The LPGA Championship kicks off with plenty of star power

The LPGA Championship begins Thursday at New York's Locust Hill Country Club, and it's as stacked of a field as you could possibly imagine. The LPGA is still finding its footing in the post-Ochoa era, and this tournament, held at the longtime site of the Wegmans LPGA, has the opportunity to raise the profile of the LPGA another notch.

Over at Mostly Harmless, the mysterious writer known only as "The Constructivist" wonders whether anyone will be able to match up with Ai Miyazato, the one golfer who's stepped up in phenomenal fashion to fill the void left by Lorena Ochoa. (Four wins by June? Yeah, that's all right.) Ji-Yai Shin recently vacated the No. 1 spot, but she recently underwent an emergency appendectomy, and it's surprising she's even on the course, much less able to compete. Anna Nordqvist is the defending champion, and the field also includes heavyweights like Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Yani Tseng and Inbee Park. (And, yes, Michelle Wie is there too.)

Coming as it does during a relatively down week for the PGA — sorry, Traveler's Championship, but it's true — the LPGA Championship has a fine chance to grab some media space. What we need to see is a fine duel between several of the sport's new lights.

Naturally, this being the LPGA, you'll have to look fast to catch the TV coverage — it only gets two hours Thursday and Friday and only three hours on each weekend day, all of it on The Golf Channel. (See TV listings and more tourney specifics at Hound Dog LPGA.)

From a purely competitive standpoint, the LPGA is every bit the game the PGA is, so with any luck, many golf fans looking for their post-Pebble fix will find the LPGA Championship and get hooked. Hey, the play certainly isn't going to be any worse than what we saw at Pebble, right?