Brooke M. Henderson Wins 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

The fourth annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give concluded today with a win by Canadian LPGA Professional Brooke M. Henderson and a record donation of more than $1 million to the retailer’s Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of its food pantry partners across the Midwest.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic has an incredible impact on our hungry neighbors, and it’s thanks to the ongoing community support that we met our goal of raising at least $1 million during this year’s tournament,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “We look forward to continuing this tradition again next year.”

The 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic will be held June 11-17 at Blythefield Country Club.

“On behalf of everyone at Meijer, we congratulate Brooke Henderson on a great win at the Meijer LPGA Classic,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “Despite a few weather delays, it was a fantastic end to a wonderful week. This year’s tournament was once again fully embraced by the community.”

While final attendance figures are not yet available, representatives said the tournament continued to exceed expectations and will definitely meet the goal of raising at least $1 million for Simply Give.

In total, the four tournaments have generated more than $3.1 million – or 34.1 million meals – for the Meijer Simply Give program.

Meijer started Simply Give in November 2008 and has since generated more than $29 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions donated as a result of the Meijer LPGA Classic are due, in large part, to the generous Meijer customers who attended the tournament week events, and the sponsors who helped make the event a success.

The $1 million donation will be divided among the retailer’s 237 food pantry partners participating in the spring Simply Give campaign, which ended today.

“The Meijer Simply Give program is extremely important to our food pantry because it helps us to provide healthy and nutritious food to our neighbors,” said Waverly Knight, a director of the Northwest Food Pantry. “Without the program, our food pantry shelves would be empty. We thank Meijer for their willingness to have the Simply Give program and the community for their support in helping feed those in need.”

A crowd of enthusiastic fans braved the weather and lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club June 13-18 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Henderson shot 3-under par in the final round to claim the title as Meijer LPGA Classic champion. She won the tournament by two strokes – over Lexi Thompson and Michelle Wie – with a four-round 17-under par total.

Henderson dedicated this tournament to her father, who also happens to be her coach.

“I’ve said this win is for him, but it really is for him because I really wouldn’t have done it without him,” she said. “To have my fourth win is just super exciting, and I’m excited for the summer now. Thank you to Meijer for putting on such a great event, and I’m excited to come back next year to defend my title.”

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Saturday Delay and Concert

Due to course conditions, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and the LPGA Tour have adjusted tee times to avoid any delays in tournament play.

Tee times begin at 12:14 p.m. and tournament play will end at approximately 7 p.m.

LIVE at the Grand Taste, an outdoor concert featuring 3 Doors Down, will start shortly after play at Blythefield Country Club.

Estimated start time for LIVE at the Grand Taste is 7:30 p.m.

Any Meijer LPGA Classic ticket or credential that is valid for Saturday, June 17 will allow access to LIVE at the Grand Taste – the 3 Doors Down concert at Blythefield Country Club. For a complete list of valid credentials, visit meijerLPGAclassic.com. The concert is free for all Saturday ticket holders or $10 at the gate. Tickets are limited and sold on a first come, first served basis while quantities last.

3 Doors Down to Perform LIVE at the Grand Taste as Part of Fun-Filled Tournament Week Schedule

The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give is partnering with General Mills to add live music to its robust tournament schedule. A concert, featuring 3 Doors Down, will be held June 17, following tournament play, during LIVE at the Grand Taste at Blythefield Country Club.


Formed in 1995, Grammy Award®-nominated multiplatinum Mississippi rock band 3 Doors Down consistently captivates audiences worldwide. Known for their mega-hits, ‘Kryptonite,’ ‘Here Without You,’ ‘When I’m Gone,’ and ‘It’s Not My Time,’ the 5-piece rock band has sold more than 18 million albums worldwide.


Any Meijer LPGA Classic ticket or credential that is valid for Saturday, June 17 will allow access to LIVE at the Grand Taste – the 3 Doors Down concert at Blythefield Country Club. For a complete list of valid credentials, visit meijerLPGAclassic.com. The concert is free for all Saturday ticket holders or $10 at the gate. Tickets are limited and sold on a first come, first serve basis while quantities last.


