Big Time Pro Golf In Our Backyard
The field for the second-annual Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank has been finalized. Major champions and Hall of Famers highlight the field of current and past LPGA stars who will compete from October 15-17, 2018 at the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort in Indiana.
The senior major championship will be held over 54 holes for a total purse of $600,000, where Trish Johnson (England) will be defending her 2017 title. The event will be televised live on Golf Channel from 4-6 p.m. ET during the three competition days.
Of the 81 players competing for the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship title, five have received one of golf’s highest honors – induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Dame Laura Davies (class of 2015) won four major titles – the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open, the 1994 and 1996 McDonald’s LPGA Championship and the 1996 du Maurier Classic. She has notched 86 professional wins around the world, including 20 on the LPGA Tour and 45 on the Ladies European Tour (LET). Davies is considered the most successful British female player of all time, winning the LET’s Order of Merit seven times and representing Europe a record 12 times at the Solheim Cup. Earlier this season, Davies won the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open conducted by the USGA.
Betsy King (class of 1995) did not win her first LPGA event until her seventh season on Tour. But that breakthrough opened the flood gates, as King went on to notch 34 victories, highlighted by three Nabisco Dinah Shore titles, two U.S. Women’s Opens and one LPGA Championship. King, who played on five U.S. Solheim Cup teams and captained the team to victory in 2007, is just as well known for her charitable endeavors. Her Golf Fore Africa charity brings clean water to impoverished areas of Africa, and numerous LPGA professionals are involved in the organization’s work.
Juli Inkster (class of 2000) will be making her debut at the Senior LPGA Championship after missing the inaugural event because she was broadcasting the 2017 U.S. Women’s Open on FOX. Inkster became the first LPGA rookie to win two major championships in one season – the 1984 Nabisco Dinah Shore and the du Maurier Classic. Inkster is a 31-time LPGA Tour winner and seven-time major champion and is one of seven golfers to have completed the Career Grand Slam. She is also a nine- time member of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team, and the captain of the victorious 2015 and 2017 teams; she is set to captain a record-setting third time in 2019.
Hollis Stacy (class of 2012) gained golf stardom at an early age when she captured the 1970, 1971 and 1972 U.S. Girls’ Junior titles, a consecutive-wins streak that still stands. Her professional career was just as potent, as she counts the 1977, 1978 and 1984 U.S. Women’s Opens and the 1983 du Maurier Classic among her 18 career LPGA wins.
JoAnne Carner (class of 1982) From 1956 to 1968, “Big Mama” (as she’s now known), was the most dominant woman in amateur golf and accumulated five U.S. Women’s Amateur titles. Carner turned pro and joined the LPGA in 1970 at the age of 30. She played full time between 1970 and 2004 and participated in 635 events, making 532 cuts and finishing in the top-10 256 times. She won 43 times, including two LPGA majors, the U.S. Women’s Open in 1971 and 1976. Three times she was named Player of the Year and five times she was awarded the Vare Trophy.
King, Inkster and Carner have also been enshrined in the LPGA Hall of Fame, with those honors coming in 1995, 1999 and 1982, respectively.
Including Davies, King, Inkster, Stacy and Carner there are 19 LPGA major champions slated to compete in the 2018 Senior LPGA Championship: Inkster (7), King (6), Davies (4), Stacy (4), Jan Stephenson (3), Brandie Burton (2), Carner (2), Jane Geddes (2), Donna Andrews (1), Helen Alfredsson (1), Jerilyn Britz (1), Pat Hurst (1), Christa Johnson (1), Cathy Johnston-Forbes (1) Jenny Lidback (1), Martha Nause (1), Liselotte Neumann (1), Nancy Scranton (1) and Catriona Matthew (1).
Of the 19 major winners, nine were U.S. Women’s Open champions. Stacy won the U.S. Women’s Open three times (1977, 1978, 1984) while King won the U.S. Women’s Open back-to-back years in 1989 and 1990.
Major champions Matthew and Geddes will also be making their debut at the senior major championship in 2018. In addition, the field includes Legends Tour champions Trish Johnson, Laurie Rinker and Lorie Kane, who all have won a tournament on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.
Suzy Green-Roebuck and Kathryn Young-Robyn each received sponsor’s invites from French Lick Resort to compete in the senior major championship. There will be a qualifier held at The Pete Dye Course on Thursday, October 11, with the top two finishers gaining entry to the Senior LPGA Championship and rounding out the 2018 field.
Practice rounds will begin on October 10th. The tournament will again benefit Riley Children’s Foundation, which is connected to Riley Children’s Hospital, the premier children’s hospital in the region.
French Lick Resort is also host to the Donald Ross Classic at French Lick Resort, a Symetra Tour tournament held on The Donald Ross Course. Stephanie Kono won the 2018 title in July.