Golf News for Wednesday, March 19, 2014 | Tournaments

Inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic gathering commitments

DALY CITY, Calif. -- Early commitments from many of the LPGA's top players, as well as golfers with ties to the Bay Area, give a convincing indication that the elite players in women's golf are excited to return to the San Francisco area for the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, scheduled for April 21-27 at Lake Merced Golf Club.

The top 10 players in the world (based on rankings through March 7) have already offered verbal commitments to play in the inaugural tournament - World No. 1 Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, top-ranked American Stacy Lewis and 16-year-old teenage sensation Lydia Ko. So Yeon Ryu, Karrie Webb, and Chinese No. 1 Shanshan Feng have also committed, along with Pleasanton native Paula Creamer, Na Yeon Choi and another teenage superstar, Lexi Thompson. Eight days ago, Creamer won her 10th LPGA tournament at the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore with an incredible, 75-foot eagle putt on the second sudden-death playoff hole.

Also stating their intent to play in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic are Taiwan No. 1 Yani Tseng, Sacramento native Natalie Gulbis, Stanford graduate Michelle Wie, Los Altos resident and World Golf Hall of Famer Juli Inkster - playing her final year on the LPGA tour - and San Jose native Christina Kim.

The $1.8 million Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, partnered with the Taiwan-based Swinging Skirts Golf Team, marks the LPGA's first return to the Bay Area since 2010. It is also the first LPGA co-sanctioned tournament with a Taiwanese sponsor on American soil, partnering with the Taiwan LPGA (TLPGA) to showcase more of Asia's top talent.

The 144-player field for the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic will feature 120 LPGA golfers as well as the top 10 players on the Taiwan LPGA Official Money List, seven additional exemptions to players of Taiwanese descent, two Monday (April 21) Qualifiers and five sponsor exemptions.

"There are not many tournaments outside of the majors to boast the top 10 players in the world, and we are proud to welcome one of the strongest fields on tour to Lake Merced Golf Club here in April," said Mr. Johnson Wang, Chairman of the Swinging Skirts Golf Team.

Added Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Executive Director Kevin Hopkins: "The LPGA's best players are lining up to play the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, and we cannot wait to showcase this tournament to spectators in the Bay Area and fans around the globe on television. Uniquely positioned as a celebration of world-class golf, art and culture, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic will offer a tough test to the stars of the LPGA at beautiful Lake Merced Golf Club."

Information about the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and tickets can be obtained at www.SwingingSkirtsLPGAClassic.com. Tickets are also available at Golfsmith stores local to the tournament. Free grounds admission is available for all active duty, Reserve and retired military (must show valid military ID), as well as for children 17 and under when accompanied by a ticketed adult.

Daily grounds ticket specials begin at $15 (for the Wednesday Pro-Am) and $25 (for tournament rounds Thursday-Sunday) if purchased in advance of tournament week (before April 21); each ticket is a $5 savings from the gate price on tournament week. The weeklong grounds ticket ($85) is only available before April 21.

For fans seeking to enjoy the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic in the most luxurious manner, the 18th green suite ticket includes food and beverage as well as shaded seating in an upgraded hospitality pavilion surrounding the 18th green at Lake Merced Golf Club for $130 for one day during either Thursday's or Friday's tournament round, $150 for one day during either weekend round, or $500 for the entire tournament (Thursday-Sunday).

The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic is also seeking volunteers. The volunteer package includes a tournament polo shirt, outerwear piece and hat, grounds admission for tournament week (Wed.-Sun.), breakfast in the volunteer tent and free food and beverage vouchers for use during working shifts. For more volunteer information or to apply to become a volunteer, please visit www.SwingingSkirtsLPGAClassic.com or contact volunteer chairperson Irene Agnos at ireneagnos@sbcglobal.net.

Also, fans can retrieve event information and interact with the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic through its social media channels on Facebook (search 'Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic') and on Twitter (@SwingingSkirts).

The mission of the Taiwan-based Swinging Skirts Golf Team is to grow women's golf and the golf industry in Taiwan. In addition to staging the Swinging Skirts World Ladies Masters (Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Korea Ladies Professional Golf Tour co-sanctioned event), the Swinging Skirts Golf Team has conducted the "Dream Chasing Cup" throughout northern, central and southern Taiwan to help lay the path for Taiwanese junior golfers to make it to the international stage.

About IMG
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About Swinging Skirts Golf Team
The Swinging Skirts Golf Team is a private, Taiwanese non-profit organization made up of both men and women amateur golfers with a shared goal of growing women's golf across the globe via sponsoring top women's golf tournaments as well as top female golfers. The Swinging Skirts members are avid golfers who always wear colorful skirts or kilts when they play to bring a fun atmosphere to some of golf's oldest traditions, born hundreds of years ago at St. Andrews in Scotland. The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic will be a celebration of the international nature of the game that showcases some of the best young talent from Taiwan competing against the very best players in the world.

About Lake Merced Golf Club
Lake Merced Golf Club, a club steeped in the rich traditions of competition at the highest level of the sport, is proud to host the 2014 LPGA Swinging Skirts tournament, April 24 through April 27, 2014. Founded in 1922, the Club has welcomed PGA tour events (the 1940 San Francisco Match Play Championship), U.S. Open qualifying tournaments and most recently, the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship. In 1941, Babe Zaharias brought her legendary game to Lake Merced to compete in the San Francisco Women's Open Match Play Championship.

Media Contacts:
Greg Ball, Brener Zwikel & Associates, 818-462-5611, gregb@bzapr.com
Damian Secore, Brener Zwikel & Associates, 818-462-5614, damians@bzapr.com
Mike Scanlan, IMG Golf, 216-436-3544, mike.scanlan@img.com

Greg Ball
BZA Public Relations
gregb@bzapr.com
818-462-5611 office
760-271-9183 cell