If history repeats itself, the defending champion is poised to put on a show.
Prammanasudh did not play in the tournament during her 2003 rookie year, but every year since, it has been her best event of the season. This year, she will hope to improve on her consecutive 14-under-par 274s, which resulted in a third-place finish in 2004 and a trophy last year when she became the first of 10 Rolex First-Time Winners to emerge in 2005.
She defeated runner-up and 2004 champion Lorena Ochoa by three strokes. Prammanasudh has had a stellar beginning to 2006 with four top-15 finishes in her first five starts, including a season-best tie for ninth at the Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola in March.
Prammanasudh continued her steady play last week as she tied for 24th at the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open in Orlando. The $23,453 paycheck moved her into 22nd on the ADT Official Money List with $123,069 in season-earnings. A successful title defense and the $165,000 first-place paycheck would push Prammanasudh past the $1 million mark in career earnings.
If Prammanasudh brings home the Franklin American Mortgage Championship trophy this year, it would also mark just the second successful title defense of the season in eight official LPGA events.
Annika Sorenstam has the only repeat to date at the MasterCard Classic honoring Alejo Peralta in March. Every other tournament has been up for grabs, with the trophy going to the player who can convert momentum into birdies coming down the stretch.
That's where Ochoa becomes a force to be reckoned with as one of four from last year's top-5 that will return to Tennessee. With one victory and three runner-up finishes this year, Ochoa is the fastest golfer in LPGA Tour history to reach $4 million in career earnings and remains the ADT Official Money List leader for the third-consecutive week.
She also owns the season-record for largest margin of victory at a tournament when she defeated rookie Seon Hwa Lee at the LPGA Takefuji Classic by three strokes.
Also returning to Tennessee are Cristie Kerr and Christina Kim, who tied for third with Ochoa last year. Kerr has six top-12 finishes in eight starts and is hungry for a victory. Landing in the winner's circle this week would be a good transition into the upcoming Michelob ULTRA Open at Kingsmill, where she is the defending champion.
But an exuberant 22-year-old by the name of Christina Kim could also have a breakout tournament to notch her third-career victory - provided she can outlast LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Famer Karrie Webb, who appears to be having a comeback season after her win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.
Her tie for second with Lorena Ochoa at the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Open continued to assist her return to the top of the Tour, as she is second on the ADT Official Money list ($584,957), just one point behind Ochoa in the race for the Rolex Player of the Year honors and is leading the Tour in rounds under par (17/22).