Tourney draws world’s best LPGA players to ToledoWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The best female golfers in the country are coming to the Toledo area.
From Aug. 9-12, the city will host the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour for the 27th Jamie Farr Toledo Classic. After taking a year off the LPGA schedule, the event will make its return to the Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania.
“It’s great for the community to be able to watch the best players in the world,” said Judd Silverman, a former PGA caddie from Toledo who first brought the classic to Toledo in 1984.
Since its inception, the tournament has become a favorite stop for the LPGA. It was voted by the players as the fifth favorite tournament on the schedule.
This year’s roster of tournament entrants will bring the best the tour has to offer to Toledo. The field includes 18 of the top 20 players in the world rankings, including No. 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, who has held the top spot for the past 77 weeks. Also in the tournament is defending champion Na Yeon Choi, 2008 champion Paula Creamer, five-time Jamie Farr champion Se Ri Pak, Brittany Lincicome, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel and Michelle Wie.
Hometown fans will have an added reason to see the tournament in Stacy Lewis. The world’s No. 2 ranked player was born in Toledo and moved to Texas before attending The University of Arkansas from 2005-08. Lewis has two victories and 10 top-10 finishes this year, racking up $1,200,169 in earnings in 2012.
Lewis and the rest of the LPGA roster will have a chance to add to their earnings totals in Toledo with a $1.3 million total purse, up from a $175,000 purse in the tournament’s inaugural season. This year’s winner’s purse is $195,000.
To share in those winnings, however, the entrants will have to conquer Highland Meadows. The par-71 course, which opened in 1925, stretches 6,762 yards with the tournament course marked at 6,428 yards. It features narrow, hilly fairways and bunkered greens, as well as a creek that runs through seven of its holes.
“Highland Meadows is a shot-maker’s golf course,” Silverman said. “It is an old traditional parkland course that requires accurate tee shots. It’s always in excellent condition. Superintendent Dan Salois and his staff do a great job and the LPGA players look forward to coming back to Northwest Ohio every year to play the course in front of big crowds.”
Tournament organizers are hoping for a big crowd, but perhaps not for the reason you might think.
The Jamie Farr Toledo Classic will donate net proceeds from the tournament to 10 area charities. Those organizations include Aurora House, Boys & Girls Clubs of Toledo, Family and Child Abuse Prevention Center, Feed Lucas County Children, Kids Unlimited, Mom’s House, The Victory Center, YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio and the Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation.
Since 1984, the tournament has donated $7.4 million to more than 120 different charities. The financial benefits will also impact Toledo, as Silverman projected the tournament will have close to a $10 million impact on the local economy.
More than 1,000 volunteers keep the tournament running smoothly.
“It would not be possible to execute the event without the help and commitment of the volunteers,” Silverman said. “They are the backbone of a successful tournament.”
Daily tickets are $15 for weekdays or $20 for Saturday and Sunday. They are available at the gate or the three Shawn’s Irish Tavern locations. Weekly tickets are $50 and are available at the gate or at local Kroger stores. Weekly tickets include a pass for each day, including Aug. 6-8, which features daily special events. Kids 17 and younger get in free with an adult.
For more information, visit www.JamieFarrToledoClassic.com.