Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give – Day 2

Despite battling back issues throughout her second round, defending champion Lexi Thompson was able to fire an 4-under, 67, and will take a one shot lead into the weekend at 10-under-par at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.

“I’m not really one to complain about pain because I just fight through it, but yeah, it’s hurting,” Thompson admitted. “I’m going to go and get a rubdown and see if it goes away.”

Thompson started her day strong turning in 3-under, 33, to grab a share of the lead and claimed the outright lead with a birdie on the par-4 10th. Bogeys on 15 and 16 dropped Thompson out of the lead but the 21-year-old was able to bounce back with a pair of birdies to close her round on a high note.

“Yeah, it was definitely important to come back from the two bogeys,” Thompson explained. “I just hit a few errant drives there towards the end and made bogeys, but I played 17 and 18 well.  I got pretty lucky on 18, I will say that.”

While she may be struggling with the pain, don’t expect Thompson to back down from the challenge of trying to win her eighth LPGA Tour victory.

“Just got to fight through it,” Thompson explained. “I just try not to pay attention to it.  It was hurting just getting into posture for my golf shot, so it is what it is. I didn’t really want to pay attention to how bad it was hurting because then it brings more attention to it and it becomes a mind game.”

Thompson holds a one shot lead over a group of four players – In Gee Chun, Q Baek, So Yeon Ryu and Alena Sharp – on a bunched leaderboard where 32 golfers sit within five strokes of the lead.

“After last week at Sahalee this golf course feels more wide open,” Ryu explained. “I feel more comfortable, felt like be able to play more aggressive.  So I think that’s why you can see a lot of birdies out there and I think that’s why a lot of players playing really well.  I think next two days going to be quite similar I expect, so I think I’m just going to keep like aggressive playing like the last two days.”

79 players made the cut of 1-under 141.

KO AND HENDERSON stay ON EACH OTHERS HEELS

Lydia Ko and Brooke Henderson head into the third round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give both tied for 13th three shots back of 36-hole leader Lexi Thompson.

“I’m happy with the way I played,” Ko said. “I was pretty consistent and I just got to keep playing like this. My ball striking wasn’t as good as yesterday so hopefully it can get better progressively on the weekend.”

Henderson said that anyone in the field could end up being the winner.

“Anybody can win,” Henderson said. “Anybody can make something happen and it just takes two more really good days and hopefully looking at that trophy on Sunday.”

The duo will be paired together tomorrow at 11:25 a.m.

Another canadian in the mix

Canadian Alena Sharp posted a 4-under, 67 during the second round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give on Friday. Sharp started off the week with a 5-under, 66 making five birdies and a bogey-free round on Thursday and sits tied for second alongside Q Baek, In Gee Chun, and So Yeon Ryu.  Sharp said her low round on Friday had to do with the conditions of the course.

“The golf course is in great shape and the rain that we had this week, I think it softened up the greens just nicely that you can actually go at some of the tucked pins and keep it within 10 feet,” Sharp said. “There’s a lot of birdies out there because of that, so I took advantage of the softer conditions.  Saw that this morning scores were kind of low, so I knew I could do it, too.”

Sharp played her front nine consistently making five birdies with no bogeys but when it came to her back nine, Sharp made two birdies and a bogey on hole nine. Even with her lone bogey on nine,  Sharp said that she played well and believes her game is firing on all cylinders.

“In the beginning I was getting a little frustrated, I didn’t hit it close to the pin, but then I think through six holes I started getting it right around the pin and had some birdies that fell,” Sharp said.  “Really played steady all day.  Struck it better today than yesterday.  I putted really well yesterday.  I putted pretty good today, too.  So everything in my game’s firing on all cylinders.”

Numbers to know

-30 – Lexi Thompson is a combined 30-under par over the last seven rounds at this tournament

-6 – Lexi Thompson is 6-under par on the par 5s

6 – Lexi Thompson will sleep on the 36-hole lead for the sixth time in her career. She has converted three of the previous five into victories, including last year’s Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

-1 – 1-under par is the lowest cut line at this event

12 – Three players made 12 birdies through two rounds, which is the most made on the course for the two days (Sei Young Kim, Minjee Lee and Jodi Ewart Shadoff)

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give – Day 1

Five Players Tied for Lead After Day One 

Five players, including 21-year-old defending champion Lexi Thompson and 52-year-old World Golf Hall of Famer Laura Davies, share the lead at 6-under following the opening round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.

