Gladstone, N.J. (March 6, 2012) – Tournament officials for the Sybase Match Play Championship have announced that the top-48 players from the 2012 LPGA Priority List are automatically qualified for the 2012 tournament. The qualifying criteria for the LPGA’s only match play tournament have been revised to ensure the best 2011 and 2012 performers are given the maximum chance of earning their place in the field. The top golfers in the world will return to Hamilton Farm Golf Club in Gladstone, NJ, May 14-20, 2012.
“We are excited to announce the first 48 competitors in our tournament, and we believe the qualification changes that we have made will allow more of the LPGA players to feel like they have a chance to play-in to the field with strong 2012 performances,” said tournament director Harry Hardy. “Our match play format will create many compelling head to head battles and we are offering fans the opportunity to enjoy this unique tournament for free, courtesy of our title sponsor Sybase.”
The field of 64 players will be determined as follows:
- Top 48 players from Category 1 on the 2012 LPGA Priority List
- Two (2) sponsor invites as determined by the sponsor, who may or may not be members of the LPGA
- Top two (2) finishers, not otherwise qualified, after the completion of the 2nd round of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic (April 26-27) provided that, if the defending champion is not in the field, the total available qualifying spots will be one
- Top twelve (12) players from the 2012 LPGA Official Money List at the conclusion of the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic (April 29), not otherwise qualified by the bullets listed above
Defending champion Suzann Pettersen will return after a strong 2011 campaign. Pettersen defeated Cristie Kerr in last year’s final match 1-up to win the $375,000 champion’s payday. Pettersen, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, won twice in 2011 and finished the year fifth on the money list. Runner-up Kerr will also return after a strong year in which she finished second on the money list.
Reigning LPGA Player of the Year and No. 1 ranked golfer in the world Yani Tseng leads the pack of contenders after her remarkable 2011 season. Tseng became the youngest player, male or female, to capture five major titles after winning both the LPGA Championship and the Women’s British Open. Ranking at the top of the 2011 money list with nearly $3 million earned, Tseng won seven times last year and finished in the top-10 in 14 of 22 appearances.
Rounding out the top-five on the 2012 LPGA Priority List, and also qualified, are Na Yeon Choi and Stacy Lewis. Other notables that earned their tournament spots through the 2012 LPGA Priority List are Brittany Lincicome (No. 6), Paula Creamer (No. 9), Morgan Pressel (No. 13), Karrie Webb (No. 14) and Michelle Wie (No. 18).
For a limited time, fans can text the word LPGA to 792273 (“SYBASE”) to obtain two free daily tickets to the Sybase Match Play Championship. Fans will then receive a response message with a promotional code valid for two free daily tickets to be redeemed online at www.sybasematchplaychampionship.com. Limited quantities of free tickets are available.