LPGA competitors battle the rain during championship tournament

Author: SYLVIE SPARKS Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour’s best are taking on Tiburon Golf Course in Naples this week for the CME Group Tour Championship.

After days of rain, the first round of the season finale for the 2023 LPGA Tour teed off in Naples on Thursday. Prep for these pros wasn’t easy, considering the course had to deal with downpours the final day of practice on Wednesday.

Swedish pro-Madalene Sagstrom, the last to earn her way into the 60-player field, pronounced the course almost perfect.

“I was a little bit worried about the softness because I prefer it firmer in general because I tend to spin the ball a little too much. We handled it quite well. It wasn’t spinning off the greens. Definitely soft out there, but the amount of rain we had yesterday, the course is in unbelievable condition, and it’s looking really good,” said Sagstrom.

With Sagstrom playing at four-under-par, Thai professional Patty Tavatanakit went lower and bogey-free, finishing at six-under-par. That makes it a nice day for a player who has had a challenging year.

“Honestly, I just made putts today. I didn’t really hit that close. I feel like my birdies are from like 20 feet, 15, onwards. But do I have a few five, four-footers out there for par-fives and stuff? Overall, it was a tough round. You kind of need to hit it and strike the ball well to be able to shoot low today,” said Tavatanakit.

Another Swedish pro, Anna Nordqvist, finished in the top ten at this event last year. Thursday, she finished seven-under-par. Satisfying because no matter the weather, she said the course at Tiburon Golf Club is tough for her.

“I come here every year and I feel like this course doesn’t suit me very well, so I don’t know what it is. I got to play with the commissioner in the pro-am this week, and she asked me, do you love this course? I said, well, maybe doesn’t set up well for me, but I know I had a great round Sunday last year,” said Nordqvist.

The ladies aim to keep shooting low through the next three rounds. On Sunday, the tournament champion will go home with $2 million dollars.

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