“I would just say there’s a lot more confidence, a lot of great memories there from last year,” Thompson said of coming back to Grand Rapids as the defending champion. “I just replayed a lot of the shots I hit basically the last round, I remembered a lot.  There was actually a lot of Sunday pins from last year today.”

“It’s fun for me,” Davies, a 20-time LPGA winner, said of competing with the younger generation of golf superstars. “I loved watching that playoff last week; two really great young players, such happy-go-lucky characters as well, it’s good for the game. But there’s room for the likes of myself and Juli Inkster and a few of the other old girls to show what we can still do because we all hit it well, it’s just the short game separates the top players from the ones that are just struggling a little bit sometimes.”

Four time LPGA Tour winner Sei Young Kim, Paula Reto and Carlota Ciganda round out the group at the top of the leaderboard.

“Today I shot pretty steady,” said Kim. “The greens are very easy to hold so it should make birdie opportunity very easier.”

“I was not going to really expect anything, I was just going to try to play my best and one shot at a time because I feel like I couldn’t think too much today because of the last couple weeks, I haven’t felt so good,” Reto said. “So this week I told myself I’m just going to sort of stay patient, stay within myself, and I think that really helped me today.”

The course conditions at Blythefield seemed to benefit the bombers as Thompson (1st), Kim (5th), Ciganda (6th) and Reto (7th) are all tied for the lead.

“Yeah, I think so,” Ciganda said when asked if the course benefits longer players. “I think it’s playing from what I heard a little longer than other years, so it’s a little wet and the greens are pretty soft which I really liked to just hit it to the pin and be a little aggressive.  So I think the course is good for long hitters and, yeah, I really like the course.”

Seven players are a shot back at 5-under and seven additional golfers are two back. In total, there are 46 players within five shots of the lead.

 

Paula Creamer sets the record straight regarding bubba watson’s 2007 oakmont yardage book

After being accused of not returning Bubba Watson’s yardage book from the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, Paula Creamer told her side of the story today at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give.

“I mean, Bubba’s a good friend of mine so I know he’s trying to throw me under the bus, but we all know in reality I did give him back his yardage books and he had them,” Creamer said. “It’s kind of funny when you can play games like that.  However, he is wrong and he knows it and he has his books.”

The yardage books, which helped Creamer win the 2010 U.S. Women’s Open, appear to still have their magic as Watson sits in a tie for second as play was suspended at Oakmont. 

 

DEFENDING CHAMPION LEXI THOMPSON CARDS 6-UNDER, 65 IN FIRST ROUND

The first round of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give started out with some rain but that didn’t stop reigning champion Lexi Thompson from posting a  6-under, 65 at Blythefield Country Club. Thompson, ranked No. 4 on the Rolex Rankings, posted a bogey free round making four birdies and one eagle.

“I had a slow start for my first nine there on the back, but hit it very well and then got on a birdie run there on my second nine.” Thompson said.

Even with the winds against her, Thompson said that she didn’t make any adjustments to her game but made sure to stay positive throughout the round.

“I didn’t really change anything, I just made sure I stayed positive,” Thompson said. “I was hitting it well on my first nine, I two-putted every hole on the first nine so I just had to be patient with it.  Then ended up holing out for eagle on my 10th hole, on No. 1 today, so that always helps with the putts.”

 

WORLD’S NO. 1&2 TWO BACK

World No.1 Lydia Ko and No.2 Brooke Henderson both carded a 4-under, 67s, on Thursday and both head into the second round just two shots back from current leaders Carlota Ciganda, Laura Davies, Sei Young Kim, Paula Reto, and Lexi Thompson.

