With the CPKC Women’s Open being played last week on the western coast of Canada in Vancouver, the Portland Classic is seeing many of the world’s top-ranked players make the short trip south to Portland, Ore. for this year’s event. Come Thursday, Columbia Edgewater Country Club will host one of the strongest fields in recent years with eight of the top 10 in the Rolex Rankings teeing it up in the 52nd edition of the Portland Classic. Here’s a look at some of the featured groups and tee times for round one.

Thursday, 7:59 a.m.* – Charley Hull/Linn Grant/Rose Zhang

The trio of Charley Hull, Linn Grant, and Rose Zhang are largely seeing Columbia Edgewater for the first time this week and will begin their trip around the towering pines at 7:59 a.m. local time on Thursday morning. Grant and Zhang, both first-time winners this season, are making their tournament debut in Portland while Hull will be competing in the event for the first time since 2018.

Hull is one of the hottest players this season as she arrives in Portland with three runner-up finishes through the first eight months of the season. She has a total of four top 10s on the year and will be well rested when she arrives in Portland as she has skipped the last two Tour stops and is making her first start since the AIG Women’s Open. Hull’s only other start in Portland came back in 2018 when she finished tied for 65th.

A Rolex First-Time winner at the Dana Open earlier this summer, Grant has been a player to watch this year with three top 10s this season. She picked up one of those top 10s last week at the CPKC Women’s Open where she finished tied for sixth and will look to ride that momentum into this week’s event in Portland where she is making her tournament debut.

Like Grant, Zhang earned her breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour earlier this season. Her maiden win came at the Mizuho Americas Open, which is one of three top 10s that the LPGA Tour rookie has racked up this year. She’ll be looking to regain that form as she arrives in Portland as she’s coming off back-to-back finishes outside the top 40, including a tie for 41st at last week’s CPKC Women’s Open. Like many of the tournaments the rookie is playing in her first year on Tour, Zhang is competing in the Portland Classic for the first time.

Thursday, 8:10 a.m.* – Nelly Korda/Lydia Ko/In-Kyung Kim

Major champions Nelly Korda, Lydia Ko, and In-Kyung Kim are grouped together for the opening rounds of the Portland Classic with their first round getting underway on Thursday morning at 8:10 a.m. local time.

Korda is making only her second start in Portland where she made her debut with a tie for 31st last season. The top-ranked American got off to a stellar start to her season with seven top 10s on the season thus far. She’ll be looking to get back on form as she’s coming off back-to-back rounds of 75 on the weekend at last week’s CPKC Women’s Open where she came away with a tie for 32nd.

Like Korda, Ko hasn’t had the sort of season she hoped for and her game has seemed far from the one which last season earned her the Rolex Player of the Year award. Ko comes into the Portland Classic off a disappointing 71st place finish at last week’s CPKC Women’s Open where she struggled with weekend rounds of 82-73. She’ll be looking to find the spark that earned her a victory on the Ladies European Tour at the start of the year and her lone top 10 finish on the LPGA Tour this season which came at the Honda LPGA Thailand back in February. Ko is making her fourth start at Columbia Edgewater Country Club and her first appearance since 2020. 

Similar to her playing partners, Kim is coming to Portland looking to get her game back on track. The AIG Women’s Open Champion has made just three of nine cuts this season, but she could find some success this week in Portland where she’s returning for the first time since 2016 when she finished tied for 13th.

Thursday, 1:10 p.m. – Andrea Lee/Lilia Vu/Atthaya Thitikul

A star-studded grouping featuring defending champion Andrea Lee, two-time major champion Lilia Vu, and reigning Rookie of the Year Atthaya Thitikul begin their Portland Classic on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. local time.

Lee earned her breakthrough win on the LPGA Tour in the 51st edition of the Portland Classic. Lee won in her third appearance in Portland, using her second round, 64, as a springboard to victory in which she closed with an impressive final round of 66 to capture her maiden title. The defending champion has been playing some of her best golf in recent weeks as she’s coming off a tie for 13th at last week’s CPKC Women’s Open, which is just the latest in a string of solid finishes after recording back-to-back top 10s in her two prior starts.

It’s tough not to like Vu’s chances this week in Portland. She’s not only the current Rolex Rankings World No. 1 but she’s already a three-time winner this season which includes two major titles at The Chevron Championship and AIG Women’s Open. Vu is making just her second appearance in Portland, but she made the most of her first start last year when she finished tied for third. The American will look to convert that top showing in 2022 into yet another win come the weekend.

While much has been made of Vu’s success this season, Thitikul has largely flown under the radar despite eight top 10s so far this year. She’ll be well rested for her trip around Columbia Edgewater as she’s making her first start since the AIG Women’s Open where she was tied for 36th in the final major of the year. Thitikul is making her tournament debut this week in Portland.

By Nadeem Faisal Baiga