Kraft Nabisco Championship extends invitations to seven amateurs

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF. - Seven of the country's top college and amateur players have received sponsor invitations to play in the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship. Set for March 29 through April 4 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., the Kraft Nabisco Championship is the first LPGA major tournament of the year.

Jennifer Song, a sophomore at the University of Southern California, won an automatic spot in the Kraft Nabisco field as the reigning USGA Women's Amateur Champion. She also won the 2009 U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links Championship and earned low-amateur honors at the 2009 U.S. Women's Open. Currently ranked as the #1 college player, she was named 2009 College Player of the Year by GolfWeek magazine. The 20-year-old has dual citizenship between America and South Korea and is a native of Ann Arbor, Mich.

According to Gabe Codding, business manager for the Kraft Nabisco Championship, sponsor invitations have also been extended to Cydney Clanton, Jennifer Johnson, Kimberly Kim, Jessica Korda, Candace Schepperle and Alexis Thompson.

Clanton , a junior at Auburn University, currently ranks #2 among college players and #9 among amateur players. The 20-year-old college standout is a native of Concord, N.C., where she attended Concord High School. She was the North Carolina Women's Amateur of the Year in 2009 and was named GolfWeek National Golfer of the Week after winning the NCAA Fall Preview.

Johnson earned her second consecutive invitation to the Kraft Nabisco Championship based on her strong showing at this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Championship, where she finished second. She is also currently ranked #6 among collegiate players. A freshman at Arizona State University, Johnson graduated in 2009 from Desert Christian High School in Bermuda Dunes, Calif., where she played on the boys' high school golf team. The 18-year-old native of La Quinta, Calif., was named to the 2009 Junior Solheim Cup Team by Captain Nancy Lopez.

Kim, a native of Pahoa, Hawaii, also returns to the Kraft Nabisco Championship this year. Making her third appearance at the tournament (she also played in 2007 and 2008), 18-year-old Kim is a freshman at the University of Denver. She is the 2009 Rolex Girls Junior Champion and a five-time, first-team Rolex Junior All-American. Kim won the 2006 U.S. Women's Amateur as a 14-year-old, the youngest winner in the history of the event.

Sixteen-year-old Korda, a junior at the Bradenton Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is a newcomer to the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Ranked #6 among junior golfers and #10 among amateurs, Korda will turn 17 on Feb. 27. She was runner-up to Kim at the Rolex Girls Junior Championship last year. A member of the 2009 Junior Solheim Cup, Korda tied for 26th in the 2009 Women's U.S. Open, tied for fifth in the U.S. Women's Amateur and placed fourth at the 2009 Harder Hall Women's Invitational. She is the daughter of Petr and Regina Korda, both professional tennis players. Petr won the Australian Open in 1998.

Schepperle, 21, of Birmingham, Ala., will join Tiger teammate Clanton when she makes her second consecutive appearance at the Kraft Nabisco Championship this spring. Schepperle, a senior at Auburn University, was the SEC Player of the Year and is ranked #3 among amateur golfers and #21 among collegiate players. She won the 2009 Dixie Amateur and the 2009 Harder Hall Invitational, and made the cut at the 2009 U.S. Women's Open.

Alexis Thompson returns to Mission Hills Country Club where she was the low amateur at last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. Thompson, who turns 15 on Feb. 10, is the #1 ranked amateur and the #1 ranked junior player in the country. The ninth grader from Coral Springs, Fla., finished tied for 34th in last year's U.S. Women's Open. She also won the Sally Women's Amateur Championship, the Southern Amateur Championship and the PGA Junior Championship. Thompson was a member of the 2009 U.S. Spirit International Team where she was a triple gold medal winner (Girl's Individual, Girl's Team and Total Team) and was named to the 2009 Junior Solheim Cup team.
The Kraft Nabisco Championship has a longstanding tradition of identifying emerging talent and providing outstanding amateurs with an opportunity to play in the tournament. Over the years, the list of highly successful professionals who played as amateurs at the Kraft Nabisco Championship includes Lorena Ochoa, Grace Park, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Aree Song and Michelle Wie.

Codding said that the field for the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship will be cut after two rounds to the low 70 players and ties, regardless of whether the player is an amateur or a professional.
For more information on the 2010 Kraft Nabisco Championship, please call 760/324-4546 or go to www.KNCGOLF.com.

Topics: Press Release, Clanton, Cydney, Johnson, Jennifer, Korda, Jessica, ANA Inspiration [+]

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