Tag Archives: LPGA



The LPGA Tour and Outlyr jointly announced today that Los Angeles will host back-to-back LPGA Tour events for the first time, taking place in April 2022. The JTBC LA Open returns for a fourth year at Wilshire Country Club on April 18-24, followed by the inaugural JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes, taking place as Palos Verdes Golf Club, April 25-May 1. Both events will feature fields of 144 of the world’s best female golferscompeting over 72-holes    for overall purses of $1.5 million each.


Tickets are on sale now for both the JTBC LA Open and the JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes. Tournament Officials also announced the “LA LPGA Dual Ticket” – a weekly grounds pass that provides access to both tournaments, marking the first time that spectators will have the opportunity to purchase one pass for back-to-back LPGA events. Tickets will be sold exclusively via the tournament’s official websites; the JTBC LA Open at www.la-open.com and the JTBCChampionship at Palos Verdes at www.jtbcchamp.com.


In addition, all service personnel, including military (active, retired, reserve and veteran), fire, police, and EMS and their immediate family (up to four tickets) will receive complimentary admission to both tournaments. The JTBC LA Open will once again include the Hero Outpost on the 18th green, compliments of SERVPRO. The complimentary SERVPRO Hero Outpost tickets must be downloaded in advance from www.la-open.com and proper ID is required at the main entrance. Children under 17 also will be admitted free into the tournament with a paid adult.


“We are very excited to expand our footprint in Los Angeles with back-to-back events in the area for the first time, adding to the Tour’s already prominent presence in Southern California,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “We want to thank our friends and longtime partners at JTBC for providing us the opportunity to bring the stars of the women’s game to the heart of Los Angeles, one of the largest broadcast markets in the world.”


“Los Angeles has a rich history in professional golf, and we look forward to strengthening the LPGA Tour’s presence in embarking on a new spring tradition in women’s golf with these consecutive events in Los Angeles,” said Patrick Healy, executive director for the JTBC LA Open and JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes. “We look forward to working with JTBC in showcasing Wilshire Country Club and Palos Verdes Golf Club to the LPGA Tour’s global audience.”



Historic Wilshire Country Club returns as the host venue for the JTBC LA Open for a fourth  year and will welcome fans back to the championship for the first time since 2019. The tournament made its debut in 2018, marking the LPGA Tour’s return to Los Angeles in more than a decade. Brooke Henderson captured her 10th LPGA Tour win at 16-under par at the 2021 edition of the championship, contested without fans in attendance. The 2020 edition was canceled due to the pandemic. Wilshire Country Club, which opened in 1919, is one of a select few venues to host events on the LPGA, PGATOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, as well as the PGA Championship.


“Wilshire Country Club has been a strong proponent of women’s golf and our members are excited about the return of the game’s best players – and the return of fans – to the JTBC LA Open,” said Mark Beccaria, President of Wilshire Country Club.


Palos Verdes Golf Club, often referred to as a “hidden gem” in Southern California, has a rich history hosting women’sgolf events. Palos Verdes has hosted the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge women’s collegiate championship for thepast 25 years. Past individual winners include Carlota Ciganda, Natalie Gulbis, Brittany Lang, Bronte Law, Andrea Lee, Leona Maguire, Lorena Ochoa and Annie Park. The JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes will mark the first professional tournament taking place at Palos Verdes Golf Club.


“We are privileged to welcome the LPGA Tour for this year’s JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes,” said David Klein, President of Palos Verdes Golf Club.  “Our membership is excited to welcome back many familiar faces who competed at Palos Verdes during their collegiate careers, and we look forward to working with the LPGA Tour, JTBC and Outlyr in conducting a first-class event.”


Volunteer registration for both the JTBC LA Open and JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes is now open. Registration forboth tournaments is $55, which includes a polo, hat or visor, food, and beverage, and two daily tickets. For those whoregister to volunteer at the JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes, $5 will be donated to the Race to End Alzheimer’s Association. For more information on how to volunteer, visit JTBC LA Open at www.la-open.com; and the JTBCChampionship at Palos Verdes at www.jtbcchamp.com.


