Coming off an exciting week at the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown, the LPGA Tour returns to its regularly scheduled programming with the 12th playing of the Cognizant Founders Cup at Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton, N.J. With five past champions and eight of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings in the field, there’s sure to be plenty of action to follow, particularly from the players in this week’s featured groups:
Thursday, 7:59 a.m.
Laura Davies/Georgia Hall/Megan Khang
Twenty-time LPGA Tour winner Davies will make her first start of the year, teeing it up alongside Hall and Khang in the 7:59 a.m. pairing on Thursday, two players that have come close to hoisting a trophy already this season.
Hall recorded back-to-back runner-up finishes at the LPGA Drive On Championship at Superstition Mountain, where she lost in a playoff to eventual champion Celine Boutier, and the DIO Implant LA Open, where she missed a short birdie try to force a playoff with Rolex First-Time Winner Ruoning Yin. She then finished T6 in her next start at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei and T12 at The Chevron Championship, firing a final-round 4-under, 68 to catapult herself into the top 10.
Khang was in the conversation early in the week at the DIO Implant LA Open but faded on the weekend, ultimately finishing T13 at Palos Verdes Golf Club. The very next week, she was in a tie for second through two rounds at Chevron and entered the final round, tied for third at 9-under and one back of the lead. Though she fired a 2-over 74 on Sunday, it was still good enough to finish in a tie for ninth, her best result of the 2023 season. Finally, she finished T6 at the 2022 edition of the Cognizant Founders Cup, highlighted by a first-round, 8-under 64 that tied her career-low round on the LPGA Tour.
Thursday, 8:10 a.m.
Jennifer Kupcho/Patty Tavatanakit/Atthaya Thitikul
Last week at TPC Harding Park, LPGA Tour winners Tavatanakit and Thitikul played as teammates at Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown, helping the Thailand Team go 11-1-0 in their 12 total matches and giving the country its first-ever Crown title. The duo won all three of their four-ball matches as partners. Both dominated in singles on Sunday afternoon, with Tavatanakit showing glimpses of the player she was when she won The Chevron Championship and the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year title in her first season on Tour.
Kupcho has been struggling as of late, missing the cut in her last two starts, including the JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro and her title defense at The Chevron Championship. But Upper Montclair is a place that suits her game as the three-time LPGA Tour winner finished in a tie for 17th in the 2022 edition of the Cognizant Founders Cup.
Thursday 8:21 a.m.
Hannah Green/Lydia Ko/Nelly Korda
Green is the LPGA Tour’s most recent champion, capturing her third career title at the JM Eagle LA Championship in a playoff with Aditi Ashok and Xiyu Lin a couple of weeks ago at Wilshire Country Club. The 26-year-old continued that form at the International Crown, winning 2 and ½ points for the Australia Team en route to their second-place showing. This is her first Founders Cup since 2021, when Green finished in a tie for 42nd.
Ko is making just her fifth start of the 2023 LPGA Tour season and first since missing the cut at The Chevron Championship. She recorded five top-10 finishes in the Founders Cup when it was played at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix, Ariz., but has only teed it up in the event once since it was moved to the northeast, finishing T12 last year at Upper Montclair.
With caddie Jason McDede on a short paternity leave, Korda has Joe LaCava, Tiger Woods’ former caddie, on the bag this week in New Jersey. The Rolex Rankings No. 1 has been in fine form this season, finishing in the top six in her previous seven starts, including a runner-up performance at the HSBC Women’s World Championship. Like Green, Korda comes to the Garden State fresh off the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown, where she helped the United States Team take home third-place honors, winning three of her five total matches.