“This year’s tournament will, once again, attract top talent on the golf course and now on stage,” said Cathy Cooper, Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We try very hard to make this an event for the entire family. We believe adding this concert into an already fun week of activities will engage even more people in the community – to support feeding the hungry through Simply Give.”

Celebrity Chefs Cat Cora and Carla Hall Return to the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

Celebrity Chefs Cat Cora and Carla Hall Return to the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

Celebrity chefs to enhance the Grand Taste events with food demonstrations

                      

 The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give continues to enhance its three-day food tasting event – the Grand Taste – with food demonstrations by celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Carla Hall.

Both celebrity chefs have participated in previous Meijer LPGA Classic events, Tournament Director Cathy Cooper said.

“The Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic is the greatest food experience on tour, and we are very excited to bring Cat Cora and Carla Hall back for another fun year,” Cooper said. “Our tournament truly offers something for everyone, so being able to highlight the talent of these amazing chefs, along with the best restaurants and breweries that West Michigan has to offer, will make it an experience the community won’t want to miss.”

Cooper said all Grand Taste ticket holders will have access to the chef demonstrations, and therefore, won’t need to purchase an additional ticket.

After participating in the 2014 Meijer LPGA Classic, Cat Cora, the first female Iron Chef on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America, will return on Saturday, June 17 to the Grand Taste tent to share a few of her favorite recipes.

  • Cora is a world renowned chef best known for her featured role as an “Iron Chef” on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and as a co-host of Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates. Cora makes regular appearances on a variety of talk shows and has hosted and guest judged a number of food shows, including Bravo’s Top Chef, Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. She has opened numerous restaurants, including Cat Cora’s Taproom that is located in the Detroit Metro Airport.

Carla Hall, co-host of ABC’s The Chew, will make her third appearance at the Meijer LPGA Classic on Sunday, June 18 at the Grand Taste tent for fun, interactive demos.

  • Hall is a co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series, The Chew. Although she is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef, where she won over audiences with her catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo,” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen – her first restaurant – opened in New York City in late 2015. A fast-casual love letter to Nashville, the restaurant features iconic Nashville Hot Chicken and southern sides, anchored by Hall’s family recipes and perfected with her personal touches. 

In addition to the celebrity chefs, local restaurants, breweries and Meijer will also feature new food trends through demonstrations at the Grand Taste, Friday through Sunday.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give to Welcome Back All Three Defending Champions

 

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give to Welcome Back All Three Defending Champions

Playing field for the 2017 tournament continues to grow stronger  

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The playing field for the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give continues to grow stronger with commitments from its three defending champions – Sei Young Kim, Lexi Thompson and Mirim Lee – who will return June 13-18 to Blythefield Country Club.

“Each year, we strive to ensure the Meijer LPGA Classic is a high-caliber tournament for the community, but also for these incredible athletes who make Grand Rapids their home,” said Cathy Cooper, Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “When our past champions commit, we know that they recognize and appreciate just how much the community supports them year after year.”

Sei Young Kim – 2016 Champion

The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Defending Champion Sei Young Kim is still relatively new to the Tour but has made great strides. Kim captured three victories in her rookie season, and in 2015, won both the Kia Most Compelling Performance Award and the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year honors. She also became a Rolex First-Time Winner in 2015 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, competed in the 2016 Rio Olympics, and has had five overall career wins. To view her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/sei-young-kim/98371/bio

Lexi Thompson – 2015 Champion

In her amateur career, Lexi Thompson became the youngest person to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open in 2007 when she was just 12 years old. Thompson ranked No. 1 in the Women’s Amateur and Girl’s Junior Amateur by Golfweek in 2009 before turning professional in 2010. In 2011, she not only became the youngest professional to win on the Ladies European Tour, but also the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history after winning the Navistar LPGA Classic at 16 years, 7 months, and 8 days old. To date, she has competed in two Solheim Cups and UL International Crowns, along with the 2016 Rio Olympics, finished 45 times in the Top 10, and achieved seven LPGA Tour victories and one major. To view her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/lexi-thompson/98184/bio.

