In a press event at Lake Merced Golf Club on February 3rd, 2014, Santa Cruz native and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster joined Donna Lowe, General Manager of Lake Merced Golf Club, and Kevin Hopkins, Tournament Executive Director, to announce the upcoming Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic at Lake Merced Golf Club.
Coming April 21–27, 2014, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic marks the return of the LPGA to the Bay Area after a four-year absence. With a total purse of $1.8 million, and a winner’s purse of $270,000, the Swinging Skirts will rank just below the five “major” tournaments of the LPGA season, ensuring that the tournament will attract the best players that women’s golf can offer – players such as Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, and Jessica Korda.
The tournament’s sponsor, the Swinging Skirts Golf Team, is a private, Taiwan-based non-profit organization made up of men and women amateur golfers whose aim is to grow women’s golf. The organization sponsors developmental golf programs and a competition series in Taiwan in concert with the Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and the Korean Ladies Professional Golf Association.
“I’m ecstatic to be back here,” Inkster said, “It was three or four years ago (that) we thought we might have a U.S. Open here at Lake Merced, but that kind of fell through. I think it’s going to be a great golf course, a great venue for it. It’s tough – it’s going to play like an Open.
“I think it’s important for the LPGA to be in this area,” Inkster went on to say, “and this is a great place for us to stay. I’m looking forward to it, and I know that a lot of the girls from the Bay Area are looking forward to coming back.”
Lake Merced Golf Club’s General Manager, Donna Lowe, told the group, “Lake Merced is obviously very proud to host the event. When we started this venture we really felt committed to giving all that we can to the success of the tournament. Not only are the members supportive, but the community itself. The support has been quite tremendous.”
Though Lake Merced Golf Club lies entirely within the city limits of Daly City, it is close to the border with San Francisco, and both San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and Daly City’s City Manager Patricia Martel have pledged their support for the event.
The field for the event will consist of one-hundred-forty-four players, to include one-hundred-twenty-two LPGA players, ten players from the Taiwan LPGA Official Money List, seven players of Taiwanese descent, and five sponsor’s exemptions. Two spots of the one-hundred-twenty-two from the LPGA will come from a qualifying tournament to be held Monday, April 21, at a course to be determined.
Tickets for the event are available online at www.SwingingSkirtsLPGAClassic.com, at golf retail shops in the area – including PGA Tour Superstore, The Golf Mart, and Golfsmith – and at the gate during tournament week.