OPELIKA, Ala. — The eighth stop on the 2019 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Epson Tour to the Lake Course at Grand National on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in the Heart of Dixie for the inaugural Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez from May 23-26.
Greeting the 144-player field in Opelika, Ala. is a total purse of $300,000, the highest in Epson Tour history. Individuals are set to compete in a 72-hole stroke play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. The winner’s share for the event is $45,000.
“A truly historic and groundbreaking week for the Epson Tour is approaching and we are thrilled that Nancy Lopez and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail will be part of the festivities,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Epson Tour. “This now sets the precedent for what our future looks like, as well as how sponsors can get involved in continuing to grow and evolve the game. The bar has been raised and we will continue to advance to new heights because of it.”
This is the 23rd consecutive year professional golf has been played along the RTJ Golf Trail, as the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Championship on the Web.com Tour was contested on the Senator Course at Capitol Hill last month. Meanwhile, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour returns to the same course in Prattville for the third annual Guardian Championship in September.
“We are delighted to bring professional golf back to the Auburn and Opelika area, welcoming a second Epson Tour tournament to the Trail in 2019," said John Cannon, president of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. “The Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez will have several familiar faces from Alabama and Georgia regions. As a free event, this is a great opportunity for families to come out to a spectacular setting, watch professional golf and get to know the next wave of LPGA Tour stars.”
In addition, the tournament has some star power behind it with LPGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez leaving her footprint on the Epson Tour. A 48-time LPGA Tour winner including three major championships, Lopez continues to help grow the game by hosting the Zimmer Biomet Championship.
"I want to thank Zimmer Biomet for stepping up to the plate and presenting this great tournament to the future of the LPGA Tour and women’s professional golf,” Lopez said. "It will be one of the best events on the Epson Tour and contested at a true championship venue."
First and second round action gets underway at 7:00 a.m. CT off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Meanwhile, the third and fourth rounds will start at 7:30 a.m. with all groups heading off No. 1 tee in twosomes.