Volunteers of America Classic ( LPGA Tour)

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2019

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By Tom Ward

This week the LPGA visits North Texas for the second year in a row at the Old American Golf Club at the Colony. The course will play host to the best professional women golfers in the world. The tournament was formerly known as the Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic. The dates for this year’s tournament re-named the Volunteers of America Classic runs from September 30 – October 6, 2019. Here’s a tremendous opportunity for fans to see 120 of the top woman players vying for the prestigious championship with a $1.3 million dollar purse. Whoever prevails come Sunday will pocket a cool $195,000. The golf course is a good, solid layout measuring 35-36—71, 6,475 yards that is sure to challenge these players. To purchase tickets go online to www.voaclassic.com/tickets. Tickets are also available to purchase at the admission gates. Daily Tickets are $15. Kids 17 and under are FREE with ticketed adult Veterans, Active Military, and immediate family members are FREE with ID. The tournament will air on the Golf Channel beginning Thursday Oct. 3 – 1-4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4 – 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5 – 1:30-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct 6 – 1:30-5 p.m. All TV TIMES (all times Eastern).

The tournament boasts a stellar field including defending champion Sung Hyun Park who won the 36 hole rain shortened event in 2018. She comes into the tournament ranked No. 2 and hopes to earn her third victory of the 2019 season. Earlier in the week Park talked about her return to Texas. Park stated,“ Being the defending champion back to back definitely puts a lot of pressure on me. The weather was really bad last year and we were only able to play two rounds, but the weather this year seems a lot better and I look forward to this week’s tournament.” It is Park’s goal to win a tournament two years in a row. This is her last chance this season, and it is a mission she is taking very seriously. “Even back in Korea when I was defending champion, I’ve never been able to defend that title, so it is definitely a little goal of mine to be able to win back to back,” said Park. “I do definitely know that it’s difficult to win two years in a row and I think that those who have in the past have done great. This week I would like to focus on my game.” Park added, “ Having played in May and playing in October, the grass conditions and the course conditions are definitely more different,” said Park. “But I do definitely like this course and I think I fit well into it. Each hole is unique, and there’s a lot of wind here as well, so that would be difficult, but I expect it to be a lot of fun as well.”

Other past champions playing are Inbee Park(2013,2015), and Jenny Shin( 2016). Some of the other prominent players teeing up this week are (11 of 19) 2019 LPGA tournament winners: Celine Boutier (ISPS Handa Vic Open), Cydney Clanton (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational), Hannah Green (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Cambia Portland Classic), Brooke Henderson (LOTTE Championship, Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give), Mi Jung Hur (Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open, Indy Women in Tech Championship), Eun Hee Ji (Dimond Resorts Tournament of Champions), Sei Young Kim (LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship, Marathon Classic presented by Dana), Bronte Law (Pure Silk Championship), Jeongeun Lee6 (U.S. Women’s Open), Sung Hyun Park (HSBC Women’s World Championship, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship), Jasmine Suwannapura (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational). Also, Be on the lookout for some up and coming rookies playing this week. Pajaree Anannarukarn, Sarah Burnham, Youngin Chun, Maria Fassi, Isi Gabsa, Kristen Gillman, Clariss Guce, Cheyenne Knight, Jennifer Kupcho, Jeongeun Lee6, Ruixin Liu, Louise Ridderstrom, Sarah Schmelzel, Klara Spilkova, Lauren Stephenson, Linnea Strom, Elizabeth Szokol, Charlotte Thomas, Alana Uriell, Anne van Dam, and Suzuka Yamaguchi.

Any time you have an event of this magnitude you need sponsors. There are numerous corporate sponsors on board involved with this year’s tournament like the Dallas Mavericks, Pepsi, NEC and AT&T. One of more intriguing local sponsors is a Dallas based Woman- Owned business called ‘Bottoms UP Cocktails’ whose president is Betty” Lily” Spining. During tournament week it’s been designated as the Official Ready-to-Drink Cocktail of the LPGA Volunteers of America Golf Classic. Ms. Spining told me their booth is the only air-conditioned tent on the course. The tent called “Tailgate on the Green” is where they will be headquartered throughout the event. Also, There will be 2 bars on the course with one hear the 18th green. I asked Ms. Spining how she decided to get involved with this tournament?  She said,” I’m a golfer and I think our drinks are perfect for the beverage carts and the golfers. It’s convenient and doesn’t slow up play. It seemed like the perfect fit for us.” To learn more go to their website at www.bottomsupcocktails.com. Ms. Spining also mentioned to me that her company has inked a deal with local golfer Brittany Lang( 2016 U.S. Open champion) who lives in McKinney. Texas native Brittany Lang comes to the Volunteers of America Classic, her hometown event, with the finish line in sight. Lang, who lives just 30 minutes away from Old American Golf Club, will wrap up her season this week and then step away for maternity leave. The 34-year-old major champion is expecting her first child in January 2020. Other players in the field who call Texas home include: include: Celine Boutier, Kristen Gillman (Austin), Mi Jung Hur, Kim Kaufman (Fort Worth), In-Kyung Kim, Sei Young Kim, Cheyenne Knight (The Woodlands), Brittany Lang (McKinney), Mirim Lee, Su Oh, Gerina Piller (Flower Mound), Angela Stanford (Fort Worth), Jin Yang.

Make sure while you out at the tournament to swing by the Tailgate on the Green. It’s located off the 9th fairway and will feature local partners, and a fun atmosphere for fans to watch football and lounge while cheering on the world’s best female golfers in action. The Tailgate on the Green is open to all ticketed spectators. It opens from 8:00 a.m. on Saturday 10/5, and Sun 10/6. 7 a.m. Wednesday 10/2, Thursday 10/3, and Friday 10/4. Also, The Kids Zone presented by the Dallas Mavericks will be open Friday – Sunday | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. | by the 9th Fairway and is open to all ticketed spectators. This is the only tournament in Texas on the LPGA schedule so don’t miss this chance to see these great players up close and personal. So if you’re looking for a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy this weekend make sure you head over to the Old American Golf Club in the Colony to check out the ladies in action on the links.

Tom Ward can be contacted at www.teetimewithtom.com

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