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Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship may sound like a new event on the LPGA Tour but it is just a renamed event. Last year, it was called DIO Implant LA Open. However, the LPGA Tour signed a multi-year deal with Fir Hills estates and has its pioneer golfer from South Korea, Seri Pak returning to the greens.

Pak will be hosting the championship at Palos Verdes Golf Course in California and will be joining the ranks of Michelle Wie West and Annika Sorenstam as an event host. It will also mark a break from her retirement that she took in 2016. The event will be filled with many top golfers; however, only one will come out victorious.

Top five contenders at Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship

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The returning ground of once deemed ‘South Korea’s Tiger Woods’ will have many top golfers, including world number 7 Charley Hull, Rose Zhang making a return on LPGA Tour after an educational hiatus, Canadian pro Brooks Henderson, and Alison Lee playing in her native state. The 144-field of golfers will soon tee it up at Palos Verdes GC, with the potential of crowning one of the below-listed golfers as the winner.

Nelly Korda: The 2024 season started with Nelly Korda breaking her year-long winless drought on the LPGA Tour as she won the LPGA Drive-On Championship and drafted Lydia Ko. It will be the world number two’s third event of the year after having enjoyed time with her family. In the past two events, Korda’s performance has been nothing short of remarkable. Though she won the Drive-On Championship, at the HGV Tournament of Champions too, Korda finished inside the top 20 at T16. There are chances of her making a shot for her 10th career win at Palos Verdes GC.

Ruoning Yin: In 2023, Yin won the DIO Implant LA Open and took a huge jump from being the 146th-ranked golfer to being the 32nd after the victory. As the defending champion, Yin will be making a stride to not let anyone take her title. The 21-year-old had a slow start in the 2024 season, though she does have three top-25 finishes in the last five events played, with a T58 finish at the Honda LPGA Thailand and a 59th in the Blue Bay LPGA. Will the world number four successfully defend her title? She has all the potential to do so!

Patty Tavatanakit: In February, Tavatanakit clinched two victories to come out of her winless drought of two years. The Thai pro won the Aramco Saudi International on the Ladies European Tour and the very next week, he was crowned the champion of the Honda LPGA Thailand. Moreover, at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, the 2-time LPGA Tour winner finished tied at eight, carding her second top-10 performance so far in the 2024 season. Tavatanakit has been slowly rising on the Tour and may win her third event this week in California.

Ayaka Furue: The Japanese pro enters the field while leading in strokes gained on the LPGA Tour despite no wins. Furue has had a scintillating season, as she started with two back-to-back T4 finishes at the HGV Tournament of Champions and the LPGA Drive On Championship. Moreover, at the last two events, the HSBC Women’s World Championship and the Blue Bay LPGA, the 23-year-old finished T8 in the former and scored her best finish as she was solo third in China. The worst finish of Furue till now is T23 at the Honda LPGA Thailand, indicating how powerful her game has been.

 

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Lilia Vu: Fresh off recovering from illness, the world number one is the top-ranked golfer in the field. However, in the last five events Vu has played, she withdrew twice, finishing inside the top 20 at Honda LPGA Thailand (T7) and Hilton Grand Vacations TOC (18), and was T55 on the LPGA Drive On Championship leaderboard. However, the Palos Verdes GC has been favorable for Vu. The only two times she played, Vu, were T10 (2022) and T11 (2023). The chances of winning might be bleak but never zero for someone like Vu.

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What’s at stake at the event?

The Fir Hills Sri Pak Championship will be the start of a four-month campaign on the LPGA Tour that will move to various parts of the states for its commencement. It will start on March 21st and conclude on the 24th in four days. Unlike last year, when the event had a $1.75 million prize purse, it received an increase of $250,00.

Read More: “Take Care of Your Lower Back”: Nelly Korda Leaves Fans Spellbound With Her ‘Vacation’ Workout

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This year, the event has a $2 million prize purse for the 144 golfers in the field. From this, the winner will receive $300,000 out of the total prize pool, with 500 Race to CME Globe points. Who will be the one taking home the $300,000 check at the Palos Verdes GC? Share your predictions in the comments.

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