The JTBC LA Open and the JTBC Championship at Palos Verdes are owned and operated by Outlyr, a global eventmanagement, sponsorship consulting and activation agency.

An Exceptional Journey by an Ordinary Person

By: Avis Brown-Riley

Golf has always been my passion. As a little girl, it was my dream to be an LPGA Tour player. I wanted to be like my role model Renee Powell. She inspired me to pursue my dream of one day becoming a part of the LPGA.

I had a phenomenal junior golf career in San Diego. But during the seventies, it was very rare that I saw other Black people on the course. I was the only Black girl playing in San Diego Junior Golf Events and Junior PGA Golf Events. There were certain golf courses we couldn’t go to or even go into the pro shops. As a little girl, I didn’t really understand racism. It was there but I focused on playing golf.

I started playing golf at age 7 and won my first tournament at age 8. I won the 1974 Junior World Championship when I was ten years old and I am the only African American female to hold four Junior World trophies. I am proud to say that my photo is in the golf shop at the world-renowned Torrey Pines golf shop next to that of Tiger Woods. I am also the only African American female to win the San Diego Women’s City Amateur Championship.

I earned a full collegiate golf scholarship at the United States International University. During my collegiate golf career, I won the first inaugural National Minority Collegiate Golf tournament and was ranked no. 25 out of 820 women collegiate golfers in the nation. I graduated with a degree in communications and competed on what is now known as the Epson Tour, winning several events and shooting the women’s course records at Canyon Crest Country Course during the Michelob Golf Classic. I am one of five African Americans to play in the U.S. Women’s Open.

It was a struggle being the only Black woman playing out there at that time, and I can relate to the adversity that other African Americans like Jackie Robinson went through. After 25 years of playing competitive golf, I reinvented myself and joined FedEx, where I served as a Customer Service Agent, Senior Human Resources Coordinator and one of three African American female Operations Manager in the San Diego District. Breaking the glass ceiling had its challenges, but it has been extremely rewarding.

I made the decision to retire early after being diagnosed with breast cancer. My Stage I cancer quickly progressed to Stage IV. That was the toughest eighteen holes of golf I ever played. But I am happy to say that I am now 12 years cancer free.

It was my strong faith, dedicated doctors, a strong family support system, and the Desire, Dedication, Determination I learned and demonstrated during my golf career that helped me to win the battle.

In 2017, I was invited to join the LPGA Professionals. When I received my Class A certification, it brought tears to my eyes. Dreams do come true; I never gave up and returned to my passion. I became an LPGA Professional to help make a difference and introduce this wonderful game to women and young girls. It’s such a joy. And I am grateful to be a part of the LPGA today.

Being a third-degree burn victim at five years old, overcoming cancer, having major back surgery (the same anterior lumbar procedure as Tiger Woods), and having to deal with adversity my whole life, I knew I had to keep fighting and smiling. And in my heart, I also knew that I had to give back.

I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. Now I am a motivational speaker, sharing my story with others who may face similar challenges. I also love being able to give back to kids in the inner city and community.

There are so many different challenges in life and despite being an inductee of the San Diego Hall of Champions and the African American Golfers Hall of Fame and serving as a Board Member for numerous foundations and organizations, being a champion in life far outweighs all the accolades.

When you love yourself and give back to your community, it makes all the difference in the world. That keeps you smiling.

Remember, it’s not the adversity you face, but how you face adversity that defines you as a person and builds character.



Written By:Jessica Thornton

Historically Black Colleges and Universities, commonly referred to as HBCUs, first emerged in the 19th century as an avenue for black students to pursue an education that had been denied to them by historically white institutions of higher learning. Their initial mission was to provide training and education for teachers and tradesmen. More than 150 years later, HBCUs offer full curricula – liberal arts, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degrees.


