Meijer LPGA Classic 2024 Tips: 175/1 shot one of five for Michigan

 | Wednesday 12th June 2024, 13:30pm

Wednesday 12th June 2024, 13:30pm

jamie LPGA

Our third major of the year is just one week away, with players heading to Sahalee Country Club for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week. Before that, a decent field will tee it up at Blythefield Country Club this week, in the Meijer LPGA Classic.

Let's jump right in with star golf tipster Jamie Worsley's Meijer LPGA Classic tips, which range from 20/1 to a massive 175/1...

Meijer LPGA Classic Betting Tips

  • 2.5 pts Minjee Lee each-way (1/4 - 5 places) - 20/1 
  • 1.5 pts Leona Maguire each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 33/1
  • 1 pt Mao Saigo each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 50/1 
  • 1 pt Hinako Shibuno each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 70/1
  • 0.75 pts Yealimi Noh each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 175/1

*Click on the linked odds to add the selections directly to your betslip on betfred.com (or app)

Last week’s Shoprite LPGA Classic finished with one of the most extraordinary final-round performances in LPGA history.

Starting the day in 52nd place and seven shots behind overnight leader, Jenny Shin, Sweden’s Linnea Strom shot an incredible 11-under-par 60 to rise to the top of the leaderboard and set the clubhouse lead at -14. It was the lowest final round ever on the tour and ties her for second place in the lowest round overall, one behind Annika Sorenstam’s 59 in 2001.

As challengers came and went over the next couple of hours, none could quite stick or surpass Strom’s -14 score, and after beginning the day with a 0.001% chance of victory (according to KPMG Performance Insights), she claimed her first LPGA title. Breaking the record for the biggest positional final-round comeback in the process.

Shin isn't in the field this week, but there is a very solid field in play for the Meijer LPGA Classic.

TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Having debuted on the LPGA in 2014, the Meijer LPGA Classic is still a relatively new event, though it has proven somewhat eventful in its short history.

The 2017 edition was blighted by bad weather - with a flooded course resulting in the par being changed from a 71 to a 69 in rounds three and four - whilst in 2020 the event was cancelled due to covid.

Brooke Henderson won that weather-affected 2017 edition and following another victory in 2019, she became and still remains the only player to win this event on two occasions.

Last five winners:

  • 2023 – Winner: Leona Maguire (-21); runner-up: Ariya Jutanugarn (-19)
  • 2022 – Winner: Jennifer Kupcho (-18, playoff); runners-up: Nelly Korda, Leona Maguire (-18)
  • 2021 – Winner: Nelly Korda (-25); runner-up: Leona Maguire (-23)
  • 2019 – Winner: Brooke Henderson (-21); runners-up: Brittany Altomare, Nasa Hataoka, Su Oh, Lexi Thompson (-20)
  • 2018 – Winner: So Yeon Ryu (-21); runner-up: Caroline Masson (-19)

Having finished 2nd at Blythefield Country Club in the prior two years, Leona Maguire finally lifted the Meijer LPGA Classic title last year, beating Ariya Jutanugarn by two strokes. Maguire returns to defend and aims to become the first player to successfully retain the trophy.

THE COURSE

Blythefield Country Club was originally designed by the duo of William Langford and Theodore Moreau in 1929. It then went through an extensive renovation at the hands of Chris Wilczynski in 2020, where changes included green sizes and shapes being resorted according to their original design; the fairways being widened; trees removed to open up playing corridors; and bunkers were rebuilt and repositioned to make them more strategic.

Those course changes haven’t yet impacted the way the course plays. It is still a low scoring event, possessing an average winning score of -21.2 in the five renewals since they switched it to a par 72 in 2018.

The routing of the course is different for the tournament compared to how it usually plays, with only holes 10-16 playing in the same position on the course. This par 72 measures 6556 yards and possesses just 8x par 4s (346-428 yards), along with 5x par 5s (466-550 yards) and 5x par 3s (136-234 yards).

Set on gently rolling terrain, Blythefield Country Club is a classic, compact design with subtle elevation changes throughout. The course is more densely tree-lined on the front nine, though they thin out on the back and barring some serious bad luck, players will generally have a line into the green if they do end up among the trees.

The fairways are average-wide in width, protected by some strategic bunkering and 3-inch thick Kentucky bluegrass rough. Though it doesn’t usually prove too penal if players start missing the short grass.

The poa/bentgrass mixed greens are where the key challenges lie around Blythefield. Measuring in at an average size of 4,500 sq. ft, these diminutive and subtly-breaking putting surfaces could play at a speedy 12 on the stimp this week if weather allows. Most are elevated, with some deep greenside bunkering for protection, and they will require players to be at their most precise in approach to contend.