“It was a pretty solid day, Henderson said. “4 under, I’ll take it.  Only two back from the lead right now, the leaderboard’s pretty crowded with the top names and a ton of really good scores, so it’s a good first day but I’m excited for the rest.”

Both players are coming off a historic sudden death playoff at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, where Henderson defeated Ko. Henderson had five birdies and one bogey while Ko had four birdies and went bogey free during the round.  Ko said that she is happy to start off the first round with a 67.

“Yeah, it was a pretty consistent day,” Ko said. “I had a few putts where it was close to going in but didn’t fall, but I think that’s what you’ve got to do, commit to your lines and put a good stroke on it.  But I’m happy to start with a 67.  Especially that front nine and those first few holes were tough because the wind was getting up and it seemed like the skies were getting dark, too.”

 

Numbers to Know

5 – The last two champions of this tournament were five shots off the lead after the first round; Mi Jung Hur, Sun Young Yoo and Anna Nordqvist are all five strokes back and they have a combined 10 career victories

 46 – 46 players are within five shots of the lead

 13 – The 13th hole played as the toughest hole on the course on Thursday; 18 birdies, 83 pars, 38 bogeys and 5 double bogeys

 18 – Lexi Thompson hit every green in regulation (18-for-18)

 >> Lexi Thompson has led one time after Round 1 in 2016 and she ended up winning the tournament (Honda LPGA Thailand) with a score of 20-under par

 65 – Number of players under par for Round 1 at the Blythefield Country Club; Four more players than a year ago 

FREE Downtown Shuttle for All Guests of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

Courtesy of mLive Media Group, a FREE shuttle will be available for ALL patrons of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give throughout Tournament weekend, June 17-19. 

MMG-Color-4c

Downtown to the Main Gates of the Meijer LPGA Classic Makes It Easy To Be A Part Of The Action!

  • Shuttle PICK-UP & DROP-OFF LOCATION: MLive Media Group Building    (169 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids – across from Rosa Parks Circle)
  • Shuttle HOURS OF OPERATION: 10am – 8:30pm Friday through Sunday
  • Guests do not need a ticket to board the shuttle – tickets will be available at the gate!

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Tickets Available Now Online

Tournament tickets are now available online for the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, which will be held June 14-19 at Blythefield Country Club.  

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.

A limited number of upgraded daily reserved tickets are available for $75. The upgraded ticket provides admission to a premium viewing deck on the 17th green, as well as food and beverages

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will benefit the Meijer Simply Give program. In the event’s two-year history, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has raised more than $1.3 million for the Simply Give program to feed those in need throughout the Midwest.

Tickets are available for purchase at MeijerLPGAClassic.com.

For additional details on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please contact the representatives per the information above. 

Meijer LPGA 5k Run & Walk Registration Now Open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 31, 2016) – The Meijer LPGA 5k Run & Walk presented by Kellogg’s® will once again bring the community together by featuring fun yet competitive challenges for the community, families, individuals and members of the media while benefitting the Meijer Simply Give program.

The race will be powered by Gazelle Sports, and will start at 8 a.m. June 18 at Rockford High School. Each participant will receive a Meijer LPGA 5k Run & Walk shirt, a complimentary breakfast provided by Kellogg’s®, and two daily tickets to the golf tournament, valid for any one day admission Tuesday through Sunday.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give offers something for everyone,” Meijer Co-Chairman Doug Meijer said. “The race is a great way to engage the entire Grand Rapids community while ultimately increasing awareness around hunger in the communities where our customers and team members work and live. Whether you are walking, running, or competing with a team, everyone can join us in this race against hunger.”

Additionally, the Meijer healthy living advisors and experts have teamed up with Gazelle Sports to build training programs for participants to use in preparation for the run.

Community 5k Run & Walk

The cost to participate is $15 per person, ages 17 and under, and $25 per person, ages 18 and older. Strollers are welcome at the event.

The top three runners in each age group will receive $500, $250, and $100 in Meijer gift cards, respectively.

Community Challenges

The cost to participate is $150 per team. The top five finishers in each team will be scored.

