would move into the top nine with a top-20 finish here.