There is nothing tricked up or severe about the course in terms of difficulty. Water only comes into play on one hole (#14) and with five par 5s, a generally gettable set of par 4s and par 3s that aren’t too taxing – barring the 234-yard 12th – it is easy to see why scoring has been decent here.

That being said, if the conditions play ball, the greens could be quicker this week than any other recent renewal and it will be interesting to see what impact that has on the scoring in the event.

THE WEATHER

The forecast is predicting largely warm, dry and sunny conditions this week. However, it is also set to be pretty humid, which could cause thunderstorms to materialise on Thursday.

Hopefully those storms stay away or aren’t too severe, as with winds forecast to be mild, the course could do with those firmer conditions to give players a more demanding test.

KEY STATS

  • SG: Approach
  • Greens-in-Regulation

With small greens, iron play looks an obvious place to start this week.

Leona Maguire was strong in each of the above areas last year, ranking 13th in greens-in-regulation and 24th in approach. None of the top-5 ranked worse than 31st in approach, with Amy Yang and Hyo Joo Kim in 3rd and 5th ranking inside the top-20, whilst both of those players also ranked top-10 in GIR.

Jennifer Kupcho hit plenty of greens to win in 2022, ranking 14th. Each of the top-4 ranked inside the top-25 in this area, with Lydia Ko in 4th and Nelly Korda in T2 ranking 1st and 2nd for GIR respectively.

  • SG: Putting (poa/bent)

Low scoring often lends itself to players with a hot putter, and the combination of hitting plenty of greens and having a strong week on the greens will work well just about anywhere.

Maguire was 18th on the greens last year, with each of the top-5 ranking inside the top-20; whilst in 2022, Kupcho ranked 7th in putting on her way to victory and Maguire in 2nd ranked 4th.

  • SG: Around-the-Greens

Small greens will naturally lead to lower GIR percentages and warrant players to call on their short-game skills. Both Maguire last year and Kupcho in 2022 performed excellently around-the-greens, ranking 1st and 3rd respectively.

  • Par 5 Scoring

Finally, this higher volume of par 5s should make the best scoring chances on the course even more important this week. Maguire and Kupcho both scored well on them and six of the top-5 across the last two editions ranked inside the top-5 in par 5 scoring.

CORRELATING EVENTS (COURSES)

Dana Open (Highland Meadows Golf Club)

The Dana Open looks an ideal comp for this week’s challenge. Densely tree-lined though spacious, Highland Meadows GC features similarly average-width fairways, small poa/bent mixed greens and comparably penal bunkering and rough.

Notable correlating form:

Sei Young Kim:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Dana Open (1st)

So Yeon Ryu:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Dana Open (1st)

Mirim Lee:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Dana Open (2nd)

Jennifer Kupcho:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Dana Open (5th, 9th)

Nasa Hataoka:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Dana Open (1st)

Caroline Masson:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Dana Open (3rd, 5th, 5th)

Gerina Mendoza:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Dana Open (3rd)

Amy Yang:

Meijer Classic (3rd, 5th) / Dana Open (5th)

Xiyu Lin:

Meijer Classic (3rd) / Dana Open (4th, 7th)

Jacqui Concolino:

Meijer Classic (4th) / Dana Open (5th, 5th)

Azahara Munoz:

Meijer Classic (4th) / Dana Open (8th, 9th)

Shoprite LPGA Classic (Seaview – Bay Course)

Last week’s host, Seaview’s Bay Course, has average-width fairways, bent/poa mixed greens, abundant bunkering and similarly thick bluegrass rough. All of which makes it a good guide for this week.

Notable correlating form:

Brooke Henderson:

Meijer Classic (1st, 1st) / Shoprite Classic (1st)

Lexi Thompson:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Shoprite Classic (1st)

Jennifer Kupcho:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Shoprite Classic (2nd)

Sei Young Kim:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Shoprite Classic (4th)

Mirim Lee:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Shoprite Classic (5th)

Gerina Mendoza:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Shoprite Classic (3rd, 5th)

Nasa Hataoka:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Shoprite Classic (4th, 6th)

Su Oh:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Shoprite Classic (5th, 6th)

Haru Nomura:

Meijer Classic (4th) / Shoprite Classic (2nd)

Jacqui Concolino:

Meijer Classic (4th) / Shoprite Classic (3rd)

Ally Ewing:

Meijer Classic (6th, 8th) / Shoprite Classic (3rd)

Portland Classic (Columbia Edgewater Country Club)

Columbia Edgewater CC is another undulating, tree-lined course with generous fairways, small poa annua greens and clever bunkering.