HBCUs also offer lower tuition, increased minority access to STEM-related careers, and a thriving, supportive community and cultural experience for their students. They have long fielded impressive and accomplished football, basketball and baseball programs with a track record of placing athletes in the NFL, NBA and MLB. Super Bowl champions like Walter Payton, Deacon Jones, Shannon Sharpe and Michael Strahan all went to HCBUs. NFL and MLB star Deion Sanders now shines a bright light on HBCU football as the head coach of Jackson State. They’ve even made it into bestselling fiction. John Grisham’s novel Sooley was about a basketball star who plays at an HBCU.


But these athletic accomplishments, real and fictionalized, have not yet extended to collegiate golf, particularly on the women’s side.


Currently, only fourteen of the 107 HBCUs even have women’s golf programs.


The PGA Tour has recognized this long-standing disparity and has taken steps to try to address it. Last September, the PGA Tour selected Delaware State as one of four HBCUs to receive a $100,000 grant for its men and women’s golf teams. This was an important step in the tour’s mission to grow the game among minorities.


Delaware State head women’s golf coach Rick McCall plans to use the grant for scholarships and to recruit new talent. Part of the grant will also be used to introduce golf to elementary schools by having his players actively promote the game. McCall’s players will not only teach golf skills but will focus on the game’s values. Coach McCall wants his players to serve as mentors and, more importantly, as role models for the youth in the Delaware State community.

Delaware State launched its golf program only nine years ago. But the evolution has been clear.  McCall quickly grasped the type of player he sought to fill his roster. Talent is an obvious component. But he also searches for well-rounded students who wish to have a full college experience.


He still has trouble capturing the attention of a large pool of girls looking to play collegiately.


The well-rounded college career pitch attracted Delaware State sophomore Amber Pennington. Introduced to golf by her father at the age of four, Pennington played her first tournament at age nine. Her father, who taught himself the game, passed his passion for golf on to his daughter.


When being recruited by several colleges during her sophomore and junior years of high school, Pennington knew that she wanted to attend an HBCU. Coming from a small, rural, and predominantly Caucasian town in upstate New York, she recalls feeling out of place. She envisioned attending a college that would allow her to celebrate and share in her African American heritage with other student-athletes while playing the game she loves. Pennington added that a lot of players choose HBCUs for similar reasons–-not merely for the college experience but also to experience a college with a more familiar culture.


Growing up as a minority golfer was “strange” Pennington said. “There wasn’t anyone who looked like me. I traveled pretty far to play in these tournaments and it was almost frustrating not being able to see that representation on the course. But then I realized that was my job. I am that person.


“I certainly hope that it grows.”


The quest for Amber is simply this: get more young Black females into the game.


Coach McCall says that First Tee is making big strides but more time and effort getting minorities into junior golf at public and private clubs is where the greatest inroads can be made.


“We’re far away but we’re closer than we’ve ever been,” McCall says.


McCall made the point that accessibility is the key to growth. More youth programs provides a pipeline to tournament golf, which leads to playing collegiately, which might, for a talented few, lead to a career in the game, in the LPGA and elsewhere.


HBCUs, as Pennington knew beforehand, offers an environment where Black culture filters into the classroom, the curriculum and everyday life.


“Anyone thinking about going to an HBCU, I would say do it,” Pennington said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And you get it all here. It’s empowering as a minority female. Being here and being able to express myself while playing the game I love is a dream come true.”


Pennington’s goal is to become a teaching pro so she can spread her love of the game to others.


Meanwhile, with Pennington leading the charge, Coach McCall continues building a program that he believes has the “potential and ability to make it in the top 100 (in the nation). And that’s unheard of for an HBCU.”


What a year. As we prepare to put a bow around 2021 and march headlong and confidently into a new season, this is a perfect time to reflect on the memories and accomplishments of the months behind us while keeping our eyes laser focused on the positives and the challenges that lie ahead.


