The LPGA Tour tees it up this week in Ohio for the 34th edition of the Marathon Classic, the fifth stop on its six-event stretch through the heartland of America (Arkansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio).
The Marathon Classic is the season’s 19th tournament, and will once again be contested at at Highland Meadows Golf Club which will play to a par-71, measuring just over 6,500 yards for the championship.
Jasmine Suwannapura returns to defend her 2018 title, alongside top-ranked stars Brooke Henderson, Minjee Lee, Lexi Thompson, and Sei Young Kim. Hometown hero Stacy Lewis will also headline.
Tournament: Marathon Classic
Dates: July 11-14, 2019
Where: Sylvania, Ohio
Title Sponsor: Marathon Oil
Course: Highland Meadows Golf Club
Distance: par-71, 6,512 yards
Architect: Sandy Alves (1925)
Format: 72-holes, stroke play, 36-hole cut
Winning Share: $225,000
Defending Champion: Jasmine Suwannapura
Watch & Follow
All times/dates via Golf Channel.
Rd 1: Thu 9-11 pm
Rd 2: Fri 9-11 pm
Rd 3: Sat 3-05 pm
Rd 4: Sun 3-05 pm
The Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I was first held in 1984 at Glengarry Country Club (presently Stone Oak Country Club), and remained until 1988 when it moved to its current venue, Highland Meadows Golf Club.
The tournament reportedly began as a dream of Toledo native, Judd Silverman. In 1982, then working as a PGA Tour caddy, Silverman came up with the idea of bringing an LPGA tournament to the Toledo region.
After getting approval from the Tour, and working out the logistics, Silverman, himself, secured the tournament’s first 12 founding sponsors, which covered the inaugural tournament’s full purse (then just $175,000).
Actor Jamie Farr agreed to lend his name to the event and brought his celebrity friends to the tournament, while the Toledo area McDonald’s franchises underwrote the operating expenses with the agreement that a portion of the money raised would benefit the Ronald McDonald House.
Since 1984, the tournament has donated millions of dollars to local children’s charities.
As one of the longest running events on the Tour’s schedule, winners of the Marathon Classic have included legends such as Laura Davies, Jane Geddes, Patty Sheehan, Meg Mallon, Paula Creamer, Annika Sorenstam, and five-time winner Se Ri Park.
2018: Jasmine Suwannapura (-14)
2017: In-Kyung Kim (-21)
2016: Lydia Ko (-14)
2015: Chella Choi (-14)
2014: Lydia Ko (-15)
2013: Beatriz Recari (-17)
2012: So Yeon Ryu (-20)
5 – Se Ri Park (1998-99, 2001, 2003, 2007)
2 – Penny Hammond (1985, 1989)
2 – Kelly Robbins (1994, 1997)
2 – Lydia Ko (2014, 2016)
261 (−23) – Se Ri Park (1998)
Thidapa Suwannapura fired a 6-under 65 and then edged Brittany Linicome in a playoff to win her maiden LPGA title at the Marathon Classic.
Suwannapura, who entered the day three off the lead of Brooke Henderson, seemed to have knocked herself out of contention after a bogey on the 16th hole dropped her four shots back of Henderson, who had just birdied the 14th to get to 15 under.
But as Henderson was making back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16 to drop to 13 under, Suwannapura closed eagle-birdie to reach 14-under par, which held up after Lincicome parred her way in and then lipped out for a birdie on the 72nd hole to also finish at 14 under.
On the first playoff hole, Lincicome hit her tee shot into a fairway bunker, and her second shot into the water hazard guarding the front of the green. While Lincicome managed to save par, it wasn’t enough as Suwannapura drained a five-foot birdie to claim victory.
Final Top 5
1. Thidapa Suwannapura -14 (-6)
2. Brittany Lincicome -14 (-4)
3. Brooke Henderson -13 (-2)
4. Austin Ernst -12 (-5)
5. Daniela Darquea -11 (-3)
5. Mirim Lee -11 (-3)
5. Emma Talley -11 (-3)
5. Jacqui Concolino -11 (-2)
The 144-player field in Ohio includes six of the world’s top-12 ranked players, including Minjee Lee (No. 3), Lexi Thompson (No. 4), Brooke Henderson (No. 8), Jeongeun Lee6 (No. 9). So Yeon Ryu (No. 11), and Sei Young Kim (No. 12).
Alongside defending champion Jasmine Suwannapura, and the aforementioned Ryu (2012), the field also includes three additional past Marathon Classic champions in Paula Creamer (2008), Na Yeon Choi (2010), and Chella Choi (2015).
The field is also highlighted by familiar names such as 12-time LPGA winner Stacy Lewis, Carlota Ciganda, Lizette Salas, Brittany Altomare, Annie Park, and Marisa Fassi.
The favorite is Thompson at 7-1 who enters off a win and two runner-ups in her last four starts. Henderson, who won the Meijer LPGA Classic, but has finished T41 and T30 in her last two starts,was next at 8-1, along with Lee and Ryu.
As for defending champion Suwannapura; she enters Ohio in poor form, having missed six cuts in her last 11 starts. On the 2019 season, the 26 year old Thai has posted just a single top 10 and one additional top 20.