With the LPGA Tour back after a week off, several questions left hanging in Hawaii will be answered at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout.

The fifth edition will boast the strongest field in tournament history, adding to the intrigue of the 72-hole event. Most of the top 20 in the Rolex Rankings, including the entire top 10, are expected at Las Colinas Country Club this week.

Lydia Ko sits atop the world rankings and the list of Shootout subplots. The phenom will generate news simply by arriving. The big question: Who will be her caddie?

After finishing tied for second at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii two weeks ago, Ko parted with Gary Matthews after just nine events together.

Matthews, who has worked for Sergio Garcia, Anthony Kim, Trevor Immelman and Camilo Villegas, lives in Dallas.

Matthews told Golf Digest/Golf World’s Tim Rosaforte that Ko “needs to wake up” in terms of caddie-player relationships and noted a “lack of communication” in the Ko entourage. Michael Yim, Ko’s agent, said the firing was more of a personality clash. He said the phenom, who recently turned 20, “needed a friend out there.”

Ko packed a lot of drama for her meteoric rise. She already has been through nine caddies. Matthews took over for Jason Hamilton, who was fired in October after teaming with Ko for 10 victories, including two majors.

Her 78-week stint at No. 1 has also featured the dumping of longtime swing coach David Leadbetter in December and a change from Callaway to PXG clubs. Ko, whose ranking was in jeopardy before her last start, kept hold of No. 1with her runner-up finish in Hawaii.

The Shootout also marks No. 5 Lexi Thompson’s first start since her controversial playoff loss at the ANA Inspiration three weeks ago.

Image result for Lydia Ko’s former caddie,

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Thompson’s playoff loss to So Yeon Ryu incited outrage from fans and fellow players. She received a four-stroke penalty during the final round for mismarking her ball, based on a video review from the third round prompted by a television viewer.

At the Shootout Thompson will speak about the ordeal for the first time since it happened. Thompson’s legion of followers has grown considerably since the incident. The Shootout will offer local fans the chance to see up close if the tough loss affects the major winner’s game. Thompson finished tied for fourth in 2015 and tied for sixth in 2014.

Veterans Inbee Park, a two-time champion, and Kristie Kerr claimed the first three Shootouts. But last year Jenny Shinn broke though for her first victory in 135 LPGA starts. Shinn will be back to defend her title. So too will Fort Worth’s Gerina Piller, who fell short in her quest for a breakthrough win. She tied for second after holding the 54-hole lead.

Piller skipped Hawaii to rest before her home tournament. “I just try to think of it as a new tournament,” Piller said last week. “Last year was last year; it wasn’t the result I wanted, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I was leading going into the last round. What more could you ask for in your hometown? I’m just really trying to focus on hitting good shots. If hit good shots, the results will take care of themselves.”

The shootout format of the tournament features two cuts; the first will be made after the second round (top 70 and ties), and the second after third round (top 50 and ties). The tournament also offers two high school and two college players the rare chance to qualify for a spot in the field. Tickets are available at LPGATX.com.

Bill Nichols is a Dallas freelance writer and longtime golf writer for The News.

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