While I have only been on board as the ninth commissioner of the LPGA for a few months, the energy and enthusiasm I have witnessed from every corner of the game has exceeded all my expectations. There is a groundswell of support for women’s golf around the world. And the LPGA is leading the way through our Tour competitions, with the largest purses in the history of the women’s game, our more than 1,800 LPGA Professionals who are teaching and growing the game on a daily basis, the LPGA Foundation that is dedicated to providing  access to golf in historically underserved communities, LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the fastest growing program in the game with more than 90,000 girls participating at 520 sites around the world, and our LPGA Amateurs, 13,000 members strong.


As one of the few sports that can be played for life, golf enriches lives and opens doors for women and girls at every level. Whether it is those who want to play for fun, those who look to the game to help advance their careers, or those who aspire to be the best in the world, the mission of the LPGA is to create an environment where women and girls of all ages and abilities can live their dreams through golf, and where we can use our platform to have a positive impact on the world.


And the best is yet to come. With the LPGA Tour schedule of 34 events and over $86 million in official prize money in 2022, as well as our continued growth at the grass roots level, we recognize a singular truth, one that is both an honor and an awesome responsibility:


This is our time.


With that in mind, as we enter this holiday season and approach the end of 2021, I want to wish everyone – our players, our partners, our Professionals, and all of the people who help make this organization so special, including our staff, volunteers, host sites, amateurs, Girls Golf members, and our current and future fans – a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and best wishes for a wonderful and productive New Year.



Written By:LPGA Communications

Written By:LPGA Communications

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., July 27, 2021 – Solheim Cup organizers and BMW announced today the creation of the BMW Celebrity Match during the week of the 2021 Solheim Cup, which will take place at Inverness Club from August 31 – September 6 in Toledo, Ohio. The celebrity match will be held on Thursday, September 2 at 2 p.m. at Inverness Club, with celebrities and players battling for the inaugural crown.

“We are excited to be able to bring the BMW Celebrity Match at the Solheim Cup to life during event week,” said Solheim Cup tournament director Becky Newell. “The match was designed with fans in mind as a way to elevate the experience for those attending the Solheim Cup, and we’re looking forward to watching these players try their hand at Inverness Club as a kickoff to one of women’s golf’s most distinguished team events.”

The celebrity match will have two teams teeing off No. 10 in a scramble format. Three-time U.S. Solheim Cup team captain and 31-time LPGA Tour winner, Juli Inkster, and six-time U.S. Team member and major champion Morgan Pressel are among the participants, as well as Radio Hall of Fame host and former NFL defensive lineman, Mike Golic.

One of the teams will also be captained by none other than multi-Platinum selling and three-time GRAMMY Award-winning country artist, Darius Rucker.

“The Solheim Cup is a prestigious event that I always enjoy watching as a fan of great golf,” said Rucker. “I’m honored to be on the same course as these talented players and can’t wait for some friendly competition in the celebrity match!”

The BMW Celebrity Match is open to anyone attending the Solheim Cup on September 2. Tickets can be found at www.solheimcupusa.com, with additional participants to be announced in the coming weeks. Along with the celebrity match, BMW becomes an official partner of the Solheim Cup as the official vehicle for the event.

With a full week of action set to take place at the 2021 Solheim Cup, fans can also purchase various ticket and hospitality packages to enjoy every activity in Toledo at Inverness Club. New in 2021 is the Meijer Pavilion, which will give ticketholders a 300-degree view of the surrounding holes and upgraded food and beverage options, with local bands playing everyday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The 2021 Solheim Cup event will take place Sept. 4-6 at Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio. U.S. Captain Pat Hurst, along with Assistant Captains Angela Stanford and Michelle Wie West will lead the best players from the United States as they look to reclaim the Solheim Cup on home soil. Europe will once again be helmed by Captain Catriona Matthew, with Vice Captains Laura Davies, Kathryn Imrie and Suzann Pettersen by her side. The U.S. and European teams will be finalized following the 2021 AIG Women’s Open.


By LPGA Communications.

As Americans prepare for a return-to-normal celebration this Independence Day, it is good to reflect on those who, like many of our ancestors, came to America as immigrants, unsure about their futures but resolute in their quest for freedom and a better life. This past spring, the United States welcomed one new citizen that almost every fan of women’s golf will recognize. On Thursday, May 20, Sandra Gal raised her right hand and swore the oath of citizenship to become an American.

