The third edition of the Buick LPGA Shanghai will be available this week on the LPGA Tour, with 81 players competing for $2.1 million at Qizhong Garden Golf Club in Shanghai. Lilia Vu and Ruoning Yin, who are ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, will fight for victory, as will defending champion and two-time Buick LPGA Shanghai winner Danielle Kang and Mizuho Americas Open champion Rose Zhang. Fourteen 2023 rookies and eight of this season’s 21 champions will also compete in the People’s Republic of China. Take a look at some of the groups on display at the Buick LPGA in Shanghai this week
Thursday, 10:16 – Yu Liu/Carlotta Ciganda/Nasa Hataoka
Yu Liu from Beijing will play on Thursday in group 23 with Spain’s Carlota Ciganda and Japan’s Nasa Hataoka. Liu joined the LPGA Tour in 2018 and has recorded 15 top 10s and earned $2,490,250 over her six-year career. She finished in the top 10 twice this season, placing second at Hoakalei’s LOTTE Championship and ninth at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, and represented the People’s Republic of China at the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown in May. The 27-year-old has two wins around the world, winning the 2013 CLPGA Tour as an amateur and taking home the 2017 Tullymore Classic on the Epson Tour. She is an Epson Tour alumna and earned her first LPGA Tour membership in the 2018 season after finishing fifth on the Epson Tour money list in 2017. Liu played for the Buick LPGA Shanghai in both previous editions, finishing T9 in 2018 and T3 in 2019.
Ciganda made headlines a few weeks ago when she defeated Nelly Korda on her way to securing the Solheim Cup for the Europeans at Finca Cortesin in her native Spain. The Pamplona native eliminated Korda with a birdie on the 17th hole and scored the decisive point for the European team, securing the cup after a historic 14-14 draw. For the first time in the history of the Solheim Cup, Euro won the cup in three consecutive matches of this event. Aside from her appearances in Spain, the 33-year-old has had a solid 2023 LPGA Tour season so far, earning four top-five finishes, the most notable of which was a third-place finish at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and three additional top-15 results. According to KPMG Performance Insights, Ciganda ranks 12th on the LPGA Tour in strokes gained while driving (+0.69) and 13th in total strokes gained while driving (+1.48). This is her third start at the Buick LPGA Shanghai, and in her two previous appearances in 2018 and 2019, she finished ninth and 28th, respectively.
Six-time LPGA Tour winner Hataoka is having a quiet but steady 2023 LPGA Tour season, with three top-five finishes, including a fifth solo at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and a fourth-place finish at the U.S. Women’s Open and a third-place finish at the Amundi Evian Championship. She recorded six additional top-15 scores and ranks second on Tour in birdies (269) and fifth in under-par rounds (41). Hataoka ranks eighth in total strokes gained (+1.69), 11th in strokes gained from tee to green (+1.24) and 11th in strokes gained on approach (+0.87). This week, the 24-year-old will make her second start at the Buick LPGA Shanghai and will be looking to improve on her T3 result in 2019, this time at Qizhong Garden Golf Club.
Thursday, 10:27 – Xiyu Lin/Lilia Vu/Danielle Kang
Defending champion Danielle Kang will face Lilia Vu, No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, and recent Ladies European Tour winner Xiyu Lin. Kang has won the past two editions of the Buick LPGA Shanghai, winning by two shots over a seven-player field in the second-place match in 2018 and beating Jessica Korda by one shot in 2019 for her second and third career titles. The six-time LPGA Tour winner hasn’t picked up a win since the 2022 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions and will be looking to claim her third straight Buick LPGA Shanghai win at Qizhong Garden Golf Club this week. So far this season, Kang has five top-15 finishes, most notably a third-place finish at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, and ranks second on the LPGA Tour in putts per green in regulation and average putts. He also ranks third in putts per round (7.44), according to KPMG Performance Insights.
