The LPGA Tour's Biggest Stars Return to Hollywood for the JM Eagle LA Championship
By Amy Rogers
The biggest stars in the world call the Los Angeles area home. And, for this one week in April, the greatest talents in women’s golf descend on Hollywood for the inaugural JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro.
The first edition of this brand new tournament at Wilshire Country Club features eight of the top 10 in the Rolex Rankings and 17 of the top 20 in the world. Nelly Korda headlines the field, back at No. 1 in the world rankings following her third place finish at last week’s Chevron Championship. She’s joined in L.A. by all of this season’s winners so far in Brooke Henderson, Jin Young Ko, Celine Boutier, Ruoning Yin, Grace Kim, and Lilia Vu, who became the first-two time winner of the season when she captured last week’s Chevron Championship.
“It's nostalgia, and there's really no golf course quite like Wilshire,” Vu said, just days removed from her major victory. “I don't think you can really compare it to anything in my opinion because they're just so different from the typical surrounding L.A. courses around here. It's not easy. Putting is going to be difficult. I think it's going to be difficult for everybody.”
A total of 144 players will compete over 72 holes for one of the biggest purses outside the majors at $3 million, which is double the purse players had previously competed for at Wilshire Country Club.
The course has hosted the LPGA Tour since 2018 with Moriya Jutanugarn (2018), Minjee Lee (2019), Brooke Henderson (2021), and Nasa Hataoka (2022) all hoisting the trophy at the legendary venue in Hollywood. And they’re each making a return this week to California. Natalie Gulbis, Muni He, and Heather Lin also join the field on sponsor exemptions.
"Playing near my home in Newport Beach, I am beyond excited to have the opportunity play in the inaugural JM Eagle LA Championship presented by Plastpro at Wilshire Country Club," Gulbis said about getting into the field. "It's extraordinary what JM Eagle and Plastpro are doing with this inaugural championship in elevating the tournament purse to $3 million and channeling a passion for empowering women athletes - that's everything that I want for women's golf."
Of course it wouldn’t be a trip to Los Angeles without a few celebrity sightings and there have been a few at the course already this week. Actress Kathryn Newton, who is also an avid golfer, competed in the pro-am on Monday. And Wednesday’s pro-am features Maroon 5 drummer Matt Flynn and New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre.
"I think it's always awesome to just see someone that you've seen on the big creen in real life," said Allisen Corpuz, who attended the nearby University of Southern California and still calls the area home. "I think it's a pretty special course with the rerouting for the week, having 18 being that par-3 with the grandstands. Definittely feel really comfortable just feeling like I'm at my second home this week. But I'm really grateful that I went to USC, really grateful that I'm still in L.A. and year, super cool just to be able to see the Hollywood sign from the course,"
Play begins Thursday with all four rounds televised on Golf Channel. Coverage will air live on Thursday and Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. ET. On Saturday and Sunday, coverage airs live from 6:00-9:00 p.m. ET.