(ATLANTA) – A field of 30 LPGA Legends made their way to the Country Club of Roswell today to get ready for the inaugural Judson Collegiate Invitational and Legends Tour Atlanta Pro-Am hosted by 5-time Legends Tour Champion and Atlanta area resident Rosie Jones. Practice rounds are underway as the Legends, along with 42 college students from across the nation, prepare to play in Sunday's pro-am and Monday's competitive stroke play round.
“The course is playing even longer than it typically does thanks to 10 inches of rain we’ve had in the last two days,” notes Jones, a 13-time LPGA Tour Winner and the 2011 Solheim Cup Captain of the U.S. squad. “To score well, you’re going to have to be pretty accurate with your irons coming into the greens and be on the right side of the hole. I think with it only being an 18-hole event on Monday, you’re going to see a score of maybe a couple under par win it.”
Current and former Atlanta area residents and Legends professionals Jenny Lidback and Gail Graham agree that the course will pose a healthy challenge for their Tour peers this weekend.
“It’s got a little bit of everything,” observes Lidback, a past major champion on the LPGA Tour with one top ten finish thus far on The Legends Tour. “It’s got pretty severe uphill holes, downhill, dogleg lefts, dogleg rights and it’s pretty narrow so you have to drive it well.”
Graham, twice a winner on the LPGA Tour, concurred that driving accuracy will be key to scoring well enough to be in contention. “There are a lot of elevation changes from tees to greens so you’ll want to keep it in the fairway,” points out Gail, “and that will be my strategy along with firing at the pins. We’ve only got 18 holes so you gotta go for it, take dead aim and take no prisoners.”
LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members in the Legends field include Nancy Lopez, Beth Daniel, Pat Bradley, Amy Alcott, Donna Caponi and Hollis Stacy. Most recent Legends Tour champion Sherri Turner, who won last month’s Hannaford Community Challenge in Portland, Maine, will also appear. Other Legends notables include Legends career money leader Jan Stephenson, 27-time LPGA Tour champion Jane Blalock and Legends past major champion, Sherri Steinhauer. Kathy Whitworth, LPGA Hall of Famer and the winningest professional in the history of the game, will lead a team in the pro-am.
Legends professionals will tee it up in a pro-am on Sunday, July 15 and an 18-hole tournament on Monday, July 16. The collegiate golfers will play alongside the Legends on Monday for the first round of their own competition and then go on to play second and final rounds on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.
Tickets are $10 per day per adult and free to kids under 17 as well as military personnel. They can be purchased at the gate, which opens at 11:00 a.m. for Sunday’s pro-am and 8:00 a.m. for Monday’s tournament. More details can be found at www.thelegendstour.com.
Photo Attached: Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, Tournament Host Rosie JonesPhoto Credit: Rick Sharp and Kay Bagwell