Vu has been one of the hottest players on the LPGA Tour this season, becoming a first-time Rolex winner at the Honda LPGA in Thailand in February, then winning the Chevron Championship and AIG Women’s Open titles, becoming the first player to win two majors on one season since Jin Young Ko in 2019 and win the Rolex ANNIKA grand prize. The Epson Tour alumnus recorded four additional top-15 finishes this year, the best of which was a seventh-place finish in the LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain, and he currently leads the Rolex Player of the Year race with 154 points. Vu ranks fourth in regulation putts per green (1.75), ranks tenth in scoring average (70.44) and tenth in total strokes gained (+1.64) on the LPGA Tour this season. He currently ranks fourth in the Race for the CME Globe standings with 2,154,718 points.
Lin finally broke for the first time since his 2019 CLPGA victory last week in the Aramco Team Series in Hong Kong. After the event was shortened to 36 holes due to Typhoon Koinu, Lin faced Jin Young Ko in overtime to determine the tournament winner, burying a long birdie putt to win her third career Ladies European Tour title. The 27-year-old is having another stellar season on the LPGA Tour and continues to work toward that elusive first victory, recording five top-five finishes, including a tie for third in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club. She had three additional top-15 finishes, most notably a 14th-place finish at The Chevron Championship and a 13th-place finish at the U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. This season, Rolex ranks fourth in total strokes gained (+1.88), fourth in scoring average (70.18), fourth in regulation putts per green (1.75), fifth in he gained eighth in birdies (245) and eighth in strokes around the green (+0.39). This is her third appearance at the Buick LPGA Shanghai, and her best result in her two previous starts was a tie for 47th in the inaugural edition of the event.
Thursday, 10:38 – Ruoning Yin/Rose Zhang/Minjee Lee
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship winner Ruoning Yin will play alongside a pair of 2023 LPGA Tour winners in Rose Zhang and Minjee Lee at 10:38 local time on Thursday morning. Yin became a first-time Rolex winner earlier this season at the DIO Implant LA Open, defeating major champion Georgia Hall by one shot to win her first LPGA Tour title. She then won again in June, this time winning her first major title on Baltusrol Golf Club’s lower course, beating Yuka Saso by one with a 54-hole score of 8 under. The Shanghai native returns to her homeland fresh after three consecutive T3 or better results at the CPKC Women’s Open, where she placed third, the Portland Classic, where she placed third, and the Kroger Queen City Championship presented by P&G, where she again placed third solo. She has recorded two additional top-five finishes this season and is currently in second place in both the CME Globe race and the official money list. According to KPMG Performance Insights, the No. 2 Rolex leader leads the Tour in strokes gained tee to green (+2.23) and ranks second in both strokes gained, approach (+1.39) and total number of strokes gained (+2.10). Yin played in the Buick LPGA Shanghai in 2019 as an amateur, finishing T38.
Rookie Rose Zhang accepted immediate membership on the LPGA Tour with a playoff victory over Jennifer Kupcho at the Mizuho Americas Open, and has had a solid inaugural season so far. She only missed two series and had three top-10 finishes, not including a victory at Liberty National Golf Club, an eighth-place finish at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, a ninth-place finish at the U.S. Women’s Open, and a ninth-place finish again at The Amundi Evian Championship. The 20-year-old made her Solheim Cup debut a few weeks ago in Andalusia, Spain, and has already surpassed the $1 million mark in career earnings, taking home $1,080,049 in just nine starts this season. Zhang is currently ranked 30th in the Race to the CME Globe and 34th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
Lee earned her ninth career LPGA Tour victory in September, defeating Englishwoman Charley Hull in overtime to win the Kroger Queen City Championship. The 27-year-old has won at least once in three consecutive Tour seasons and is the third-winningest Australian in LPGA Tour history, behind Karrie Webb (41) and Jan Stephenson (16). In addition to her win, Lee finished in the top 15 six times, most notably finishing second in the Cognizant Founders’ Cup after losing to Jin Young Ko in the playoffs. The No. 7 Rolex leader leads the Tour in both regulation greens (74.17%) and strokes gained approach (+1.49). She is also second in strokes gained from tee to green (+2.06) and 10th in birdies (241). The two-time major champion has competed in the past two editions of the Buick LPGA Shanghai, finishing T14 in 2018 and T50 in 2019.
For a complete list of tee times, please click here. All times are local.
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