The 2011 season on the LPGA Tour is finally underway. Rejoice! Let's get excited, even though the golfers are competing on the other side of the globe.
Since the time zone at the Honda LPGA Thailand is 12 hours ahead of East Coast time, play will officially begin in six hours, when Kristy McPherson and IK Kim tee off at 8:20am. And the Golf Channel will air delayed coverage of the event on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
With this new season comes new questions: Will the No. 1 spot on the Rolex Rankings change 11 times, like it did last year? Which players will fight for the No. 1 spot this season? (Yani Tseng, the newly minted world No. 1, will be competing in her first event as rankings queen.) And who will be the surprise contender who generates buzz?
Perhaps the biggest question, however, remains the same: Can the LPGA Tour successfully captivate an audience? Ron Sirak proposes a Super Tour to achieve that deed.
Until then, let's focus on play in Thailand. Among the more interesting pairings are Jiyai Shin and Cristie Kerr (11:32am), Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng (11:40am), Ai Miyazato and Suzann Pettersen (11:48am), and Michelle Wie and Na Yeon Choi (12:20am).
Here's to kicking off the season in thrilling fashion.
(Follow me on Twitter at @AshleyKMayo)