  • Community: Local corporations, community organizations, families and schools throughout Grand Rapids are encouraged to put together a team of five to 10 runners.
  • Media: Meijer will donate the entry fees for up to five teams of members of the media. Each team must include five to 10 runners.

Winners of the team challenges will receive a $1,000 donation to the Meijer Simply Give program in their team’s name.

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries throughout the Midwest. The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has donated more than $1.3 million to local food pantries through the Simply Give program. 

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Adds Grand Tasting Event

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 21, 2016) – The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give announced today a three-day grand tasting event that Meijer will host in conjunction with the LPGA tournament week June 14-19. The inaugural Meijer LPGA Grand Taste will take place June 17-19 at Blythefield Country Club.  

“We are thrilled to be adding this experience to LPGA week showcasing some of the best food that West Michigan has to offer,” Tournament Director Lesley Baker said. “The Meijer LPGA Grand Taste will feature local restaurants, breweries and Meijer partners, attracting not only golf fans to Blythefield Country Club, but creating a culinary experience the whole family can enjoy.”

This year, fans who purchase a ticket will receive access to an upgraded food and beverage experience taking place at Blythefield Country Club. Representing Meijer and West Michigan, more than 40 local restaurants, breweries, local growers and Meijer vendors will be on hand throughout the day.

The announcement is made with commitments from Terra, Founders Brewing Company, Martha’s Vineyard, Honey Creek Inn, Blue Dog Tavern, Six.One.Six at JW Marriott, Bell’s Brewery and more. Additional restaurant and brewery announcements will follow.

A ticket to the Meijer LPGA Grand Taste is $25, and $5 for kids, ages 17 and under, with a ticketed adult. 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 Meijer LPGA Classic.

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries throughout the Midwest. The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has raised more than $1.3 million for the Simply Give program.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give or to purchase tickets to the Meijer LPGA Grand Taste, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com

To view a video recapping the 2015 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com, and a video on the Meijer hunger relief efforts, including Simply Give, please visit http://newsroom.meijer.com/meijer-simply-give-video.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Opens Volunteer Registration

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 7, 2016) – Entering its third year, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has grown into one of the premier events on the LPGA Tour, and organizers expect it to continue growing this year. Registration is now open to welcome volunteers from across Michigan and the Midwest to the 2016 event, which will be held June 14-19 at Blythefield Country Club. 

“This community has embraced our event, and we look forward to continued growth and development each and every year,” Meijer Co-Chairman Doug Meijer said. “We could not continue to bring such a world-class event to the community without tremendous support from our volunteers and tournament staff.”

The Meijer LPGA Classic will need more than 700 volunteers, ranging in responsibilities from marshals and standard bearers to transportation and assisting the media. Volunteers can indicate their top three choices, and will be assigned to a committee on a first-come, first-served basis.

The volunteer fee of $55 includes two official tournament golf shirts, one official tournament hat, one volunteer badge valid as a grounds pass and parking for tournament week, four weekly grounds passes for friends or family, one ticket to the volunteer appreciation party, and meals and beverages during scheduled shifts.

“You don’t need to know golf to volunteer – anyone can contribute, all while experiencing an LPGA Tour event featuring some of the best women golfers in the world,” Tournament Director Lesley Baker said.

Meijer is committed to making West Michigan a staple on the LPGA Tour, increasing the purse to $2 million, while expanding the tournament-week events and activities.

The 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give will host a full field of 144 players, playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. The driving mission of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give is to focus on feeding the hungry, and improving the quality of life within the region. The tournament coincides with the retailer’s Simply Give program, which has generated more than $21 million since 2008 for food pantries in the communities it serves.

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries throughout the Midwest. The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has donated more than $1.3 Million to local food pantries through the Simply Give program.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give or to volunteer, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com

To view a video recapping the 2015 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com, and a video on the Meijer hunger relief efforts, including Simply Give, please visit http://newsroom.meijer.com/meijer-simply-give-video.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Tickets Available Now Online

Tournament tickets are now available online for the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, which will be held June 14-19 at Blythefield Country Club.  

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.

