The Safeway Classic Presented by Coca-Cola will take place Aug. 15-21 in Portland, OR and the field for the event is set to be one of the strongest on the LPGA Tour this year. The 40th edition of the tournament will feature the top 20 players on the 2011 LPGA Official Money List, and 97 of the top 100. Defending champion Ai Miyazato along with Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings #1 and Ricoh Women’s British Open winner Yani Tseng highlight the field. In addition 2008 Safeway Classic champion Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer, Jiyah Shin, Suzann Pettersen and Michelle Wie are also entered. Additionally, LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame members Karrie Webb, Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak are scheduled to play.
The sponsor’s exemptions this year include Lexi Thompson, the 16-year old, who dominated the first stage of LPGA Q-school last week, winning by 10 shots. Tour veteran Kris Tschetter has also been granted an exemption. The third spot belongs to Salem, Oregon high school senior Ashlee Pickerell, who earned a spot in the tournament by winning the Safeway Classic Amateur Open on July 25th.
The 54-hole tournament will be played from Friday Aug. 19 -Sunday Aug. 21 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club’s Ghost Creek Course. Pumpkin Ridge is located west of Portland in North Plains. The purse for the event this year is $1.5 million. All three days of tournament play will be broadcast on Golf Channel. Pro-Am events and practice rounds will be held from Monday through Thursday Aug. 15-18.
“We are thrilled with the strength of our field this year. Not only do we have the top 20 on the money list, but the depth of the field is just outstanding,” said Tom Maletis, President of Tournament Golf Foundation, the tournament organizer. “It is a tribute to our long history with the LPGA, the commitment of Safeway to the Tour, the players love for playing golf in Oregon and their experience the last several years at Pumpkin Ridge.”
Proceeds from the event benefit children’s charities in Oregon through the Safeway Foundation. Last year the tournament raised $1 million for programs in need and has raised over $12 million during the 15 years with Safeway as title sponsor, and over $15 million in the 39-year history of the event.
The best value for fans interested in attending the Safeway Classic is to spend $35 at any local Safeway store in Oregon or Southwest Washington. With the purchase they will get a coupon good for two any day admissions to the tournament. Children under 17 get in free with a ticketed adult.
Fans can also log on to the tournament website and purchase tickets through the West Coast Bank Tickets Fore Charity program and designate one of over 30 charities that will receive 100% of the revenue from their ticket purchase.
For more information on the Safeway Classic, visit www.safewayclassic.com.