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Golf Fans: The LPGA Offers More Action

This weekend, golf fans should check out the women's LPGA Championship instead of the men's St. Jude's Classic.


golf fans

will be fixated on the wrong game this weekend.

They will watch the PGA Tour's St. Jude's Classic but they should check out


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LPGA Championship, which will offer far more excitement.

Yani Tseng will defend her title at the LPGA's second major game at the treacherous Bulle Rock golf course in Maryland. Tseng, last year's rookie of the year, will face a talented field that includes the only woman ahead of her in the world rankings, Lorena Ochoa, and Brittany Lincicome, who won the year's first major with a stunning final-hole eagle.

The field at the St. Jude Classic, held at the so-so TPC Southwind course in Memphis, includes defending champion Justin Leonard, Players Championship winner Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington. The roster wouldn't cause much swooning, except for two huge exceptions: Phil Mickelson and John Daly.

The tournament marks Mickelson's return from three-week hiatus brought on by his wife Amy's breast cancer diagnosis. At the Crowne Plaza Invitational on Saturday, the PGA Tour Wives Association organized a "pink out" celebration at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, asking players, caddies and fans to wear pink to raise awareness of the disease.

Published reports say Amy Mickelson's cancer was caught early. With her treatment set to begin in late June, Phil Mickelson decided to enter the U.S. Open next week.

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Daly, the troubled two-time major winner, returns after a six-month suspension from the PGA Tour after a series of unpleasant incidents. The player, who's getting divorced from his fourth wife, has a new girlfriend, a slimmer body after Lap-Band surgery and a new habit: Tweeting. But the eternal question remains: How much game does he have left?

The world's best women golfers will likely produce drama only through excellent play. The women, sadly, will be playing for $2 million as the men compete for $5 million.

You could forgive the LPGA Tour for its highly publicized attempts to allow players to send Twitter updates during tournaments. They're trying to cultivate support as their sponsors flee. Long-term sponsor McDonald's won't back the tournament after this year.

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Evan Rothman is a freelance writer living in Staatsburg, N.Y. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Men's Journal and other leading publications.