LPGA Tour's Jamie Farr Toledo Classic returns to Ohio this week after a one-year hiatus
The Jamie Farr Toledo Classic has always been the little tournament that could on the LPGA Tour.
The tournament, set in tiny Sylvania just minutes from downtown Toledo, returns Aug. 9-12 after a one-year hiatus. It took last year off, so Toledo could concentrate its golf efforts on the 2011 U.S. Senior Open at the swanky Inverness Club. The Highland Meadows Golf Club (pictured below) is a classic country club dating to 1925, but it’s no Inverness.
That’s OK with the LPGA Tour. These kind of smaller markets and lesser-known courses are perfect for gaining sponsor and local support. These tournaments are the only game in town, so they’re well-run and well-attended.
Adding buzz to the 27th annual Jamie Farr is the return of defending champion Na Yeon Choi, who is coming off her U.S. Women’s Open win. Choi won a four-person playoff at the Jamie Farr two years ago. She’s now one of the big guns on the LPGA Tour. She’s got good looks and a good game and she seems genuine and humble. At the media day in June, she struggled a little bit with her English, but that didn’t stop her from communicating her message. She loves the LPGA Tour and is thrilled for every opportunity she gets to play.
The field will be a strong one with Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Natalie Gulbis, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis, among others, scheduled to play. The LPGA Tour will take a back seat once again to the big boys - the 2012 PGA Championship is this week at the feared Ocean course at Kiawah Island Golf Resort - but this is a tournament I’ll be following, too. It’s less than an hour from my house. If my schedule opens up, I’d love to take my daughter to watch the ladies play. It’s great family entertainment because children under age 17 get in free and daily tickets are just $15 Thursday and Friday and $20 on the weekend.
Just maybe that will spark her interest in the game, like the LPGA Tour has done for so many other little girls.
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