PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The LPGA Tour has made its return to West Michigan as the 8th annual Meijer LPGA Tour is back in Belmont.
Several of past champions of the event are back in town including two-time Meijer LPGA Classic winner Brooke Henderson. The Canadian-born golfer hopes she can be the first three-time champ of the event.
“Lots of great memories here and, being a two-time champion, it's exciting to think, ‘I was here right in this spot and I putt into that hole and I made it,’” Henderson said. “And, ‘This is what happened after that.’ It's kind of nice to reflect on those memories and hopefully add it into the strategy this week.”
Henderson is not the only champ back in West Michigan. South Korea's So Yeon Ryu took home the crown in 2018 and is hopeful she can become a two-time champ like Henderson. Ryu hasn't been back to the Meijer LPGA Classic since 2019 and she likes all of the upgrades Blythefield.
“This golf course is always in good shape,” Ryu said. “I can see some of the changes: the putting green, the chipping green, everything has developed so much. I am actually really excited to play this tournament again.”
Many of the best golfers in the world are also in attendance including Inbee Park. The Korean golfer ranked sixth in the world on the LPGA Tour. Inbee has not won the Meijer LPGA Classic before, and she thinks maybe 2022 will be the year.
“I've came close a couple of times, and I have not quite won yet,” Inbee said. “Hopefully this year could be the year. The course looks like it's in great shape so I am really excited to play this golf course.”
The Meijer LPGA Tour is not only showcasing pro golfers but amateurs as well. Michigan State senior golfer Valery Plata will represent the Spartans as an amateur as she returns to the tournament for the second straight year. Plata knows playing alongside professional golfers will help her as she looks to turn pro in a year herself.
“Having a good week here is just the proof that you can be out with these girls and just play with them on a regular basis in the future,” Plata said. “It's a great confidence booster and also a great opportunity to learn.”
Practice rounds for the Meijer LPGA Classic continue on Wednesday with the first round of the tournament beginning on Thursday.
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