After a successful inaugural tournament that generated $600,000 for food pantries across the Midwest, the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft will return to Grand Rapids in 2015 for another week of community events and the best women golfers in the world.
The tournament will be held July 21-26, 2015 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.
During the inaugural tournament Aug. 7-10, the crowds exceeded expectations with more than 40,000 spectators coming out for the week. Rookie superstar Mirim Lee claimed her first LPGA Tour victory with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff against fellow South Korean Inbee Park.
“The success of the Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft greatly exceeded our expectations, and afforded us an unmatched opportunity to raise awareness and funding for hunger relief in the Midwest,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “The community really embraced this tournament, and we look forward to bringing another exciting event to them next year.”
The praise for the inaugural event didn’t stop at the monetary impact on the hungry; it made a tremendous impact on the LPGA professionals during their week in Grand Rapids.
Runner-up Inbee Park noticed the crowds cheering her on throughout the week.
“I was really surprised how they love golf here in Michigan and how supportive they were," Park said. "I'm very thankful that they are supporting golf and women's golf."
Stacy Lewis saw the value in adding locations like Grand Rapids to the LPGA schedule.
"I think just by the fans and all the crowds we've had this week, it shows that we need to be here," said Lewis, the No. 1 ranked player in the world during the Meijer LPGA Classic. "We had a great first year."
Some even spoke on the excitement for years to come.
"This was a first-class event," Suzann Pettersen said. "The venue, great golf course. I'm happy to be back here next year."