Event marks first time in more than 10 years the LPGA stops in Michigan, benefits retailer’s Simply Give hunger relief program
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 8, 2013) – The LPGA announced today that the best players in women’s golf will head to Grand Rapids, Mich. for the first time in more than a decade to take part in the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic, which will be held August 7-10, 2014 at Blythefield Country Club.
The $1.5 million Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full-field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. The tournament will be the LPGA Tour’s first stop in Michigan since 2000 when the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing, Mich. ended its 9-year run. It will also mark the first annual golf event to take place in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula since 2009 when the PGA Tour last hosted the Buick Open in Grand Blanc.
“The Midwest has a great history when it comes to women’s golf and we are truly excited to partner with a company like Meijer to bring the LPGA Tour back to the state of Michigan,” LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said. “The area has such passionate golf fans and with Meijer’s commitment to giving back to their community, this tournament could not be a better fit for the LPGA.”
With Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer as title sponsor, the driving mission of the Meijer LPGA Classic is focused on feeding the hungry and improving the quality of life within the region. The tournament will coincide with the retailer’s Simply Give program, which has generated more than $6.5 million – equaling 39 million meals – for food pantries in the communities it serves.
“Hunger is a problem that impacts one out of six people in nearly every community,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “The Simply Give program gives everyone a chance to work toward ensuring no one has to go to bed hungry. We are pleased to partner with the LPGA to continue our fundamental philosophy of strengthening the communities where our customers and team members work and live.”
Although this is the first time the LPGA will play in Grand Rapids, the area has a strong history of showcasing premier golf events. The city played host to a Champions Tour event for 19 years, from 1986-2004, and the LPGA hopes to continue the long-standing relationship that professional golf has within the community.
“Octagon looks forward to teaming up with Meijer and the LPGA to create a sustainable event that spotlights the Grand Rapids Community. With Meijer’s deep community relations and charitable impact, the best women golfers in the world, and Blythefield Country Club as the perfect backdrop, this event could not be built on a better foundation” said Octagon Senior Vice President Andy Bush.
Located just north of Grand Rapids in Belmont, Blythefield Country Club has hosted a number of prestigious golf events including the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open and the 2005 Western Junior. The exquisite 18-hole, 6,859-yard golf course will provide a true championship test for the best women golfers in the world who come there to compete in August.
“The passionate membership of Blythefield Country Club is honored to be selected by generous community leader Meijer to partner on this important initiative SIMPLY GIVE. We look forward to partnering with the LPGA in offering the greater golf community the opportunity to experience the 144 best women golfers in the world” said Patti Butcher, 2010 LPGA National Golf Professional of the Year and Director of Golf and Club Operations of historic Blythefield Country Club.