It should come as no surprise that one of the most popular LPGA events in the Northeast is also one of its longest-lasting tournaments.
The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by ACER was held from 1986-2006 and rejoined the Tour’s lineup in 2010, and it boasts past champions the like of Hall of Famers Annika Sorenstam, Juli Inkster, Betsy King, Se Ri Pak and Nancy Lopez. Another Hall of Famer, Karrie Webb, is the defending champion after finishing at 4-under-par, the first ShopRite winner not in double digits since 1995.
The Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club’s Bay Course, a par-71, 6,155-yard track, is the site for this year’s event, and players will be chomping at the bit to take on the challenging course. The 54-hole tournament features a $1.5 million purse and will have one heck of a field this year.
From Jessica Korda, who won her second tournament of the season on Sunday in Mobile, Ala., and two-time 2014 winners Webb and Anna Nordqvist, to other recent champions like Michelle Wie, Lydia Ko, Lexi Thompson, Lizette Salas and Stacy Lewis, this week’s 144-player field will be jammed with talent.
World No. 1 Inbee Park will be there as well, along with Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Pak, Inkster, Ai Miyazato and Yani Tseng, just to name a few. Wide open would be a good way to describe this field.
Part of the Wakefern Food Corporation, ShopRite has been a valued LPGA sponsor for decades, and its dedication to helping others is paramount. The corporation has donated more than $27 million to charity through the LPGA tournament alone and contributes more than $1 million each year to food banks, healthcare and education programs in the local community through the event.
A great golf course, a veteran sponsor and top-notch hospitality – not to mention Atlantic City within reach – provides for a fun and festive week where players are eager to go low and add their names to the list of past tournament champions. Perhaps past champs Cristie Kerr and Angala Stanford, among others, will become multiple winners of the event.
Or, perhaps it will be a new name to add to the list. Time will tell, and the road to the title will be interesting, to say the least.