Nos. 1 and 2 (Ko, Jutanugarn) will battle Down Under


Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn will tee it up together for the first time this year at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open Feb. 16-19.

The tournament released its full-field list on Tuesday.

Ko will be making her 2017 debut at Royal Adelaide Golf Club in South Australia. Jutanugarn tied for 47th last week at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic.

Ko has a strong record in the Women’s Australian Open. She hasn’t finished worse than third in her last four starts in the event. She won the Women’s Australian Open at Royal Melbourne two years ago. Jutanugarn finished third when Ko won.

Four of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are committed, with No. 6 Ha Na Jang making her 2017 debut. Jang won three LPGA titles last year. World No. 9 Brooke Henderson is also scheduled to play.

LPGA Hall of Famer Karrie Webb, who has won the event a record five times, is the real headliner Down Under. She last won the event three years ago.

While the Americans got off to a terrific start in the LPGA season opener last week, with Brittany Lincicome defeating Lexi Thompson in a playoff in the Bahamas, the highest ranked Americans are taking a break. At No. 32 in the world, Mo Martin is the highest ranked American in the Australian field.

Charley Hull and Michelle Wie are scheduled to play, as is Nelly Korda, who made a strong start to her rookie season, tying for fifth in the Bahamas. Korda’s older sister, Jessica, won this event in 2012. India’s Aditi Ashok will be making her rookie debut as an LPGA member.