Tournament of Champions 2023: How to watch, who’s playing in the LPGA’s season opener

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The LPGA kicks off its 74th season this week in Orlando, Florida, which is ranked No. 16 in the world. Danielle Kang looks set to defend her 2022 title at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club. The field consists of 29 tournament winners from the past two seasons, along with 53 famous players, who will participate in a unique event starting Thursday. The event format features 72 holes of stroke play for the pros and a 72-hole Modified Stableford format for the celebs.

The Tournament of Champions is the first of 33 events for the 2023 LPGA season, with a record prize pool of $104.5 million. The prize money for the TOC is $1.5 million (equivalent to the smallest on the LPGA schedule), with $225,000 going to the champion. The celebrity and amateur purse is $500,000, with the winner taking home $100,000.

How to watch the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

You can watch the 2023 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions on Golf Channel, Peacock, NBC, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app. Here’s the full TV and streaming schedule:

  • Thursday January 19: 12pm-3pm ET, Golf Channel and Peacock

  • Friday January 20: 12pm-3pm ET, Golf Channel and Peacock

  • Saturday January 21: 12pm-3pm ET, Golf Channel and Peacock

  • Sunday January 22: 2-5 p.m. ET, NBC and Peacock

Who is playing in the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

The field of the Tournament of Champions 2023 will be crowned by the world number 2 Nellie Kordawho recently announced new sponsorship deals with Nike and TaylorMade, runner-up No. 7 last year Brooke Henderson and newly minted Hilton Grand Vacations Brand Ambassador No. 10 Nasa Hataoka. Celebrities include Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam“Today” show co-host Dylan Dreyerand former Red Sox star Derek Lowewho defeated Sorenstam on the first playoff hole and won the celebrity/amateur portion of the event last year.

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Also in the field are a slew of last year’s first-time LPGA winners, who will make their Tournament of Champions debut, including:

  • Jennifer Kopcho2022 Chevron Championship

  • Leona Maguire2022 LPGA Drive On Championship

  • Andrew Lee2022 Amazing Cre Portland Classic

  • Ayaka Furue2022 Women’s Trust Golf Scottish Open

  • Jodi Ewart Shadoff2022 LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship

  • Ashleigh BuhaiAIG Women’s Open 2022

  • Nanna Kurtz Madsen2022 Honda LPGA Thailand

  • Paula RetoCP Women’s Open 2022

  • Gemma Dryburgh2022 TOTO Japan classic

  • Maya Stark2022 ISPS Handa World Invitational

Notable absentees this week include world No. 1 Lydia Kowho is still on her honeymoon after her wedding on December 30 and the big winners of 2022 Mini Lee (U.S. Women’s Open) and In Gee Chun (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship). Last year’s Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year, No. 4 Atthaya Thitifkul, and no. 9 Hyo Joo Kim did not go to the event, while No. 6 Lexi Thompson was ineligible, as her last LPGA win was in 2019.

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Previous winners of the LPGAs Tournament of champions

YEAR

WINNER

SCORE

MARGIN

SECOND PLACE

2022

Danielle Kang (UNITED STATES)

16-under 272

3 strokes

Brooke Henderson

2021

Jessica Korda (UNITED STATES)

24-under 260

won in the playoffs

Danielle Kang

2020

Gabriel Lopez (Mexico)

13-under 271

won in the playoffs

Inbee Park, Nasa Hataoka

2019

Eun Hee Ji (South Korea)

14-under 270

2 strokes

Mirim Lee

Format for the Tournament of Champions 2023

The LPGA Professionals will compete in a 72-hole no-cut stroke play event, while the Celebrities and Amateurs will use the Modified Stableford scoring system. The player with the most points at the end of the tournament is crowned champion. A quick refresher on the Modified Stableford format:

  • Double bogey = 0 points

  • Bogey = 1 point

  • Par = 2 points

  • Birdie = 3 points

  • Eagle = 5 points

  • Hole-in-One = 8 points

  • Albatross = 10 points

Last year at the Tournament of Champions 2022

After losing Jessica Korda in a play-off at the TOC 2021, Danielle Kang exacted a bit of revenge at Lake Nona in 2022. She fired the low round of the day in Sunday’s final round — a 4-under 68 — to win by three shots over Brooke Henderson. Kang was the only player in the field to card four rounds in the 1960s, finishing 16-under 272 to secure her sixth career LPGA title.

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She played just 18 events last year and sat out most of the summer after revealing last June that she had a tumor on her spine. The now 30-year-old returned to competition in late August and racked up three top 10s over seven starts to finish the season, including a solo runner-up at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship and a T-3 at the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship.

More about Lake Nona Golf & Country Club

Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, located in Orlando, Florida, was designed by Tom Fazio and opened in 1986. The par-72 layout extends to 6,617 yards and was notably the site of the inaugural Solheim Cup in 1990 when the United States defeated Europe 11½ to 4½. The classic Fazio creation – his first solo design – has four par 5s and four par 3s and is home to 16 LPGA and Ladies’ European Tour players.

The NBC Sports golf research team contributed to this report.

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Tournament of Champions 2023: How to watch, who’s playing in the LPGA’s season opener originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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