Who will win the inaugural event?
Will Jessica Korda defend her title?
Cusimano wins fourth title, three in Senior Division; Pinnell awarded Super Senior trophy; Pecaro takes Challenge Division
Braselton, Ga., September 25, 2013 - LPGA Teaching Professionals participating in the 26th annual LPGA T&CP National Championship woke up to a rainy morning and headed to the course for the final round and a chance to share in the $80,000 purse. The intermittent showers continued in varying degrees all day, making conditions less than ideal on the Chateau Course at Chateau Elan Resort and Winery in Braselton, Ga.
Jean Bartholomew (72-68-77=217) successfully defended her title today and won her third National Championship. Wednesday’s final round proved to be a challenge for all players as well as for the LPGA Tour veteran as conditions steadily deteriorated throughout the day.
“I learned something today,” said Bartholomew after her win. “I played to protect. Sometimes bogeys are good!” thought I would try to continue not caring, but when it comes down to it, you care, but I still didn’t get flustered.”
Bartholomew headed into today’s final round with a four-stroke lead over Jessica Carafiello (71-73-78=222) of Charlottesville, Va., who took the second place trophy.
“I wasn’t really loose today and didn’t make as many putts as I wanted to, but I hung on and it worked.” said Bartholomew. “I was actually having fun out there!”
A graduate of Duke University, Bartholomew is flying from Atlanta to Louisville and driving from there to French Lick, Ind., where she will be playing in the Legends Event this weekend.
Top six go on to 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship
The top six winners in the Championship division have won exemptions into the 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship. At the finish of final round play, four of the six were determined: Jean Bartholomew, Jessica Carafiello, Alison Curdt and Susan Ginter secured their spots. Three players were tied for the final two spots. A one-hole playoff was held in the midst of a downpour among Karen Davies, Charlotta Sorenstam and Jennifer Tucker. Davies and Sorenstam birdied hole #18 to secure their exemptions. The six players will represent the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals in next summer’s Tour major
Cusimano takes fourth title, third in Senior Division
Dede Cusimano (69-69-74=217), the only player under par in any division for the tournament, took the Senior title, her third in the division and fourth overall. Cusimano, LPGA Teaching Pro at Rancho La Quinta, La Quinta, Calif., won the championship division in 2003 and senior division in 2009 and 2010.
“I putted really well, but today was all ‘patience’!” said Cusimano, who recently received the LPGA Western Section Teacher of the Year award. “The conditions were some of the toughest I’ve ever played.” Cusimano is only the second T&CP member to have won four National Championship titles; the first is Robin Frantz who won four Senior Division titles (1997-2000), three of which were won at Chateau Elan. “It’s an honor!” said Cusimano.
Sally Austin (72-75-71=218) of Chapel Hill, N.C. came in second place in the division. Debby Pinnell (79-76-83=238) of Bella Vista, Ark., won the Super Senior title, which is awarded to the best score from a Senior Division player over the age of 60 in honor of LPGA founder, Shirley Spork. Debby Pinnell won the Championship in 1999, which was also held at Chateau Elan.
Pecora wins Challenge Division
Jessica Pecora (74-77-78=151), LPGA Teaching Pro at Alpharetta Athletic Club in Alpharetta, Ga., won the Challenge Division by three strokes over runner-up Marlene Davis (79-77-76=232) of Williamsville, N.Y.
Pecora vowed to concentrate on putting after her second round, and that’s what kept her in the running for the trophy in the final round. She shot even par on the front, even though the course played a lot longer because of the rainy conditions. “The greens were soft, so you could pick a yardage and fire at the flag,” said Pecora, who lives in the area. “I’m okay with the tournament being held here for the next six years!”
The LPGA National Championship was created in 1983 to provide additional playing opportunities for LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. The three-day event has since grown to become recognized as the premier tournament for women golf professionals in the world. The tournament features three divisions: Championship (6,300-6,500 yards), Challenge (5,900-6,200 yards) and Senior (50+; 5,600-5,800 yards). The tournament will return to Chateau Elan in 2014.
About Château Élan n
Château Élan Resort and Winery is North Atlanta's premier meeting destination, which offers championship golf, a full-production winery, European health spa, and world-class amenities. Visitors will experience warm southern hospitality combined with the beauty of the French countryside.
Within the sweeping panorama of the north Georgia foothills, just 40 minutes away from Atlanta, Château Élan began with the planting of vineyards in 1981. From these lush vines of Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet & Riesling grapes has grown a 3,500 acre conference and leisure destination where French provincial and Southern hospitality combine to produce exceptional wines and warm memories. For more information: www.chateauelan.com
About the LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Membership
The LPGA Teaching and Club Professional (T&CP) membership, founded in 1959 has enjoyed an unprecedented rate of growth in recent years and boasts the largest membership of women golf professionals in the world. With over 1,500 members, the LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals are dedicated to the advancement of golf through teaching, coaching and managing golf facilities. Its national member programs including teaching, coaching, business management and leadership skills training programs and conferences, tournaments, employment services, online education and junior golf programs. LPGA T&CP members also teach and support the LPGA's various grassroots programs that are working to increase the involvement of women and youth in golf, as well as contribute to the growth of the sport overall including LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA Tour Junior Clinics, the Front Row Experience and the LPGA Golf Clinics for Women.
The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla. For more information about the LPGA, log on to www.LPGA.com.
Media contact: Diane Cody, LPGA T&CP Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org 386-316-9437.
| Jean Bartholomew
|| Sue Ginter, Alison Curdt, Jessica Carafiello
|Jessica Pecora, winner||Jessica Pecora and Marlene Davis, second place|
| Dede Cusimano
|Super Senior Division|
| Debby Pinnell