Lydia Ko, from New Zealand, watches her tee shot on the par three third hole during the final round of the Kia Classic women's golf tournament Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi
By AP News
Thursday, March 31, 2016

RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. (AP) Players to watch in the ANA Inspiration, the first of the five major championships in women's golf. Play begins Thursday at Mission Hills.

LYDIA KO

Lydia Ko, from New Zealand, watches her tee shot on the par three third hole during the final round of the Kia Classic women's golf tournament Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny

Lydia Ko, from New Zealand, watches her tee shot on the par three third hole during the final round of the Kia Classic women's golf tournament Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Age: 18

Country: New Zealand.

World ranking: 1.

LPGA Tour victories: 11.

Major victories: 1 (2015 Evian Championship).

At Mission Hills: Tied for 25th as an amateur in 2013. Has broken par in only four of 12 rounds.

Backspin: Won the Kia Classic last week in Carlsbad after finishing second the previous week in Phoenix in the Founders Cup. Also won the Ladies European Tour's New Zealand Women's Open in February. Won five times last season and was the tour's player of the year.

STACY LEWIS

Stacy Lewis of the United States poses with the golf bag during day one of the 2016 Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on February 25, 2016
2016 Getty Images

Age: 31.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 4.

LPGA Tour victories: 11.

Major victories: 2 (2011 ANA Inspiration, 2013 Women's British Open).

At Mission Hills: Won in 2011 for her first LPGA Tour title, beating Yani Tseng by three strokes. Tied for fifth as an amateur in 2007, tied for fourth in 2012, was third in 2014, and lost last year on the third hole of a playoff with Brittany Lincicome.

Backspin: Winless in 45 events since June 2014. Has nine runner-up finishes during the drought.

LEXI THOMPSON

Lexi Thompson, 2016 LPGA Thailand

Lexi Thompson celebrates after winning the 2016 LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club.
Getty Images

Age: 21.

Country: United States.

World ranking: 3.

LPGA Tour victories: 7.

Major victories: 1 (2014 ANA Inspiration).

At Mission Hills: Overpowered the course and overwhelmed Michelle Wie in 2014, closing with a 4-under 68 for a three-stroke victory.

Backspin: Won the Honda LPGA Thailand in February. Leads the tour in driving distance at 285.8 yards and greens in regulation at 83.1%.

INBEE PARK

Inbee Park, from South Korea, follows through with her tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Kia Classic women's golf tournament Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny

Inbee Park, from South Korea, follows through with her tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the Kia Classic women's golf tournament Sunday, March 27, 2016, in Carlsbad, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

Age: 27.

Country: South Korea.

World ranking: 2.

LPGA Tour victories: 17.

Major victories: 7 (2011, 2013 U.S. Women's Open; 2013 ANA Inspiration; 2013, 2014, 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship; 2015 Women's British Open).

At Mission Hills: Won in 2013, finishing at 15 under for a four-stroke victory.

Backspin: Finished second behind Lydia Ko last week in the Kia Classic. Appears to be over the back problem that forced her to withdraw from the first event of the season. Won five times last season to match Ko for the tour victory lead.

BRITTANY LINCICOME

Brittany Lincicome hits her tee shot on the ninth hole of the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic golf tournament, Friday, May 29, 2015, in Galloway Township, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel

Brittany Lincicome hits her tee shot on the ninth hole of the first round of the ShopRite LPGA Classic golf tournament, Friday, May 29, 2015, in Galloway Township, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel
AP Photo/Mel Evans

Age: 30

Country: United States.

World ranking: 18.

LPGA Tour victories: 6.

Major victories: 2 (2009, 2015 ANA Inspiration).

At Mission Hills: In 2009, hit a hybrid from 210 yards to four feet on the par-5 18th to set up a winning eagle. In 2010, made a 10-foot eagle putt on 18 in regulation, and beat Stacy Lewis with a par on third hole of a playoff.

Backspin: After opening the season T8 in the Bahamas and T16 in Ocala, Florida, the long-hitter has finished no better than a tie for 50th in her last four events. Trying to join Annika Sorenstam, Betsy King and Amy Alcott as the only three-time winners at Mission Hills.

SEI YOUNG KIM

Kim Sei-young, of South Korea, poses with the trophy after winning the JTBC Founders Cup golf tournament, Sunday, March 20, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick

Kim Sei-young, of South Korea, poses with the trophy after winning the JTBC Founders Cup golf tournament, Sunday, March 20, 2016, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick
AP Photo/Rick Scuteri

Age: 23

Country: South Korea.

World ranking: 5.

LPGA Tour victories: 4.

Major victories: 0.

At Mission Hills: Three strokes ahead entering the final round last year, shot a 75 to tie for fourth.

Backspin: Won the Founders Cup two weeks ago in Phoenix, shooting 63-66-70-62 to match Annika Sorenstam's LPGA Tour scoring record of 27 under. Tied for 24th last week in the Kia Classic. Won three times last season and was the rookie of the year.

HA NA JANG

Ha Na Jang LPGA Singapore 2016

Ha Na Jang celebrates an eagle on the 18th hole on her way to winning the HSBC Women's Champions at Sentosa Golf Club on March 6, 2016, in Singapore.
Getty Images

Age: 23

Country: South Korea.

World ranking: 6.

LPGA Tour victories: 2.

Major victories: 0.

At Mission Hills: Tied for 41st last year.

Backspin: Won two of the first five events of the season, taking the Coates Golf Championship in Florida in February and the HSBC Women's Champions in Singapore in March.

BROOKE HENDERSON

Canada's Brooke Henderson grew up in a house where the Olympics were the Super Bowl. She'll take that passion to Rio later this year.
Getty Images

Age: 18

Country: Canada.

World ranking: 7.

LPGA Tour victories: 1.

Major victories: 0.

At Mission Hills: Tied for 26th as an amateur in 2014.

Backspin: Won the Portland Classic last year by eight strokes to become the third-youngest champion in LPGA Tour history. She was 17 years, 11 months, 6 days. Has five straight top-10 finishes.

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