PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Some of the world’s best female golfers will tee off Thursday in the Meijer LPGA Classic.
But before tournament play began on Thursday, the players took to the course to play in the pro-am with local personalities, including 24 Hour News 8 Sports Director Jack Doles.
The pro-am serves as a relaxing day on the course before the grind of tournament play begins. It also gives players a chance to interact with the fans in a way they can’t throughout the weekend.
“I think the crowd gets really excited to see us, which makes us really excited to play in front of them,” said Michelle Wie, who is ranked No. 15 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.
World No. 3 Lexi Thompson said the hospitality and number of fans that show up to the tournament makes it one of the best stops on tour.
On Thursday, the fun will turn to focus for the players in the field hoping to unseat defending champion Brooke Henderson.
“A few of the holes are definitely playing a lot long than they usually do, but I think just keeping it in the fairways (is important),” Thompson said. “With the amount of rain they’ve gotten recently, the rough is very, very thick.”
Blythefield Country Club’s difficulty was a common observation for players returning from previous years.
“It’s definitely not easy around this golf course,” World No. 16 Lydia Ko said. “There are some holes where you feel like you should come off with birdies, but there are quite a few holes that if you are making par, that’s a really good score.”
Hitting fairways and greens is on the minds of many of the players hoping to go low.
“It promotes accuracy off the tee (with) the greens (as) tough as they are. Especially being as firm as they are this year,” said World No. 141 Morgan Pressel. “If you’re not in the fairway, it’s going to be tough to get it close and make birdies.”
There has never been a repeat champion in the previous four years of the Meijer LPGA Classic.
Tee times start at 7:15 a.m. Thursday.