Mirim Lee – 2014 Champion

Mirim Lee began playing golf at the age of 11. She began her professional career in 2009 and played on the KLPGA's developmental tour. Lee won her first KLPGA victory at the S-OIL Champions in 2012. In 2013, she broke the tournament scoring record, with a 61 in the third round, of the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to earn Priority List Category for the 2014 season. In her rookie season, Lee became a Rolex First-Time Winner with her playoff win at the 2014 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. This season, Lee won her third win on tour with her victory at the 2017 Kia Classic in March. To view her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/mirim-lee/98054/bio

The 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. Proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. To date, the Meijer LPGA Classic has generated more than $2.1 million for food pantries in the communities it serves.

Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic Announces Restaurant Partners and Enhancements

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The Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic is returning for a second year, and will be held June 16-18 during tournament week at Blythefield Country Club. This three-day food-tasting event is for the entire family and will feature local restaurants and breweries, and will showcase Meijer products and food trends.


With early commitments from Founders Brewery, Bell’s Brewery, Atwater Brewing, Reserve Wine and Food, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, San Chez Bistro and Cannonsburg Village, the Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic will once again include the best food and drinks West Michigan has to offer. For a complete list of restaurant and brewery partners so far, please click here.


Meijer will also showcase different areas of its store, including Fresh, Bakery, Sushi and Meats. The Meijer Beverage Innovation Center, a new enhancement at Grand Taste, will incorporate several brands, including Pepsi Cola Mixology, Anheuser-Busch, E&J Gallo, Diageo and Constellation Brands.


The Grand Taste ticket is $30 for a single day or $60 for the weekend. Tickets for kids, ages 17 and under with a ticketed adult, cost $10 for a single day and $20 for the weekend. The ticket will include upgraded food and beverage experiences taking place at Blythefield Country Club. This ticket also includes general admission access to the golf tournament.

Grand Taste tickets are limited and sold on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Click here for tickets

Tickets On Sale Now

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Tickets to the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give are now available online!

General admission weekly tickets cost $25, and general admission daily tickets cost $10. Kids, ages 17 and under, will receive free admission with a ticketed adult.

The Grand Taste, a three-day food tasting event, will return to this year’s tournament week lineup at Blythefield Country Club. It will be held June 16-18, and adult tickets cost $30 for a single day or $60 for the weekend. Tickets for kids, ages 17 and under with a ticketed adult, cost $10 for a single day and $20 for the weekend. The upgraded ticket will include food and beverage samples from participating restaurants, breweries, and Meijer vendors. This ticket also includes general admission access to the golf tournament.

 

More info

Sei Young Kim Wins Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

On the first playoff hole, Sei Young Kim stuffed her approach shot from the left rough to three feet and calmly tapped in the birdie putt to defeat Carlota Ciganda and capture her fifth LPGA victory at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. “It was 109 meters to the pin,” Kim explained. “It was a lot of release so I just had 90 meters.  I did, it worked.” Both Kim and Ciganda drove the ball in the left rough on the first extra hole. Ciganda played first and sent her approach long and left setting and failed to get up-and-down for par setting the stage for Kim. “Only one can win and obviously I hit it to the rough, it wasn’t an easy shot and she hit a really good one,” Ciganda said. “So I mean congratulations to her and she was better.” Kim actually thought that she wouldn’t need a playoff when she tapped in for a bogey on her 72nd hole. “Before playoff I felt like already win but I didn’t check the leaderboard,” Kim said.  “Then I thought the ceremony was already.” After she signed her card, Kim was greeted by an LPGA rules official who alerted her that she would be heading back to the 18th tee to compete in the playoff with Ciganda.  “Why’s he waiting for me?,” Kim admitted to wondering. “So after go to the tee box and I realize there’s the playoff.  Wow.” Kim was able to shake it off and improve to a perfect 3-0 in playoffs on the LPGA Tour. “I just angry on myself, yeah,” Kim said of the error in judgment. “I just say, I have to bounce back because today before I play, I setting my goal no bogey play but last one I missed with bogey.  If I bounce back, yeah, it is a good work, so I did it well today.” Making the moment extra special for Kim was the fact that her dad, Jungil Kim, was in attendance. “I’m very happy to win on the Father’s Day give it to my dad this trophy,” Kim said with a smile.