“For me, it was a natural, evolutionary process,” Gal told LPGA.com. “I played in college here [at the University of Florida] and when you come over from Europe, you get a visa. Then you can apply for a green card, which I did. After you’ve had your green card for five years, you are allowed to apply for citizenship. I did that a couple of years ago.

“It has been a bit of a slow process. But now, here I am.”

A native of Germany, Gal has been one of the most popular members of the LPGA Tour since becoming a member in 2008. A winner at the 2011 Kia Classic, she also represented Europe on the 2015 Solheim Cup team in her homeland.

“It has been 16 years that I’ve been here [in the United States] and it has felt like a second home for some time,” Gal said. “And now, to be able to call it my home officially is great.

“The green card [given to legal foreign residents] is pretty restrictive in terms of how much time you can spend in the U.S. and how much you can spend abroad, which was difficult to manage given Tour life and how much we travel. Being a citizen is definitely easier for me in terms of deciding where I want to live and how much time I want to spend here.

“I think in the beginning, America was the only country where I could get an education and continue to play golf at the same time,” Gal said. “I wasn’t sure, at the time, if I wanted to turn pro, so it made sense [to come here]. I only spent two weeks here prior to going to college [in Florida]. It was a dream, obviously. You start writing to coaches and applying to colleges early in high school. So, before I set foot here, it all seemed exciting and far away.”

Like most first-time visitors, there was a transition period.

“The first year was difficult for me,” Gal said. “But I found friends and I have obviously made my career here. I love the freedom and that I was able to pursue so many different things apart from golf. Meditation retreats, being a part of nature, staying with different families during tournaments, it all just opened my eyes to a lot of different things. I love Europe and I love the States. Every country has its benefits, its pros and cons, and I am very grateful that I can choose. There are a lot of people who don’t have that choice or that freedom.”

Those are among the things that many native-born citizens take for granted, along with the history and government questions those earning their status as Americans must answer.

“The test was not that difficult for me,” Gal said. “You have a set of 100 questions. And you have to get six out of 10 correct. I think now the pool is 200 questions. But a lot of it is stuff I learned in college in my history classes.”

The most difficult aspect of the process for Gal was getting to the swearing-in ceremony. The day before she was to become a U.S. citizen, she was on the course at Kingsmill Resort, waving to Anne van Dam as the latter played in the pro-am.

“I had planned my trip to Kingsmill to do some sponsor obligations,” Gal said. “So, I arrived on Sunday night [before the event] and then first thing on Monday morning, I received an email telling me to be at the immigration office in Tampa at 7:30 on Thursday to take my oath.

“I had driven with my boyfriend to Virginia and I had plans to shoot a few things until Wednesday afternoon. So, we drove up to Washington on Wednesday night and I caught a direct flight to Tampa. And then after taking the oath, I flew back up and we drove home.”

It was a whirlwind experience but one that she wouldn’t trade for anything. As difficult as the logistics might have been, they presented Gal with an opportunity she will never forget.

“On the day I took my citizenship oath, after I flew back up [to Reagan National airport in Washington], I got to walk around the [outside of the] White House,” she said. “That was really cool.”



The watchword in virtually all sports right now is “analytics.” The statistical breakthrough by Bill James in baseball decades ago now governs decision-making by owners, general managers, coaches and players, no matter what game they play. But when it comes to women’s golf, there was one major obstacle: The absence of data on which to make analytical decisions. Thanks to KPMG, that problem is no more.

The third major of the LPGA Tour season – the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – will usher in a major addition to the women’s game this week. A bold, new platform will use data gathered by caddies at Atlanta Athletic Club this week to help bridge the gap between the statistical analysis available to LPGA Tour players and those on the PGA Tour.

