Golf News for Thursday, December 15, 2016 | Tournaments

French Lick Resort and LPGA announce formation of Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank

FRENCH LICK, Ind. -- The French Lick Resort and LPGA Tour announced this week on Golf Channel the formation of the first ever Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank, which will be contested July 10-12, 2017 at The Pete Dye Course at the French Lick Resort in Indiana. The Tour has reached a multi-year deal to both host the tournament and have it televised on Golf Channel.

"French Lick is proud to host such a prestigious event," said Steve Ferguson, Chairman of the Board of the Cook Group, owners of the French Lick Resort. "We have long supported women's golf and to now be part of the first major championship for senior women is indeed an honor. We look forward to a great relationship with the LPGA and an outstanding Championship."

The field of 81 players will feature a collection of past greats in the women's game including LPGA Hall-of- Famers, current LPGA members and major champions over the age of 45. The 54-hole event will offer a total purse of $600,000. There will be no cut.

The Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank, comes on the heels of the February announcement by the USGA of the inaugural U.S. Senior Women's Open Championship, which will begin in 2018 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.

"This is a landmark event for the LPGA because it provides a larger platform to celebrate the legends of the game," said Mike Whan, LPGA Commissioner. "With the USGA's recently announced U.S. Senior Women's Open and now our event, the women that forged the way for the current generation will now have two major championships each year."

The inaugural Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank, will take place Monday-Wednesday of U.S. Women's Open week, which begins on Thursday. French Lick Resort's Pete Dye Course is no stranger to hosting premier tournaments including the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, the Big Ten Men's and Women's Championship from 2012- 2014, the 2010 PGA Professionals National Championship and the Legends Tour since 2013.

The history of women's golf at French Lick dates back to 1957 where Louise Suggs captured the French Lick Women's Open on the historic Donald Ross course. A few years later the LPGA Championship was also brought to the historic site. In 1959 Betsy Rawls won the LPGA major followed by the legendary Mickey Wright winning the title in 1960 also held on the Ross course. In 2013 the resort hosted The Legends Championship on the Pete Dye course and opened up the LPGA Legends Hall of Fame. In 2017 the resort will add a new chapter with these elite and historic players.

"The Legends Tour Players and Board of Directors congratulate the LPGA for this historic announcement," said Rosie Jones, Legends Tour President. "We applaud French Lick Resort for their commitment to showcase to the world the competitive spirit and exceptional talents of current and former LPGA players and champions. Women's golf has been enriched by the addition of this important Major Championship for senior women's golf."

The weeklong celebration of women's golf will begin the weekend prior with a new Symetra Tour event on The Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort from Friday-Sunday, July 7-9. The Symetra Tour's 54-hole tournament will have a purse of $200,000 and a winner's payout of $30,000.

Riley Children's Foundation, the fundraising arm of Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health and the founding organization that opened Riley Hospital in 1924, will once again be the charity for the championship. Today Riley Hospital is recognized as one of the best children's hospitals in the nation and is the only comprehensive children's research hospital in the state of Indiana.

The Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank will host a pro-am on Friday, July 7th & Saturday, July 8th on the Pete Dye Course. For more information on playing in the pro-am with an LPGA legend, sponsorships, volunteering, or other information, contact seniorlpga@frenchlick.com.

ABOUT THE LPGA
The LPGA is the world's leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and head- quartered in Daytona Beach, Florida, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women's golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA. com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official, www.twitter.com/lpga, and
www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.

ABOUT FRENCH LICK RESORT
French Lick Resort is a $600 million historic restoration and casino development spread dramatically across 3,000 scenic acres. It encompasses both the French Lick Springs Hotel and the West Baden Springs Hotel, which have been fully restored to their original sophistication and luxury, combine for 689 rooms and are located about one mile apart. The casino, built adjacent to the French Lick Springs Hotel, opened in 2006. West Baden Springs, with its spectacular massive dome, opened in 2007 after having not been used for its original luxurious purpose since 1932. Other facilities and amenities at this world-class golf resort destination include two spas with a 36 treatment rooms (they continue to offer the Pluto Miner- al Springs bath), over 51,000 square feet of gaming space, 165,000 square feet of meeting space and a variety of dining and entertainment options. Free shuttle buses serve golfers and visitors from around the world. Visit www.frenchlick.com.

ABOUT THE SYMETRA TOUR
The Symetra Tour — Road to the LPGA is the official developmental tour of the LPGA and concluded its 36th competitive season in 2016. With the support of its umbrella partner, Symetra, the Tour's mission is to prepare the world's best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra's inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7M in prize money to $3.5M in prize money awarded over the course of 23 tournaments — the most events since 1988. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 418 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.

Media Contacts:
Bret Lasky, Manager, Symetra Tour Media, bret.lasky@lpga.com, 386-679-1292

Dyan Duncan, Public Relations Manager, French Lick Resort, dwelsh@frenchlick.com, 812-936-5926

Kevin Frisch, Fusion Media Strategies, kevin@fusionmediastrategies.com, 989-614-0241