Top Storylines for the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic

Week of May 20, 2013
Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Ocean Club Golf Course
Atlantis, Paradise Island
Nassau, Bahamas

 

Top Storylines

Paradise Awaits the LPGA: A world-class field will tee it up in Paradise this week at the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. The tournament, one of three new tournaments on the 2013 LPGA schedule, is a four-day, 72-hole stroke-play event with a $1.3 million purse and a $195,000 first-place check. Every 2013 tournament winner is in the field including 21-year-old Jennifer Johnson, who became a Rolex First-Time Winner at last week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic.

The Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis, Paradise Island will play host to the LPGA for the first time this week. The course was originally designed by Dick Wilson and opened in 1954, but was completely redesigned by Tom Weiskopf, who opened the layout to the scenic ocean views while lengthening and toughening the course. The redesign was completed in 2000 and re-opened to rave reviews. The Ocean Club Golf Course, which borders the Atlantic Ocean, previously played host to the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational from 2001 to 2010 and currently hosts the Michael Douglas and Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament.

Global Stars in Action: Some of the biggest names in women’s professional golf return to action this week as the race for the top spot on the Rolex Rankings continues. Currently No. 1 Inbee Park will be joined by nine of the top-10 players on the world rankings including No. 2 Stacy Lewis, who last week recorded her eighth top-10 finish of the season with a solo ninth in Mobile. Projections to determine if Lewis can unseat Park for the No. 1 spot this week will be available on Wednesday morning. Twenty-one major champions will tee it up on the 6,644-yard, par-73 layout this week.

Solheim Cup “Bubble” Travels to Bahamas: Each of the players ranked sixth through 10th on the U.S. Solheim Cup points race will play this week’s Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. Jennifer Johnson moved into the 10th spot following a victory yesterday in Mobile. Lexi Thompson (sixth) and Jessica Korda (seventh) strengthened their spots in the race following a tie for 10th and a tie for second, respectively. Lizette Salas (eighth) and Brittany Lang (ninth) will look to regain momentum at the Ocean Club Golf Course. The top eight players on the points list qualify for the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team, followed by the top-two ranked players on the Rolex Rankings not otherwise qualified. U.S. Team Captain Meg Mallon will add two captain’s picks to round out the 12-player squad.

Competition at an all-time high on the LPGA: The Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic is the second in a four-tournament stretch that concludes with the second major championship of the season – the Wegmans LPGA Championship. In recent tournaments, the Tour has seen intense competition:

LPGA LOTTE Championship Presented by J Golf: Lizette Salas shot 62 on Sunday to force a playoff with Suzann Pettersen, who went on to win after one hole of sudden death

North Texas LPGA Shootout: Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park made birdie on 18 to win the inaugural event by one shot over Spaniard Carlota Ciganda.

Kingsmill Championship: Former Rolex Rankings No. 1 Cristie Kerr outlasted Suzann Pettersen in a two-hole, sudden-death playoff to pick up her 16th-career LPGA win

Mobile Bay LPGA Classic: In a week where birdies were bountiful, 21-year-old American Jennifer Johnson shot a final-round 65 to win by one shot over 20-year-old American Jessica Korda and Thailand Pornanong Phatlum

The Local Angle: Georgette Rolle, 28, received a sponsor’s exemption into the field. She is a two-time Bahamas National Women’s Amateur Champion (2003, 2007). She attended Texas Southern and is currently an assistant coach there and an LPGA Teaching Professional.

 

Quick facts
May 16 – May 19
Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Ocean Club Golf Course
Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas

Field: 144 (all professionals)
Par:  36-37=73
Yardage: 6,644
Purse: $1,300,000
Winner:  $195,000
Format: 72-hole stroke play
Defending champion: Inaugural Event

TV Times on Golf Channel

Thursday, May 23 6:30-8:30 p.m. (taped)
Friday, May 24 6:30-8:30 p.m. (taped)
Saturday, May 25  3-6 p.m.
Sunday, May 26 3-6 p.m.
All times Eastern  

 

This week’s field information: Mobile Bay LPGA Classic

Rolex Rankings
Top 9/10
Top 16/25

2013 LPGA Official Money List
Top 10: 9/10
Top 20: 17/20
Top 50: 40/50

 

Press conference & media events schedule

Tuesday, May 21

  • First- and second-round pairings for the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will be available to the media at approximately 4 p.m.
  • Players available for media interviews on an as-needed basis at driving range and putting green

Wednesday, May 22, 9:30 a.m.

  • Inaugural tournament press conference featuring LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan, Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Stacy Lewis and No. 3 Suzann Pettersen, along with representatives from the tournament and Bahamas Tourism.

 

Symetra Tour current player and alum factoids

With 144 players set to tee-it-up in the LPGA’s first-ever trip to the Bahamas, several Symetra Tour alums are coming off solid finishes at last week’s Mobile Bay LPGA Classic including tournament winner, Jennifer Johnson.

Johnson played on the Symetra Tour in 2010 and 2011 where she recorded five top-10 finishes, including a career-best tied for second at the 2011 Pennsylvania Classic. In 2011, she narrowly missed obtaining her LPGA Tour card through the Volvik Race for the Card after finishing 18th on the season-ending standings.

Another Symetra Tour alum who made noise last week was Pornanong Phatlum who finished one-stroke behind Johnson.  The Thailand native played in the Symetra Tour in 2009 and 2010 where she notched two tied for second finishes.

Symetra Tour graduate Sydnee Michaels is also scheduled to compete in the Bahamas this week and is coming off a record-setting week in Alabama. The 2011 Symetra Tour grad fired a second-round 10-under-par 62 to break the tournament record by two strokes. On this year’s LPGA Tour, Michaels recorded a season-best tied for eighth at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup.

The Symetra Tour will return to action June 14-16 at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic Presented by Tate & Lyle and Decatur Parks District Info where Kristie Smith will attempt to defend her title.

Topics: Storylines, Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic

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