The best of the best on the LPGA Tour made their way to California and the Mission Hills Country Club for the ANA Inspiration this week. The season’s first major championship would host the strongest field of 2017 with each of the world’s top-25 players making the event for the first time this season. World No. 1 and defending champion Lydia Ko was to headline this event once again.
But for the day, play at the LPGA’s ANA Inspiration was suspended after strong winds hit the Mission Hills Country Club, causing problems for players on the course.
Top players such as World No. 1 and defending champion Lydia Ko were among those on the course when play was suspended. Ko was 2-under through five holes.
Golfers were allowed to finish the hole they were playing when play was suspended, but were then ushered off the course by officials.
The event resumed this morning, and for betting purposes we must recognize that the biggest surprise might be the fact that Ko isn’t even considered the sports betting favorite to win this event. In fact, Ko is listed at +1600 odds, which would place her outside the top-eight in terms of the sports betting favorites for this event. Ko is coming off a rare missed cut at the KIA Classic. However, it’s still shocking to see her so far down the list among the sports betting favorites for this week.
The key stat to keep an eye on this week is Greens In Regulation. This course doesn’t demand incredible power or accuracy off of the tee. However, GIR and Putting numbers should be the key to success. Ko won this tournament a year ago with a 12-under score. However, two of the last five winners failed to crack double digits in terms of their final score.
While the biggest surprise is that Ko is listed at +1600 odds, it isn’t the only surprise. Sung-Hyun Park is the favorite at +1000 while some sites have Ariya Jutanugarn and In Gee Chun available at the same price. Shanshan Feng is listed at +1400 odds along with Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu. Meanwhile, Lexi Thompson is also among those listed ahead of Ko according to the sports betting odds. Thompson is available at +1500 odds to win this event outright.
Park is off to a strong start to this season with four straight top-25 finishes including a win at the HSBC Women’s Champions. The 2013 winner is in excellent form and we fully expect another strong performance from her this week. Meanwhile, Thompson won here in 2014 but she hasn’t been nearly as consistent early on this season. Thompson hasn’t finished higher than 11th in any of her last three starts, including a missed cut at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup. Thompson won’t fall too far down the leaderboard this week. However, it’s unlikely she will finish ahead of Park at the ANA Inspiration.
Considering the overall value, it’s almost impossible to ignore Ko as a top-five pick. Sign up at Heritagesports