A limited number of upgraded daily reserved tickets are available for $75. The upgraded ticket provides admission to a premium viewing deck on the 17th green, as well as food and beverages

Similar to last year, proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will benefit the Meijer Simply Give program. In the event’s two-year history, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has raised more than $1.3 million for the Simply Give program to feed those in need throughout the Midwest.

Tickets are available for purchase at MeijerLPGAClassic.com.

For additional details on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please contact the representatives per the information above. 

Meijer Announces New Name for the 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 23, 2016) – Meijer officials announced today that it’s changing the name of its LPGA tournament to the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give in an effort to focus on its cause of stocking local food pantries.

“Thanks to the ongoing community support, the Meijer LPGA Classic has been incredibly successful, providing world-class golf and fun events for families,” Meijer Co-Chairman Doug Meijer said. “But it has made a far greater impact by raising awareness and funding for hunger relief in the Midwest. We are dedicated to this cause.”

The 2016 Meijer LPGA Classic will be held June 13-19 at Blythefield Country Club, and will once again benefit the retailer’s Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The inaugural tournament in 2014 raised more than $600,000, and the 2015 Meijer LPGA Classic generated $750,000 for the Simply Give program.

The program has generated more than $21 million for food pantries across the Midwest since its inception in November 2008.

This year, the tournament will line up with the retailer’s spring Simply Give campaign, which is scheduled to run May 8 through June 19. To participate in the program, customers can purchase a $10 donation card at their local Meijer store, which will be converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and given to the food pantry selected by the store.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic is a great opportunity for the entire community to come together to make a difference,” Tournament Director Lesley Baker said. “We look forward to working with our fantastic sponsors to bring another exciting event to them this year.”

The Meijer LPGA Classic is a world-class tournament that hosts a full field of 144 of the best female golfers playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition.

For more information, please visit MeijerLPGAClassic.com.

Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft Raised $750,000 to Feed Hungry Families

Memorable week of golf raises funds for Meijer Simply Give program to restock Midwest food pantries

Representatives with the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft today deemed the second annual tournament a success with a $750,000 donation to the retailer’s Simply Give program, which advances its mission of helping Midwest food pantries restock their shelves and improve the quality of life within the region. American LPGA professional Lexi Thompson of Coral Springs, Fla. took home the trophy at the LPGA Tour event, which took place at Blythefield Country Club July 23-26, but the real winners are the families who will benefit from the donation.

“Thanks to the great weather and enthusiastic crowds, the second annual Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft was a complete success and will continue improving the quality of life in the Midwest,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “Everyone who has supported the tournament has helped make a difference because this week was about more than world-class golf. It was an opportunity for the entire community to come together to have fun while supporting a very important cause – feeding the hungry.” 

While attendance figures are not yet available, representatives said the tournament continued to exceed expectations.

Meijer began its Simply Give program in November 2008 and has since generated more than $16 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 $750,000 donation will be divided among the retailer’s estimated 200 food pantry partners participating in the fall Simply Give campaign, which runs through Sept. 12.

“We receive about two-third of our funding for food purchases through the Meijer Simply Give program,” said Mark Tallis, of the Holt Community Food Bank. “We appreciate Meijer for having the Simply Give program because it gives us the ability to help our families with more food and keep them stable so that the children in our community are not going hungry.”

To participate in the Simply Give program, customers can purchase a $10 donation card at their local Meijer store, which will be converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and given to the food pantry selected by the store. Meijer will stretch every customer’s donation further during Double Match Days Sept. 3-5 in recognition of Hunger Action Month. That means for every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will contribute $20, resulting in a total $30 donation.

A crowd of enthusiastic fans lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club July 23-26 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Lexi Thompson claimed the title as the Meijer LPGA Classic champion, making this her fifth LPGA Tour victory. At age 12, she was the youngest golfer ever to qualify to play in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Thompson said it was important to start the tournament well.

“I knew I had to make birdies against everybody in the field basically with Lizette (Salas) and then Gerina (Piller) behind me, so I knew I had to make a lot of birdies out there and it’s always nice to start off with one,” Thompson said.