DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, January 10, 2013 - The LPGA today announced its return to a region rich in golf history with the announcement of the North Texas LPGA Shootout, to be held April 25 to 28, 2013 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas. The tournament is the Tour’s first in the North Texas region in more than 20 years, though the LPGA last made headlines in the area when LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame member Annika Sorenstam teed it up at the PGA TOUR’s Colonial Invitational in 2003.
The North Texas LPGA Shootout will also provide a unique opportunity for amateur players in the area to earn spots in the field through qualifying. Tournament exemptions will be awarded to the winners of a high school and collegiate “shootout” played in advance of the event. More information on the format of the qualifier will be announced at a later date. Tournament proceeds will benefit The Nexus Club which primarily supports and raises funds for the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf in North Texas.
Many of the LPGA’s current players were junior golf stars in Lone Star state including 2012 Rolex Player of the Year Stacy Lewis, five-time LPGA winner Angela Stanford, 2012 Rolex First-Time Winner Brittany Lang and Katie Futcher.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to play in my home state again,” said Stanford, a four-time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team and native of Saginaw, Texas. “North Texas is a community with a passionate golf fan base and I know they will love having the Tour in town.”
The $1.3 million North Texas LPGA Shootout will host a full-field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. The tournament will be the Tour’s first stop in the state of Texas since the 2009 LPGA Tour Championship Presented by Rolex, played outside Houston. It will also mark the Tour’s first stop in North Texas since the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open, won by 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain Meg Mallon at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth.
“Irving has a deep history of hosting premier golf events,” said Irving City Manager Tommy Gonzalez. “We roll out the red-carpet and provide athletes the comforts and amenities they need while competing. On top of that, we also have top-notch facilities that are accustomed to servicing large and passionate groups of sports fans. The LPGA will find Irving convenient, friendly and fun.”
“We are truly thrilled to return to the great state of Texas and to bring the LPGA Tour back to a region where we have a great history and passionate fans,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “It makes sense for the LPGA to be in North Texas and we look forward to showing golf fans in the region why it’s different on the LPGA.”
"Las Colinas Country Club’s Board of Governors and the members are thrilled the club has been selected as the site of the North Texas LPGA Shootout,” said Ron Woolard, Las Colinas general manager. “We are proud to welcome the LPGA players to North Texas and to showcase our great club, now celebrating 50 years of service to our members and the Irving community.”
“We are so excited to host this tournament, and the fact the LPGA is including North Texas high school and college female athletes further underscores the value of this event to Irving,” said Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne. “Irving is highly focused on providing opportunities for youth, and we are proud to host an event of this stature that will offer young women such a unique experience.”
“The LPGA has not had a tour event in North Texas in more than two decades and we are very excited about not only the tournament, but the unique format that it introduces,” said Kathy Wilkins, President of The Nexus Club. “For the first time, there will be a ‘shootout’ for North Texas high school and regional collegiate female golfers that will give the up-and-coming talent in our area an opportunity to tee it up with the world’s best golfers.”
She continued, “The tournament is a culmination of the community efforts of the City of Irving, the Irving-Las Colinas Chamber, the members of Las Colinas Country Club, and the dedicated members of the Nexus Club. Proceeds will benefit the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf of Dallas, an organization that supports young ladies who may not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to the game of golf and the life lessons that can empower their future.”
Jamie Hullett (Mesquite), Candie Kung (Allen), Gerina Piller (Plano) and Heather Bowie Young (Fort Worth) are all current North Texas residents, while the LPGA all-time wins leader, Kathy Whitworth, resides in nearby Flower Mound.