This marks the fourth time in five years, the name of this tournament has been changed. Last year Grace Park won wire-to-wire when the event was named the Kathy Ireland Greens.com LPGA Classic.
She held a one-shot lead after each of the first three rounds before defeating Juli Inkster and Pat Hurst by one. Inkster held a three-shot edge on the back nine on Sunday, but a pair of bogeys on the final two holes, coupled with birdies by Park on 16 and 17, gave Park the win.
Park's win came at the Wachesaw Plantation East which had hosted the event since its inception in 1997 but this year it was moved the Willshire Country Club. World- number-one Karrie Webb holds the 54-hole record for this tournament with a 202 but she is not expected to play this week.
Annika Sorenstam, who has won her last three starts, including the Nabisco Championship, is in the field. She is trying to win her fourth consecutive title, which would make the Swede only the third player in LPGA history to win four consecutively scheduled events. Only Mickey Wright and Kathy Whitworth have accomplished that feat. Wright did it in 1962 and 1963 and Whitworth in 1969.
Sorenstam's trio of wins have come at the Welch's/Circle K Championship, the Standard Register PING, where she posted a record second round 59, and the Nabisco Championship, the first major of the LPGA Tour season.
News and Notes:
*This year's purse was increased by $50,000 from last year. The winner will receive $120,000.
*The event has been shortened to 54 holes.
*All proceeds from the tournament will benefit the City of Hope hospital.