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Inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Gathering Commitments
Early commitments from many of the LPGA's top players, as well as golfers with local ties, indicate that there's much interest in the return of women's golf 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 offered verbal commitments to play in the tournament. The group includes world No. 1 Inbee Park, Suzann Pettersen, Stacy Lewis and 16-year-old Lydia Ko. So Yeon Ryu, Karrie Webb and Shanshan Feng have also committed, along with Pleasanton, Calif., native Paula Creamer, Na Yeon Choi and another teenager, Lexi Thompson. Eight days ago, Creamer won her 10th LPGA tournament at the HSBC Women's Champions event in Singapore with a 75-foot eagle putt on the second sudden-death playoff hole.
Also stating their intent to play are former No. 1 Yani Tseng, Sacramento native Natalie Gulbis, Stanford graduate Michelle Wie, Los Altos resident and World Golf Hall of Famer and 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster - playing her final year on the LPGA tour - and San Jose native Christina Kim.
The $1.8 million Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic marks the LPGA's first return to the Bay Area since 2010. It's also the first LPGA co-sanctioned tournament with a Taiwanese sponsor on American soil, and is partnering with the Taiwan LPGA (TLPGA) to showcase more of Asia's top talent.
The 144-player field 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 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.