Australia's Sarah-Jane Smith
Seven Australians are in the field for this week's Mobile Bay LPGA Classic in Alabama.
Karrie Webb, Katherine Hull-Kirk, Sarah Kemp, Lindsey Wright, Frances Bondad, Sarah-Jane Smith and Julia Boland will tee it up at The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
The Trail serves as the backdrop for this week’s event where 144 pros will tee off on The Crossings Course at Magnolia Grove.
With the total purse at $1.2 million, the winner will take away the $180,000 first-place check and etch their name next to four past champions that include Angela Stanford (2008), Se Ri Pak (2010), Maria Hjorth (2011) and Stacy Lewis (2012).
Lewis’ victory in Mobile last year was the first of four in 2012, which kick started her campaign for Rolex Player of the Year honors.
She became the first winner of the 2012 season to capture a title with all four rounds in the 60s, ending the week at 17-under par and fighting off a Sunday charge from teenage standout Lexi Thompson.
The Woodlands, Texas native went on to win the ShopRite LPGA Classic, the Navistar LPGA Classic and the Mizuno Classic and notched a total of 12 additional top-10 finishes.
Lewis admits she sometimes can’t fathom all that she has done in one calendar year dating back to her second-career victory in Mobile last season.
The Texas native was more relieved with finally getting a second win under her belt than preparing herself for a campaign that would include earning Rolex Player of the Year honors and reaching No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings.
“You know, when I came here last year I was coming off of a missed cut, not playing well and really wanting to get that first -- not being just a one-time winner, get that off your back,” said Lewis.
“I never imagined that I would get to No. 1 in the world, win the Player of the Year. That was never even on the radar before I started this tournament last year. So it's just amazing how -- now looking for my 8th win, I was just looking for my 2nd this time last year, so not many people can say that.”
She has carried on that success this year as she leads the Tour in top-10s with seven and claimed back-to-back victories at the HSBC Women’s Champions and RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.
Rolex Rankings No. 19 Angela Stanford enters the week after tallying her second top-5 finish of the season at the Kingsmill Championship.
The inaugural winner of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic is in her 13th season as an LPGA Tour professional and is seeking to capture her sixth career victory.