Notable correlating form:

Brooke Henderson:

Meijer Classic (1st, 1st) / Portland Classic (1st, 1st)

So Yeon Ryu:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Portland Classic (3rd)

Mirim Lee:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Portland Classic (5th)

Brittany Altomare:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Portland Classic (3rd, 3rd)

Carlota Ciganda:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Portland Classic (3rd)

Nasa Hataoka:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Portland Classic (4th)

Caroline Masson:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Portland Classic (5th)

Gerina Mendoza:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Portland Classic (5th)

Xiyu Lin:

Meijer Classic (3rd) / Portland Classic (2nd)

Azahara Munoz:

Meijer Classic (4th) / Portland Classic (5th)

Georgia Hall:

Meijer Classic (6th) / Portland Classic (1st, 2nd)

JM Eagle LA Championship (Wilshire Country Club)

With wide fairways and subtly undulating, elevated and small poa annua greens, Wilshire CC looks a decent comp for Blythefield CC.

Notable correlating form:

Brooke Henderson:

Meijer Classic (1st, 1st) / LA Championship (1st)

Sei Young Kim:

Meijer Classic (1st) / LA Championship (2nd)

So Yeon Ryu:

Meijer Classic (1st) / LA Championship (4th, 5th)

Nasa Hataoka:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / LA Championship (1st)

Xiyu Lin:

Meijer Classic (3rd) / LA Championship (2nd)

Amy Yang:

Meijer Classic (3rd, 5th) / LA Championship (5th)

Madelene Sagstrom:

Meijer Classic (4th) / LA Championship (3rd)

Fir Hills Seri Pak Championship (Palos Verdes Golf Club)

Though the topography of Palos Verdes is more dramatic, this undulating course has some generous fairways, small, elevated poa/bentgrass mixed greens and elevation changes throughout.

Notable correlating form:

Nelly Korda:

Meijer Classic (1st) / Seri Pak Championship (1st)

Carlota Ciganda:

Meijer Classic (2nd) / Seri Pak Championship (5th)

Hyo Joo Kim:

Meijer Classic (5th, 7th) / Seri Pak Championship (3rd)

Georgia Hall:

Meijer Classic (6th) / Seri Pak Championship (2nd)

THE FIELD

World #1, Nelly Korda is back in action this week for the first time following her first missed cut of the year in the US Women’s Open two weeks ago. She is joined by a further three of the world’s top-10, including #2 Lilia Vu, who returns after almost two months out with a back injury; with #3 Celine Boutier and #10 Minjee Lee making up that quartet.

Leona Maguire is our returning champion and one of five former winners in attendance, along with Jennifer Kupcho (2022), Nelly Korda (2021), Brooke Henderson (2019, 2017) and Lexi Thompson (2015).

There is plenty of depth in the field, with Atthaya Thitikul and Ayaka Furue both hoping to capitalise on some excellent recent form; Alexandra Forsterling will be looking to transfer her winning habit on the LET to the LPGA; and three-time LPGA Winner, Christina Kim makes her first start of 2024 after coming through local qualifying.

SELECTIONS

Meijer LPGA Classic Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Meijer LPGA Classic market on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this tournament.

Market leaders: Nelly Korda 4/1, Atthaya Thitikul 17/2, Ayaka Furue 12/1, Xiyu Lin 16/1, Hyo Joo Kim 18/1, Brooke Henderson 20/1, Minjee Lee 20/1

Nelly Korda has a superb record here and looks sure to bounce back from her US Open disappointments last time out.

However, Minjee Lee looked like the player to beat for a long way two weeks ago and as the strongest iron player in the women’s game for three straight seasons now, she looks the clear value pick from the top end of the betting this week.

2.5 pts Minjee Lee each-way (1/4 - 5 places) - 20/1 

The Aussie star had an inconsistent start to the year, missing as many cuts over her first six starts as she had in the previous two seasons combined, but there had been positives from the off, such as a 4th-place finish on her second start of the year in the Blue Bay LPGA. She has now found consistency over her most recent starts, coming into this event following finishes of 7th in the Founders Cup, 21st in the Mizuho Americas Open and then recording a 9th-place finish in the US Women’s Open on her latest start.

For three rounds, Lee was absolutely superb at Lancaster Country Club, entering the final round of the US Open with a share of the lead. Though shooting a disastrous 8-over in the final round, she slipped to 9th.

This was a huge surprise as she had not only been at her brilliant best in approach there, ranking 1st for the week, but also recorded her best putting performance of the season, ranking 22nd. Taking last week off, I’m hoping she’s used that time to reflect on that disappointment and will be in determined mood at Blythefield this week.

Minjee’s quality approach play – for which she unsurprisingly ranks 1st on tour this season - should translate to success here and she’s developed a good record at the course, recording four top-25s in five visits and a best of 13th last year. As a winner at Wilshire, and recording top-4 finishes in the Dana Open and Portland Classic, she has proven she can perform well on similar courses and can use that experience to again improve on her previous efforts in the Meijer Classic.

1.5 pts Leona Maguire each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 33/1

Leona Maguire may have missed three of her last four cuts but her incredible record at Blythefield speaks for itself and makes for an easy selection at the prices this week.