 

Lexi Thompson falls short of back-to-back bid

Lexi Thompson posted a 1-over, 72 to finish tied for fourth during the final round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give on Sunday to fall short of defending her title from 2015.

Thompson, the No. 4 ranked player on the Rolex Rankings, started off the day tied for the lead with In Gee Chun and was consistent throughout her front nine earning one birdie and par throughout the first eight holes. It was her turn on the back nine where Thompson started fall down the leaderboard.

“I just didn’t putt well today,” Thompson said. “I had like 36 putts I think so that never helps out a scorecard.  I still hit it pretty well, I thought.  Just didn’t give myself too close of birdie chances but still didn’t hit that many good putts.”

On her back nine, Thompson carded two back to back bogeys on holes 12 and 13 and made par throughout the rest of her round to finish. Thompson said her play took a turn for the worst when she made par on 11.

“Parring 11 is never a good thing,” Thompson said.  “Especially when you hit the fairway.  I hit a great second shot in there, too.  I hit two bad chips there on 11 and 12 but didn’t make the putts on those holes as well”

When asked about how she feels about her overall game after her round, Thompson said that she’s very happy with her overall play.

“Last week was a bit of a struggle there at Sahalee but still managed to get a good finish there, Thompson said.  “But overall this week with how I played, I’m very happy with it.  I hit it a lot better this week, I rolled it great except for today, so it happens.”

 Numbers to know

3 – Sei Young Kim improves to 3-0 in playoffs and all were won on the first sudden-death playoff hole; she previously won the 2015 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic and 2015 LOTTE Championship Presented by HERSHEY in a playoff

 1.62 – Sei Young Kim had the fewest number of putts per greens in regulation for 72 holes at 1.62

 2 – On Sunday, Sei Young Kim became the fifth player to win at least twice on the LPGA Tour this season. She joins Ha Na Jang, Lydia Ko, Haru Nomura and Ariya Jutanugarn on this accomplishment. 

 5 – Number of second place finishes for Carlota Ciganda

 8 – Number of top-10 finishes for both Lydia Ko and Lexi Thompson in 2016

 21.35 – The average age of winners on Tour is 21.35

 

2016 Meijer LPGA Classic Champion

Sei Young Kim

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea/Dallas, Texas

Birthdate: January 21, 1993 – currently 23 years, 4 months, and 29 days

Qualified for LPGA Tour – Qualified for the Tour on her first attempt, finishing 25th at the 2012 Final Qualifying Tournament     

Turned Professional – 2013

 

VICTORIES

LPGA: Fifth Career Victory

PREVIOUS WINS: 2016 JTBC Founders Cup, 2015 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic, 2015 LOTTE Championship Presented by Hershey, 2015 Blue Bay LPGA

 

ROLEX RANKINGS

• Sei Young is projected to remain at No. 5 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings

 

MONEY

• CAREER: With the $300,000 first-place check, Sei Young Kim moves from 110th to 95th on the LPGA Career Money List with $2,791,110

• SEASON: Sei Young Kim has earned $971,054 this season and is 4th on the 2016 LPGA Official Money List

 

TOURNAMENT SPECIFIC

• This was Sei Young’s first appearance at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

 

2015 IN A NUTSHELL ON THE LPGA

• 27 events played, 25 cuts made, $1,820,056, three wins, and 8 additional top-10s

 

OF NOTE

• Sei Young becomes the fifth multiple winner on Tour this season (Ha Na Jang, Lydia Ko, Haru Nomura, Ariya Jutanugarn)

• Won for the third time in a playoff. Sei Young is 3-0 in playoffs during her time on the LPGA Tour

• Continues the LPGA’s youth trend as only one winner this year has been over the age of 23 (Anna Nordqvist, 28)

• Finished first in the 2015 Rolex Rookie of the Year standings and third in the 2015 Rolex Player of the Year standings

• Won five times on the KLPGA in 2014 and 2013

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give – Day 3

Defending Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give champion Lexi Thompson and In Gee Chun will share the lead at 15-under par heading into the final round at Blythefield Country Club.

