5 burning questions for the 2024 LPGA season

rose zhang swings during the 2023 cme group tour championship

The 2024 LPGA season kicks off this week in Florida at Lake Nona.

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Golf’s short offseason is over and the 2024 campaign is now underway. While the men began their season two weeks ago in Hawaii, the ladies are kicking off their slate this week in Florida.

The Tournament of Champions — featuring winners from the past two seasons — is being played this week at Lake Nona and marks the start of a schedule that wraps globe. Over the next 11 months, the LPGA Tour will play 33 events, visiting 10 countries with millions of prize money up for grabs.

Here are five burning questions we have about the season ahead.

1. Will the superstars get back on track?

Lexi Thompson is hoping to return to prominence in 2024. Getty Images

The 2023 season was tough sledding for the biggest names in the sport. While players like Lilia Vu and Celine Boutier had breakout campaigns, the superstars fell by the wayside.

Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson and Brooke Henderson — some of the most populars players on tour — combined for just a single win all season, and were seldom in the mix at any of the major championships. Korda failed to win for the first time since 2020, while Ko fell from No. 1 in the world all the way out of the top 10. Thompson wandered through the wilderness for much of the year, and Henderson couldn’t find the winner’s circle after a win in the season-opening event.

For those rooting for the big names to return to prominence, there is some good news. This isn’t the first time Ko has had a poor year, and she’s returned to the top from the depths before. Thompson struggled for much of 2023, but her finish to the year inspired confidence that she’s climbing back to the top. Korda battled injuries that can explain her quiet season, and Henderson came close to a major win in France.

Sure, it wasn’t the best year for the big names, but there is reason to think 2024 will be different. Will they prove last year was just an aberration?

2. Who’s headed to Paris?

Nelly Korda will seek to defend her Olympic gold in Paris. Getty Images

It’s an Olympic year, and that means it’s time to start speculating on who’s headed to represent their countries. The field will include the top 60 in the Rolex Rankings, with a limit of four golfers per country among those inside the top 15. Outside of the top 15, countries are allotted a maximum of two players.

For the U.S. and South Korea, four spots will fill up quickly. The Americans currently have four players inside the top 15 (Lilia Vu, Nelly Korda, Allisen Corpuz and Megan Khang), while South Korea has three (Jin Young Ko, Hyo-Joo Kim and Ji Yai Shin), with Any Yang sitting at 16.

The race for the two spots among other countries will be fierce as well. As of today, Sweden, Japan, Australia, Thailand and England all have three or more players inside the top 100 in the Rolex Ranking, and all of them will have their sights set on making it to Paris.

3. Is Rose Zhang for real?

Can Rose Zhang become America’s next superstar? Getty Images

Rose Zhang had a storied amateur career, and she wasted no time making herself known in the pro ranks.

In her first professional tournament at the Mizuho Americas Open last spring, she won in a playoff, earning her LPGA card and cementing her spot on the U.S. Solheim Cup team. She continued her momentum from there, finishing in the top 10 in three of her next four starts (all majors), as she quickly became one of the brightest young stars on tour.

The remainder of the season wasn’t quite so fruitful. She carded just one more top 10 on the season and went winless in her Solheim Cup debut, proving that even for the brightest prodigies, growing pains are to be expected.

Zhang arrived at this week’s season opener reinvigorated. With a renewed focus on fitness and nutrition, the 20-year-old is poised for a huge sophomore campaign. The question is, can she live up to all the expectations?

4. Can Team Europe continue their dominance?

Team Europe is looking to continue their Solheim Cup hot streak. Getty Images

The Solheim Cup was once dominated by the Americans, but over the past decade, Team Europe has become the aggressor. Since 2011, the Euros are 4-2-1 in the biennial team competition, retaining the Cup last fall with a 14-14 tie in Spain.

After Covid forced the Ryder Cup to move to odd years, the Solheim Cup opted to move back to even years, so the Cup will once again be up for grabs in 2024. Robert Trent Jones Golf Club will play host as the Americans look to end their longest drought without the Cup since the founding of the event.

Can Stacy Lewis put together a team that can win back the Cup?

5. Will Jin Young Ko break her major drought?

Jin Young Ko has not won a major since 2019. Getty Images

Jin Young Ko is one of the best ball strikers of all time on the LPGA Tour, and her resume is among the most impressive of her contemporaries. She’s won each season since 2017 and owns two major titles during that timeframe. It’s a stout CV, no doubt, but with her skillset, it’s fair to wonder why she hasn’t won more majors.

Since 2019, when Ko won two majors, she’s racked up seven top 10s, but she hasn’t seriously threatened the eventual champ very often. Of those seven top 10s, just two have been top 5s, and only one was a runner up.

When Ko rocketed to the top of the sport five years ago, there was talk that double digit major wins could be in play. Half a decade later, though, and she’s still stuck with two. Will this be the year Ko breaks the drought?

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