The LPGA swings into the America’s heartland this week for the eighth edition of the Meijer LPGA Classic, where nine of the top 10 players on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings – including defending champion and world No. 2 Nelly Korda – will tee it up starting Thursday at Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich. This week’s purse is $2.5 million, with the winner receiving $375,000.
Korda, who won four times last season including her first major title (the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA) plus the gold medal at the Tokyo Summer Olympics, will make her second start since returning to competition after surgery for a blot clot in her left arm. Last year, Korda finished at 25-under 263 to win by two strokes over Ireland’s Leona Maguire for her second victory of the season and fifth career LPGA title.
“There [are] a bunch of opportunities obviously to make birdies and eagles, and I feel like the scores are always super low – I think that’s fun,” said Korda, who made her return at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pine Needles where she finished T-8. “It’s fun to do when you go from a really hard golf course like I played at U.S. Women’s Open, where I think the low scores – or just under par was in the top 10 – and you come out here and you have to shoot a good number every single day.
“I think it’s fun to get two different aspects of the game of golf where it’s really hard and you have to push to make birdies.”
Read on to find out more about who’s playing this week at Blythefield CC, how to watch and more fun facts about the Meijer LPGA Classic.
How to watch the 2022 Meijer LPGA Classic
The Golf Channel will provide daily coverage of the Meijer LPGA Classic from Blythefield Country Club in Grand Rapids, Mich., beginning with first-round action on Thursday, June 16.
Daily Schedule (all times ET):
- Thursday, June 16: First round, 3-6 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
- Friday, June 17: Second round, 3-6 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
- Saturday, June 18: Third round, 3-6 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
- Sunday, June 19: Final round, 3-6 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
Who’s playing in the 2022 Meijer LPGA Classic?
Just one week ahead of the LPGA’s third major of the season – the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – the 2022 Meijer LPGA Classic boasts a star-studded field featuring seven-time LPGA winner and defending champion Nelly Korda, and eight other top-10 players in the WWGR including:
- No. 3 Minjee Lee, Australia, winner of the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open and Cognizant Founders Cup;
- No. 4 Lydia Ko, New Zealand, 17-time LPGA winner including the 2022 Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio;
- No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul, Thailand, who captured her first win in March at the JTBC Classic;
- No. 6 Nasa Hataoka , Japan, six-time LPGA winner including the 2022 DIO Implant LA Open;
- No. 7 Lexi Thompson, USA, 11-time LPGA winner;
- No. 8 Brooke Henderson, Canada, 11-time LPGA winner including last week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic;
- No. 9 Hyo Joo Kim, South Korea, five-time LPGA winner;
- No. 10 Inbee Park, South Korea, 21-time LPGA winner (seven majors).
The full field includes 144 players, with a cut to the top 70 and ties after 36 holes.
All six past winners of this event are in the field (Korda, Henderson, So Yeon Ryu, Sei Young Kim, Thompson and Mirim Lee), as are nine of the 13 LPGA event winners so far this season: Ko, Leona Maguire (LPGA Drive On Championship), Thitikul, Jennifer Kupcho (Chevron Championship), Hyo Joo Kim (LOTTE Championship), Hataoka, Minjee Lee, Eun Hee Ji (Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play) and Henderson.
Past winners of the Meijer LPGA Classic
|2021||Nelly Korda (USA)||25-under 263||Two strokes||Leona Maguire (Ireland)|
|2019||Brooke Henderson (Canada)||21-under 267||One stroke||Nasa Hataoka (Japan), Su Oh (Australia), Brittany Altomare (USA), Lexi Thompson (USA)|
|2018||So Yeon Ryu (South Korea)||21-under 267||Two strokes||Caroline Masson (Germany)|
|2017||Brooke Henderson (Canada)||21-under 263||Two strokes||Michelle Wie (USA), Lexi Thompson (USA)|
|2016||Sei Young Kim (South Korea)||18-under 266||Won in playoff||Carlota Ciganda (Spain)|
|2015||Lexi Thompson (USA)||18-under 266||One stroke||Gerina Piller (USA), Lizette Salas (USA)|
|2014||Mirim Lee (South Korea)||14-under 279||Won in playoff||Inbee Park (South Korea)|
*NOTE: The Meijer LPGA Classic was not held in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fun facts ahead of the 2022 Meijer LPGA Classic
- Nelly Korda is the defending champion, and in 2021 she became the only player to win this event and a major – the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA – in the same year. No player has won this event in consecutive years.
- Eleven-time winner Brooke Henderson, winner of last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic, is the only two-time winner of this event, having won in 2017 and 2019. She also is the only wire-to-wire winner (no ties after any round) in tournament history, having accomplished the feat in 2019.
- Brittany Lincicome, 31, is listed in the field and arrives off a T-6 finish at last week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic. The 17-year LPGA Tour veteran, who’s seven months pregnant with her second child, finished three strokes behind winner Henderson.
- Every previous edition of the Meijer Classic has been won by a player that either already had won or would go on to win a major championship.
- Founded on June 11, 1928, by financier Joseph Brewer and designed by William Langford and Theodore Moreau, Blythefield Country Club will play as par-72 course (36-36) and measures 6,556 yards on the card. The lowest round to par is 10-under-par 62, carded by Ariya Jutanugarn in the final round in 2018, Lexi Thompson in the third round in 2019, and Nelly Korda in the third round in 2021. (Note: Lee Anne Pace shot a 61 in the third round in 2017 when the course was downsized to a par 69 due to rain.)
- The event is being played in June for the sixth consecutive year, after being held in August of 2014 and July of 2015. It has always been played at Blythefield.
Refresher: Last year at Blythefield Country Club
Last June, a 22-year-old Nelly Korda won at Blythefield for her second win of the season and the fifth of her career. She posted a 10-under 62 in the third round to take the lead and finished at 25-under 263 to beat Ireland’s Leona Maguire by two strokes.
Korda started the day with a three-stroke lead, and she held her advantage Sunday with a final-round 67, highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 14th, along with six birdies and three bogeys. Maguire pulled within a shot on the par-4 16th when she made a birdie and Korda made bogey. They both made par at 17 before Korda closed out with a birdie at 18.
The NBC golf research team contributed to this report.