GLADSTONE, N.J. (AP) — The top 44 players on the LPGA’s official money list are part of the preliminary field list for the LPGA Sybase Match Play Championship in two weeks at the Hamilton Farm Club.
Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer confirmed Monday they will play in the event scheduled for May 19-22.
“I’m looking forward to the Sybase Match Play Championship,” said Wie, who finished second in the Honda LPGA Thailand Open earlier this year. “Last year, I made the quarterfinals, and this year, my goal is to make it much further.”
Also entered are Yani Tseng, the leading money winner on the women’s tour this year, and defending champion Sun Young Yoo, who posted her first LPGA win last year by beating Angela Stanford in the final.
Stanford is back along with notables Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb, Morgan Pressel, Jiyai Shin and Cristie Kerr.
“We are the best field we can be,” Andy Bush, the tournament’s executive director, said Monday at media day. “We are all very excited.”
Tournament officials also have a sponsor’s exemption left to give out. Among those who might merit consideration are Natalie Gulbis and 16-year-old Alexis Thompson, who shared the lead entering the final round of this past weekend’s Avnet LPGA Classic before faltering and missing out on a bid to become the tour’s youngest winner.
This is the second year that the match play tournament will be held at Hamilton Farm with Sybase as the sponsor.
“Last year, we thought announcing it in late January and pulling it off in May, we didn’t quite get to do everything we wanted to do,” Bush said. “This year has been outstanding. We have a lot of new partnerships to make the event stronger.”
Sybase and Hamilton Farm have committed to holding the tournament through next year.
“The event is very healthy and very strong,” Bush said. “We hope that sometime this summer we can announce a longer future outside our commitment through ’12 to both Hamilton Farm and Sybase. The match play format is going to stick around at least this year and next year, and then we’ll re-evaluate.”
During April, more than nine inches of rain fell on the course, but tournament officials said it is drying out and should not present any problems for event.
Creamer posted her first LPGA Tour career victory at the 2005 Sybase Classic when it was a stroke play event. She has seen additional success at Sybase-sponsored events in the past, finishing tied for third with Wie in 2009, when the event was held at the Upper Montclair Country Club in Clifton.
“It will be such a great tune up for The Solheim Cup,” said Creamer, who has two top five finishes this year. “I have a great relationship with Sybase and such great memories of winning my first LPGA event with them as the sponsor.”
The top 10 players on the U.S. Solheim Cup point list are all entered in the match play event, Bush said.