Seven Australians are in the field for this week's Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G in Rogers, Arkansas.
Katherine Hull-Kirk, Sarah Kemp, Sarah-Jane Smith, Stacey Keating, Breanna Elliott, Lindsey Wright and Julia Boland will tee off at Pinnacle Country Club.
The star-studded field of 144 players will contend over 54 holes for a $2 million purse and a $300,000 first-place prize.
Reigning champion and Rolex Rankings No. 10 Ai Miyazato is back in Arkansas after an outstanding finish in 2012 when she defeated Azahara Munoz and Mika Miyazato by sinking a birdie putt on the final hole to take a one-stroke victory.
The Japanese native fired the lowest round of the week, a 7-under 65, during Sunday’s final round to stage a five-stroke comeback and capture the win with a three-day tally of 12-under 201.
The win marked her ninth victory in her seven-year tenure on the LPGA Tour and her latest victory to date.
This week, one of the largest grandstands on Tour was erected on the 17th green at the Pinnacle Country Club to give fans the opportunity to see their favorite LPGA Tour pros up-close and personal.
Known as the “loudest hole in golf,” the shortened par-3 will give players plenty of birdie opportunities and could provide for a dramatic finish on Sunday.
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park says the 17th green is something both players and fans will enjoy the most this week at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
“Number 17th hole has always been the loudest hole even before this year,” said Park. “Now they have shortened it and I think it became a lot more fun because a lot of players can really go for the pins, and I think they can really top the pins going in with like 9, 8 irons. So I think it's just going to be a lot more fun for the people watching, and I'm just very excited to see how it's going to be like on the first round.”
“There's many birdie opportunities this year,” said Ai Miyazato. “So that's the big difference, because usually 16 and 17 is really tough hole. So you have to play really well on these two. Then there's a birdie chance, birdie opportunity on 18 which is a great finishing hole. But 17, 18, there's a birdie chance opportunity this year. So it's going to be maybe drama, a little bit of drama this year.”