ORLANDO (REUTERS) - The LPGA's season-opening Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions will be played without the top three players in the world.
South Koreans Ko Jin Young, Kim Sei Young and Inbee Park all have bowed out of the tournament, which is set for Jan 21-24 at the Four Seasons Golf and Sports Club Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Park said in December at the CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Florida, that she was taking a break - one that could be lengthened given Covid-19 quarantine requirements.
"I don't think I'm going to make it back in time after I do a couple of weeks in quarantine," Park said at the CME, which ended on Dec 20. "It's just not going to be I think long enough for me."
The Tournament of Champions typically invites tour winners from the previous two seasons. Because of the scant number of events in 2020 due to the pandemic, winners from 2018 also were included in this year's event.
Other players skipping the event include Australians Hannah Green, Minjee Lee and Lydia Ko, Nasa Hataoka of Japan, sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn of Thailand, South Korean So Yeon Ryu and Michelle Wie West.
Gaby Lopez of Mexico is the defending champion. She is scheduled to compete in the event.