"We are looking forward to capping off the 2012 season with our final event this weekend," said Jane Blalock, president and CEO of The Legends Tour. "We also expect the competition to be fierce with our best-ever tournament field at this year's ISPS Open Championship."
Headlining the field will be 81-time worldwide winner Laura Davies of Great Britain, who will be making her debut on the Legends Tour -- the tour for LPGA Tour members age 45 and over. Davies owns 20 LPGA victories and is closing in on points that would make her eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The championship will offer a purse of $220,000 and will feature a field of 44 Legends of the LPGA, including Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, JoAnne Carner, Jan Stephenson, defending champion Michele Redman and past Legends Tour Open champions Rosie Jones and Sherri Steinhauer.
Players in this year’s tournament field boast a combined 450 wins and 52 major championships on the LPGA Tour. Contestants in the event also own a combined 39 wins on The Legends Tour. In addition, eight Hall of Famers will compete in the event.
A local qualifying tournament will be held at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 8, on the Island Course to determine the final spot in the field. Among those attempting to qualify will be past LPGA winners Laurel Kean and Patti Rizzo, now the women’s head golf coach at the University of Miami.
Final tee times and pairings for Saturday’s first round will be announced Friday morning. Professionals will be re-paired for Sunday’s final round based on Saturday’s scores, with the leaders teeing off last.
Defending champion Michele Redman won by two strokes last year over the event’s 2010 champion, Rosie Jones. Redman, who won twice on the LPGA Tour, earned her first Legends Tour win at last year’s championship. She is retired from the LPGA Tour and is now the head women’s golf coach at the University of Minnesota.
This year’s trophy ceremony and check presentation will take place on the first tee immediately following the conclusion of play. The ceremony will feature a paratrooper landing on the fairway of hole No. 1 from 12,500 feet to honor the troops and to coincide with Veterans Day.
The tournament’s weekend schedule also includes a Vendor Expo on Saturday and Sunday. The Expo will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days and will be located around the practice green behind the clubhouse.
In addition, the 2nd annual Birdie Walk, a front-nine circuit with six checkpoints, will be open on both Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fans may register in the United Healthcare tent at the expo. The Birdie Walk is free to tournament ticket holders.
Gates open each day at 7:30 a.m. Public parking is free in the lot at Belcher and Klosterman Roads. It includes complimentary SuperShuttle service to and from the clubhouse. Saturday and Sunday’s tee times start at 8 a.m., with play concluding at approximately 3:30 p.m.
Tickets are $10 per day per adult. One hundred percent of ticket proceeds support the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. Kids under 17 and military personnel with ID get in free. Military service men and women receive a credential at the gate for themselves and a guest to gain access to a special hospitality area adjacent to the ninth green, sponsored by Transitions.
For more information, please visit www.thelegendstour.com.