Honda LPGA Thailand Preview

Anna Nordqvist is defending champion in the Honda LPGA Thailand

Anna Nordqvist defends LPGA Thailand
Anna Nordqvist defends LPGA Thailand
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The LPGA Tour visits Thailand this week for the Honda LPGA Thailand. Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist is the defending champion at Siam Country Club in Chonburi.

Lowdown: The LPGA Tour visits Thailand this week for the Honda LPGA Thailand. Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist is the defending champion at Siam Country Club in Chonburi.

This tournament was first contested on the LPGA Tour in 2006, an event won by Hee-Won Han. It’s a competition that has witnessed some fabulous champions over the seasons: Suzann Pettersen won in 2007 then Jiyai Shin won the following year. Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng and Inbee Park have also been winners.

Last season, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden held off South Korea’s Inbee Park to claim the victory by two shots and pick up the winners’ cheque for $225,000.

A strong field has assembled in Chonburi for this tournament and Nordqvist will face stiff competition if she’s to retain her title. Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis, Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie are among those on the start list.

This week’s event is the midway point of a three-week international stretch for the LPGA, following the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open and finishing with the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.

After three events on the 2015 LPGA schedule, Lydia Ko of New Zealand leads the standings. The World Number 1 won last week in the Women’s Australian Open, but she isn’t in the field this week.

The course at Siam Country Club originally opened for play in 1971 but it was completely renovated 10 years ago and re-opened in May 2007. It’ a lush, tree-lined layout with a water-course running through its heart.

Venue: Pattaya Old Course, Siam Country Club, Chonburi, Thailand Date: Feb 26 – Mar 1 Course stats: par 72, 6,548 yards Purse: $1,500,000 Defending Champion: Anna Nordqvist (-15)

Player Watch: Inbee Park – Winner of this tournament in 2013, Park will be keen to reclaim her place at the top of the Rolex World Rankings. She’ll surely contend this week.

Amy Yang – Two top-10 finishes so far in 2015, including a second place last week in Australia, Yang will aim to go one better this time out.

Michelle Wie – The 2014 U.S. Women’s Open champion hasn’t shown much form yet this season. But she finished well in this event last year with a fourth place. Look for her to improve this week.

Key hole: 18th. A par-5 that can be stretched to 540 yards that sweeps from right to left. For the longer hitters this will be a clear birdie or even eagle chance. But the trees lining the hole and well-placed bunkers mean it’s also fraught with danger. Look for the potential of two-shot swings right at the death.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?