“As part of our long-term commitment to elevate the game of golf for women, we’re really pleased and proud to announce a new solution, a new data and analytics solution for the women’s golf game,” Paul Knopp, KPMG U.S. Chair and CEO, said Tuesday at Atlanta Athletic Club.

“It’s called KPMG Performance Insights,” Knopp said. “What’s really powerful about this tool is that it’s going to give the women that play this game the kind of data that they need to improve and diagnose their performance, and it’s going to be the same type of data that the men have on the men’s tour.”

The KPMG program will have caddies recording shots, club selections and the lie of every shot. They’ll turn in a special scorecard after every round and receive a stipend paid by KPMG.

“So for the first time ever, we’re going to bring our business leadership to bear to capture this data, to process the data, put it in the hands of the women golfers so that they can improve their game,” Knopp said.

On the PGA Tour, ShotLink technology gathers data that allows for such analysis as strokes-gained in various areas of the game, like off the tee, from the fairway and on the green. Similar information will now be available to LPGA Tour players, thanks to KPMG, a company that is all about data.

“We were surprised at that disparity,” said Knopp about the data gap between the PGA Tour and the LPGA Tour. “And we very much wanted to be a partner in wanting to do something about it.”

There will also be data on how players perform from 25-yard increments and on proximity to the pin from certain distances. Also available will be shot dispersion charts, average birdie putt length and performance indexing over time against the field.

Since KPMG and the PGA of America partnered with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to elevate the LPGA Championship, the event has grown in prize money, the quality of venues and the television exposure available on the various NBC platforms, including Golf Channel and Peacock.

Now, thanks to the ingenuity and financial support of KPMG, the event first created in 1955 has taken another major step forward for the LPGA Tour. The data gathered through the KPMG initiative will bring analytics to the women’s game, narrowing even more yet another gender gap.


USGA Announces Exemption Categories for 2020 U.S. Women’s Amateur, U.S. Amateur Championships


LIBERTY CORNER, N.J.  – The USGA recently announced the exemption categories for the 120th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship, set to take place Aug. 3-9 at Woodmont Country Club, in Rockville, Md., and the 120th U.S. Amateur, which will be held Aug. 10-16 at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, in Bandon, Ore. As previously announced, the fields for both championships will be comprised entirely of exempt players due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Making the decision to forgo qualifying for our championships this year was extremely difficult, but we’re glad to be able to continue the legacy of these competitions and provide the best amateur players in the world the opportunity to compete for a USGA title,” said John Bodenhamer, senior managing director, Championships. “We aimed to create fields that most closely resemble those for a typical Amateur and Women’s Amateur, and are confident we will crown two worthy champions in August.”

Exemption categories for both championships are highlighted by expanded use of the World Amateur Golf Ranking® and Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking®, as well as finishes in recent USGA championships. A full list of U.S. Amateur and U.S. Women’s Amateur exemption categories can be found on usga.org. All exempt players must file an entry. Entries open Friday, June 26 and close Wednesday, July 8 at 5 p.m. EDT.

In order to align with health and safety guidelines, the USGA also announced a reduction in field size for both championships. The U.S. Women’s Amateur, typically played with 156 golfers, will be limited to a field size of 132. The U.S. Amateur, traditionally held with 312 competitors, will be played with 264. More information regarding testing protocols, travel guidance and other logistics will be made available when entries open on June 26.

“We are extremely grateful to state and local government officials in both Maryland and Oregon for their cooperation and partnership in working through logistics for these championships,” said Bodenhamer. “We are all facing new parameters brought on by current realities and will continue to partner with all parties as we navigate conducting these amateur championships under new guidelines.”

Remaining spots in the championship field will be filled using the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Once the field is set, the USGA will compile an alternate list for each championship based on WAGR®. All non-exempt players who wish to be considered for the remaining spots or alternate status must complete a preliminary application at champs.usga.org prior to the close of entries on July 8. More information on the application process can be found in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

In addition, the USGA shared that entries for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship (April 24-28 at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Texas) and 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship (May 22-26 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.) will open the week of Aug. 17. More information about the qualifying process will be shared at a later date.