Pinehurst No.2 will play host to a first in the golfing world, after it was announced by the USGA that the course would be the site for both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Women’s Open in 2014. The two tournaments will be played in consecutive weeks, marking the first time the ladies get the chance to share the stage with the men.
Besides the chance to see how the women fare on the same course as the men, holding both tournaments at the same course in back to back weeks will save both time and money. Tents will still be in place for corporate hospitality, concessions and the media, ropes will still be lining the fairway, and the grandstands and scoreboards will still be standing from the U.S. Open.
Count PGA pro Geoff Ogilvy as one of those who thinks the idea will generate interest in the LPGA. “It’s a lot like tennis tournaments,” Ogilvy said. “I think there’s a lot of interest in the U.S. Women’s Open. You might have people who had to choose between one or the other now stay for two weeks and watch both of them.”
Which is exactly what the USGA is banking on.
The ladies of the LPGA are getting ready to tee off in the season’s second major, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, set to be played at Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre De Grace, Maryland. But the optimism the golfers may have as they prepare to tackle Bulle Rock is being offset by the anxiety and uncertainty many of them are feeling as the future of the tournament remains up in the air. As was announced last year by LPGA Commissioner Carolyn Bivens, the championship is being taken over by the LPGA starting next year, a move that effectively ends a 29 year sponsorship run by McDonald’s. It also signals this year’s tournament as the final one to be played at Bulle Rock. At this time the LPGA has yet to determine the site of next year’s tourney, or whether any sponsors have come forward.
Count world number three player Paula Creamer as one of those worried about the tournament’s future. “I am concerned,” Creamer told reporters this past Tuesday. “I’m 22 years old, this is my fifth year on Tour, and we don’t know where one of our majors is going to be. It’s a scary thought.”
This year’s LPGA Championship, however, is gearing up to be a dandy. Thanks to the absence of a clear cut favorite, a la Annika Sorenstam, the tournament is up for grabs. World number one Lorena Ochoa, fresh off a three week break, is looking to capture her third win of the year in only her ninth tournament. Other contenders include last year’s winner Yani Tseng from Taiwan, the aforementioned Creamer, and Maria Hjorth of Sweden.
If you are one of the millions of people who use Twitter and Facebook, you may start seeing more and more LPGA coverage on those two social networking websites if Carolyn Bivens has her way. Bivens, the commissioner of the LPGA, believes that sites like Twitter and Facebook can been beneficial.
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Bivens explained further: “I’d love it if players Twittered during the middle of a round. The new media is very important to the growth of golf and we view it as a positive, and a tool to be used.”
I could see this being a big hit for LPGA. When you are watching live golf on television, you often are left wondering what the golfer is thinking about. With a simple update of Twitter or Facebook, that question can be answered. That interactive aspect could bring a lot more attention to the LPGA Tour.
Additionally, utilizing Twitter and Facebook would be a great way to make the younger generation interested in sport.
A quick Google search indicates that a few LPGA Tour players already have a Twitter account including Christina Kim (@TheChristinaKim) and Morgan Pressel (@morganpressel).
Here’s another chance to win a trip to see top golfers in action. This one is sponsored by V-Tech, the cordless telephone company. The grand prize is a trip for four to attend the LPGA’s McDonald’s Championship June 11-14 at the Bulle Rock course in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
The winner will receive round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for four, transportation and a meet-and-greet with several Team VTech LPGA golfers, which includes Diana D’ Alessio, Amy Hung, Becky Morgan, Alena Sharp and Karen Stupples.
You must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the 50 US states or the District of Columbia to enter. You can enter once daily between now and May 31, 2009 by visiting the V-Tech Web site. The winner will be chosen at random on June 1 and notified on June 2. The prize has an estimated retail value of $4950.
(logo courtesy of the LPGA)
Lorena Ochoa, the charismatic Mexican golfer, successfully defended her title Sunday at the Corona Championship in Morelia, Mexico. Ochoa carded a -5 on Sunday, finishing the tournament at -25, one shot better than Norway’s Suzzan Pettersen. This is the third time Ochoa has won this event.
This is the 26th career win for Ochoa. South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi finished in third place.
The Corona Championship, founded in 2005, is sponsored by the Corona beer company. Morelia, the capital of Mexico’s Michoacan province is an historic town located in the hills of central Mexico.
(photo credit: Newscom)
One of the reasons Swedish LPGA champ, Annika Sorenstam gave for retiring from golf last year was that she wanted to start a family. It appears that they wasted little time. The 38-year old Sorenstam announced today on her blog that she and husband, Mike Mcgee are expecting their first child in the fall.
“We have had a lot of exciting changes in the past few months, and adding a new addition to our family later this fall will certainly be at the top of that list,” Sorenstam said on her blog. “We are absolutely thrilled and look forward to this new chapter of our lives.”
Sorenstam was one of the most successful woman golfers in history. Before retiring in 2008, she had 70 career LPGA wins, including ten majors. She and McGee were married in January of 2009.
(photo credit: Newscom)