Watch CBSN Live

Neumann Defend's Ping Tourney

Liselotte Neumann will try to defend last year's dramatic sudden-death win at Moon Valley Country Club. She will be leading a 144-player field at the Standard Register/Ping tournament beginning Thursday.

Neumann defeated Rosie Jones on the third hole of a playoff last year to capture her 11th career victory. She added the Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship a month later.

Neumann was forced into the playoff when she bogeyed two of the last three holes.

"I can't believe she opened the door for me to start the playoff," Jones said. "The front nine was terrific, but I just couldn't get anything going on the back."

Neumann, who finished second twice last season prior to her win at Phoenix, started the final round with a four-shot lead on Jones and needed all of it, shooting a 1-over-par 74 while Jones closed with a 70. Neumann's victory ended Laura Davies' four-year win streak in the tournament.

The 6,435-yard, par-72 course will play host to each of the five tournament champions from the 1999 Tour season in Kelly Robbins, Meg Mallon, Karrie Webb, Catrin Nilsmark and Alison Nicholas.

Other prominent LPGA Tour players competing include Annika Sörenstam, Se Ri Pak, Helen Alfredsson, Juli Inkster and Dottie Park, making the field a star-studded affair. Amateur Grace Park, the 1998 U.S. Women's Amateur champion and 1998 NCAA Player of the Year, is playing in the event as well through a sponsor's exemption.

Inkster won last week's LPGA event, the Welch's/Circle K Championship in Tucson, Ariz., with a 15-under 273. Inkster's first title this year leaves her six points from the 27 needed to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame.

Eight former Standard Register/Ping tournament champions will also be vying for the $127,500 first-place check: four-time winner Davies, two-time winnes Danielle Ammaccapane and Pat Bradley, and one-time champions Mary Beth Zimmerman, Betsy King, Chris Johnson, Beth Daniel and Jan Stephenson, the winner in 1980.

© 1999 SportsLine USA, Inc. All rights reserved

View CBS News In