After a hiatus of more than five months, the 2020 LPGA Tour will resume this week in Toledo Ohio, where 133 players will tee it up at the Inverness Club on Friday for round one of the Drive On Championship.
The tournament will be played over 54 holes with US$1m prizemoney on offer, the winner receiving US$150,000.
The Donald Ross designed Inverness Club, which will also be the host venue for the 2021 Solheim Cup, will be played as a par 72 measuring 6852 yards.
Australia will be represented in the field this week by world number eight Minjee Lee, and her compatriots Katherine Kirk, Sarah Jane Smith and Sarah Kemp, while Hannah Green and Su Oh have chosen to skip the next two events on US soil and will re-start their 2020 LPGA campaigns at the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open in August.
With the vast majority of the leading Korean players choosing to stay at home and compete on the KLPGA tour for the time being, the focus this week will be very much on the American talent on show, with world number 2 Nelly Korda, number 4 Danielle Kang and number 9 Lexi Thompson the headline acts this week.
Two of the four LPGA winners so far in 2020 will also be competing this week; Hee Young Park (ISPS Handa Vic Open), Madelene Sagstrom (Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio)
The Drive On Championship will be followed next week by a second tournament in Toledo, the Marathon Classic Presented by Dana, formally known as the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic, one of the longest-serving events on the LPGA Tour.
For the players competing this week, tour life during the COVID-19 pandemic will be different from anything they have previously experienced.
The LPGA Tour conducted 233 pre-travel tests of players and caddies prior to them departing for the tournament, with one LPGA Tour Member, Marina Alex, and one caddie testing positive during this phase of testing.
Alex, who is asymptomatic, was withdrawn from this week’s tournament and the caddie, who was only scheduled to work this week’s event, did not travel. Following a 10-day quarantine period, Alex is expected to return to competition next week.
During pre-tournament on-site testing in Toledo the 233 players and caddies were once again tested, with one player, Gaby Lopez, testing positive and two tests still pending after initial tests were inconclusive.
Lopez has withdrawn from the event, has self-isolated and has been working with Tour and local health officials on contact tracing.
There will be no spectators allowed onsite this week at Inverness, and players, caddies and other tournament officials will need to undergo temperature tests via thermal scanners each day on their arrival at the course. All players will be required to wear masks outside the ropes and will be required to practice social distancing.
Australian viewers can watch all three rounds on FoxSports More from Saturday 1st August at 2pm.
Click HERE for tee-times and live scoring