GALLOWAY, N.J. — The LPGA Tour returns to New Jersey for the next two weeks, beginning with this week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic at Seaview, A Dolce Hotel, just 18 miles from Atlantic City.
The 54-hole tournament starts Friday and finishes on Sunday. It includes 16 players who competed in the recent Solheim Cup in early September, including defending champion Mel Reid, 2019 champion Lexi Thompson and two-time winner Anna Nordqvist. It has seven of the top 10 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, including Jin Young Ko (2), Inbee Park (3), Sei Young Kim (4), Hyo-Joo Kim (5), Yuka Saso (7), Danielle Kang (8) and Brooke Henderson (10).
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Next week, the golfers will travel north for the $3 million Cognizant Founders Cup at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell from Oct. 6-9.
With the circuit in a legal sports betting state for the next two weeks, the LPGA Tour will look to NJ sports betting as it seeks to attract more fans and more interest.
LPGA & BetMGM Deal
On May 12, the LPGA announced a multi-year agreement with BetMGM to become an official betting operator and partner of the LPGA Tour. It was the first betting partnership signed by the Tour.
For more than 4½ months, BetMGM has featured LPGA odds, alongside the PGA Tour, the European Tour and other global leagues and sporting events, and has used the official tour partner logo in connection with its advertising and promotion of sports betting products and services.
This week, the top golfers to win the Seaview tournament are Jin Young Ko (+850 with BetMGM), Hyo Joo Kim at +1100, Nasa Hataoka at +1600 (won last week’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and made two holes in one in the process), Thompson at +1800, then Kang, Inbee Park and Sei Young Kim at +2200.
All-Female Broadcast Team
“To me, the addition of betting in golf is creating a deeper engagement, and so I think there's a lot of positive outcome that could come from the addition of gambling with golf, because the fans are suddenly that much more interested in the outcome of what's going on,” said Paige Mackenzie, Golf Channel analyst, who will be part of an all-female broadcast team this week with Cara Banks, Karen Stupples, Kay Cockerill and Judy Rankin. It will be the first all-female golf broadcast team in U.S. television history.
"We're just seeing the very, very beginning of what can be, and I think the very first time I saw it integrated into a broadcast on one of the made-for-TV matches, it blew me away at what that could mean for the sport and how that will change the fan engagement and potentially growth of the fans that would access the sport,” Mackenzie said.
Through its partnership with MGM Resorts, BetMGM also has access to existing sponsor relationships with LPGA Tour members, including Nordqvist, Natalie Gulbis, Danielle Kang, Cristie Kerr, Alison Lee and Michelle Wie West.
In late May, MGM Resorts partnered with the LPGA Tour for the Bank of Hope LPGA Match-Play Hosted by Shadow Creek, the LPGA Tour’s first match-play event since 2017.
This week’s field boasts major champions, Hall-of-Famers and eight of the past 10 winners dating back to 2011.