While Lee will lead the charge to defend her LPGA Tour win, which she won after a career-low 65 in the final round last year, she will have plenty of competition. Included in the Fields Open are nine of the top-10 players from the 2006 LPGA Official Money List, including reigning Rolex Player of the Year Lorena Ochoa, who finished tied for fourth at last week's SBS Open at Turtle Bay. Also, Karrie Webb, who won two straight weeks in her native Australia earlier this month and finished third last week, will try to keep the momentum going when she tees it up in the 138-player field.
This week also gives fans a chance to see 11 of the LPGA's 33 rookies, led by Jin Joo Hong, who won the LPGA's 2006 KOLON-Hana Bank Championship as a non-member, and Paige McKenzie and In-Kyung Kim, who both finished tied for 17th last week. All 2007 rookies are vying to follow in the footsteps of 2006 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Seon Hwa Lee to become this year's top rookie.
Paula Creamer is also a favorite for this week's Fields Open. After setting a record in 2006 for most season earnings without a win ($1,076,163), Creamer came out of the gates last week with her third LPGA Tour victory at the 2007 SBS Open at Turtle Bay. Creamer was one of only nine players who found a sub-par final round as windy conditions took its toll on the remaining 84 final-round professionals.
Julieta Granada, the winner of the ADT Championship and LPGA Playoffs 2006, teamed up with Celeste Troche to lead Paraguay to victory in the 2007 Women's World Cup of Golf earlier this year. And, with a second-place finish last week at the SBS Open, Granada is demonstrating that she is ready to get back into the winner's circle and will be a leading contender in the field this week.
A busy Golf Channel will broadcast two hours of each round (like last week, the event runs Thursday-Saturday) beginning at 6:30 p.m. each day.
The LPGA is off next week, returning on March 9 for the MasterCard Classic. Annika Sorenstam won the MasterCard last year -- an early highlight in an up-and-down year.
Information from The Sports Network was used in the story