Maguire actually started the year pretty solidly and didn’t miss a cut prior to her ninth start of the season in the Chevron Championship, with the highlight among those first eight starts a runner-up finish behind Nelly Korda in the T-Mobile Match Play.

She did bounce back from that major missed cut with a 12th-place finish in the Founders Cup three starts ago, but has since recorded two further MCs, firstly in the Mizuho Americas Open and then in the US Women’s Open last time out. Though she only narrowly missed out on making the weekend there and I’m confident she can respond this week.

Our defending champion has hit the ball solidly this year, especially in approach, but as you’d expect, it’s with her electric short game that she has excelled most, ranking 12th around-the-greens and 25th in putting.

This short-game expertise has translated to a sublime record in this event for Maguire, finishing 2nd, 2nd and then 1st last year on her only three starts at the course, firing 11 out of 12 rounds in the 60s. With nothing too alarming about her performances this year, I see no reason why she can’t go well again this week.

1 pt Mao Saigo each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 50/1 

Japanese youngster, Mao Saigo, came to the LPGA with a big reputation this year and has shown plenty of promising signs as to why. As an excellent ball-striker who shines with the flat stick, she looks to have a great chance of a strong debut effort at Blythefield this week.

Saigo won the 2019 Japanese Women’s Amateur as a 17-year-old prior to turning pro later that year, an event in which she left fellow LPGA players, Ayaka Furue and Yuna Nishimura in her wake.

Her progress in the pro ranks was slow but steady, before she finally burst into life with an outstanding five victories in Japan in 2022; adding a further title last year. She finished 2023 with a runner-up finish at the LPGA Q-Series to earn her this first stab on the biggest stage in women’s golf this year.

She showed promise right from the start, making each of her first four cuts on the LPGA and recorded two top-15 finishes. She followed that with two missed cuts but responded well with a first top-10 in the LA Championship five starts ago, and over her last four starts she has continued to look solid, recording just a solitary, narrow missed cut in the US Open and finishing no worse than 33rd on her other three starts.

Saigo ranks top-25 in approach, putting and off-the-tee, whilst is also 8th in greens-in-regulation, certainly a positive into the small greens she’ll encounter this week. That 8th-place finish in the LA Championship at Wilshire CC represents a nice piece of comp form, as does a 13th at Palos Verdes – where she led the field on the poa/bentgrass mixed greens – and points to a player who can make her LPGA breakthrough this week.

1 pt Hinako Shibuno each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 70/1

After a largely dismal 2024 season up until that point, Hinako Shibuno burst into life at the US Open two weeks ago, with an excellent 2nd-place finish behind compatriot, Yuka Saso. Somewhat maintaining form last week in the Shoprite Classic, she looks an appealing price to contend this week.

Prior to the US Open, Shibuno had missed six of her first nine cuts of the season and finished no higher than 50th in the other three. Which made that runner-up finish at Lancaster CC a huge surprise. It did cross my mind that it may just be a case of a proven major performer upping their game for one of the biggest events, and that she’d struggle to keep it going. However, in finishing 21st in the Shoprite Classic last week, she looks to have really turned a corner.

The big difference has been her ball-striking. Ranking outside the top-120 off-the-tee, in approach and in greens-in-regulation this season, she has looked strong in each area in those last two starts, ranking 15th/5th in GIR, 15th/19th OTT and 37th/26th in approach.

Combined with her usually adept short game, ranking 10th in putting and 31st in scrambling this year, it’s easy to see why her results have improved and I expect Shibuno to better her missed cut here in 2022 this week.

0.75 pts Yealimi Noh each way (1/4 - 5 places) - 175/1

I’ve been keen on Yealimi Noh throughout this year and after a further promising showing in the Shoprite Classic last week, she looks worth another shot at a big price this week.

The hugely talented Noh had gone off the boil in recent years following a positive start to her pro career, but she showed encouraging signs at the end of last year and has continued to show them in 2024. She made her first six cuts in a row, including a major top-10 when 9th in the Chevron Championship and following her first missed cuts of the season two and three starts ago, she rediscovered her form to record a 21st-place finish in the Shoprite Classic last week.

She is gaining strokes right across her tee-to-green game this season and ranks 25th overall, which aides her in being among the top-5 par 5 scorers on tour. Though excelling with the driver, she is a solid top-40 around-the-greens and 55th in approach, whilst she has also been hitting plenty of greens, ranking 31st in greens-in-regulation.

The putter would be the one downfall, though hailing from California, she will be more comfortable than many on poa.

This is something that Noh has shown while amassing an impressive record in the Portland Classic, recording finishes of 2nd and 3rd, which should give her confidence that she can finally get the better of Blythefield CC this week.

You can find all Jamie's latest Golf Betting Tips over on our dedicated golf Insights hub.

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