“I’m just going to go out here, have fun, be relaxed, just how I have been the last three days,” Thompson said. “It’s been a very relaxing week so far, so I’ll just try my best tomorrow and see how it goes.”

“I’m always excited to play in the last group so I’m ready,” Chun said with a smile. “I enjoy it.”

While she has a chance to repeat as champion, Thompson finds herself in a different position than she was in 2015 when she came from 5-shots back to win.

“It’s a different mindset than coming from behind a few shots, but like I said before, you just have to focus on your own game,” Thompson explained. “You can’t control other players, you just have to do your best, try to make birdies out here because you know they’re going to be made and see where it goes.”

Chun tied the low round of the week on Saturday with a 65 to move her into the final group with Thompson, who she is excited to be playing with.

“It’s very exciting because she’s such a great player so always I learn a lot from her,” The reigning U.S. Women’s Open Champion said.

The duo will be joined in the final group by Sei Young Kim who also shot a 65 on Saturday.

“I feel good today because today bogey free, so when I starting first round I set goal, I set goal no bogey and no double, Kim said. “Well, the first round, second round I had a couple bogeys, but it’s fine because today I success in my goal, yeah.”

On a week where the scores have been low, 10 players are within five shots of the lead entering the final day.

Lydia Ko hanging around

Lydia Ko posted a 4-under, 67 during the third round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give on Saturday and sits four shots back of current leaders In Gee Chun and defending champion Lexi Thompson.

“The front nine I couldn’t get anything going,” Ko said. “I was striking the ball really well and then just no putts were going in.  And then I made a good up and down on 9 and then made four good birdies in a row, so I think that kind of turned my round around.  And then in the last few holes I made quite a few good par putts and up and downs to save par.”

On a day where 28 of the players in the field are posting rounds in the 60’s, Ko said her strategy headed into the final round on Sunday is to have fun and be patient with her shots.

“The girls are going low so I know all I’ve got to do is have fun out there, be patient and hopefully make birdies,” Ko said. “But you just never know what’s going to happen, and especially with the girls going low, there could be a very low number tomorrow.  But I’ve just got to focus on my game.  At the end of the day I’m going to be a few shots behind, but I’m not going to worry about what everybody’s doing and just try to have a good round tomorrow.”

Sei Young Kim in the hunt again

Sei Young Kim posted a 6-under, 65 during the third of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give on Saturday to sit in third just one shot behind current leaders In Gee Chun and Lexi Thompson heading into the final round. 

“I’m very excited,” Kim said. “I have an opportunity to be the leader and hopefully I play well and I take the lead.”

Kim, ranked No. 5 on the Rolex Rankings, started off on fire earning four birdies and no bogeys during her front nine. But when it came down to her back nine, Kim carried the momentum from the front nine and earned an eagle on hole No. 9 and finished making par on every hole on her back nine to finish her round. Kim’s plan heading into the final round on Sunday is to focus on the mental aspect of her game.

“I think the point is to mentally keep relaxed and focus on my putting, every player is really good at putting” Kim said  “So main thing is to reset and refresh.”

Numbers to know

8 – Lexi Thompson has held at least a share of the 54-hole lead eight times in her career and won five of them

>> With a victory this week, Lexi Thompson has the opportunity to successfully defend a tournament title for the first time in her career

12 – Lexi Thompson is 12-under par on the front nine

-15 – Lexi Thompson is 15-under par and will have the opportunity on Sunday to break her previous tournament scoring record of 18-under par last year

290.3 – Lexi Thompson leads the field in driving distance with an average of 290.3 yards per drive

26 – Lydia Ko and Sei Young Kim lead the Tour with 26 rounds in the 60s through Saturday

2 – Briana Mao and Mi Jung Hur both recorded their first career hole-in-ones; There were none the first two years of the tournament 

67 – Michelle Wie’s round of 67 was her first round in the 60s since the second round of the ANA Inspiration (4/2/16)