A Unforgettable Look Back at Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic
Jan. 7, 2014, Paradise Island, Bahamas – The Islands of the Bahamas waited a long time to gain its first LPGA event, and the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic from May 24-26, 2013, turned out to be an event that the players and officials will never forget. Ilhee Lee became a Rolex First-Time Winner, but there were triumphs to celebrate throughout the week amid some of the most challenging conditions ever encountered in a professional golf event.
Despite a course flooded by rain, the LPGA and its players, the host organization and tournament organizer Global Golf Management all pulled together to put on a unique and exciting 36-hole tournament using a brilliantly conceived 12-hole routing.
How challenging was it? Heavy storms dumped almost 15 inches of rain on the area in the 36 hours leading up to the tournament’s first round and strong winds of nearly 50 miles per hour damaged many of the temporary structures erected for the inaugural event. The picturesque seaside holes on the Ocean Club Golf Course were particularly hard hit, and the fairways on the finishing holes of 9 and 18 were completely flooded.
The answer was to shorten the event to 36 holes and alter the course routing to configure a 12-hole course for each of three days. A tournament would happen, through determination, skill, hard work and quick thinking.
“We put our heads together and thought this was the best alternative to deal with a difficult situation,” Michael Whan, LPGA Commissioner, said at that time. “We think we have at least 12 holes that are playable and in this way we are putting on a golf tournament (without a cut) and playing enough holes for the money to count as being official. We think this is the best solution, and it still delivers a great event for our sponsors and fans.”
The players ultimately played a course that started on hole 10 and advanced to 6-7-4-5-11-12-13-14-2-3-and 8. The yardages were adjusted on some of holes as well. And all of the players began play on hole 10.
Recently, Whan further reflected on the challenges of that first Bahamas Classic and still marvels at how everyone on hand pulled together to overcome adversity and make it a success – so successful, in fact, that the LPGA moved the tournament to the front of its 2014 schedule. The second Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic is set for January 20-26.
“We were hit with the greatest weather challenge the LPGA has ever faced, but we were there long enough before the rains came to know how good it is going to be in the years to come,” said Whan. “The players were telling me on Monday and Tuesday that the course was unbelievable and there could be some good scoring. So, we look forward to giving the Pure Silk and Bahamas sponsors the event they deserve. And nothing could be better than to start the LPGA season in Paradise.”
“It was one of the most challenging events we have managed,” said Jeff Raedle, president of Global Golf Management, which will again oversee the event for 2014 and beyond. “We are all looking forward to a quieter time in the Bahamas in 2014 and helping to showcase this event, the Islands and our sponsors to all the viewers live on the Golf Channel.”
The date change gives the event a fresh start and kicks off the 2014 LPGA schedule in the East Coast time zone for the first time in 13 years. Whatever happens, it should be another exciting week of golf.
For more tournament information, visit www.puresilkbahamasclassic.com or contact the Tournament Office at (242) 363 2000 (extension 67179).
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About the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism
The Islands Of The Bahamas have a place in the sun for everyone from Nassau and Paradise Island to Grand Bahama to The Abaco Islands, The Exuma Islands, Harbour Island, Long Island and others. Each island has its own personality and attractions for a variety of vacation styles with some of the world’s best golf, scuba diving, fishing, sailing, boating, as well as, shopping and dining. The destination offers an easily accessible tropical getaway and provides convenience for travelers with pre-clearance through U.S. customs and immigration, and the Bahamian dollar at par with the U.S. dollar. Do everything or do nothing, just remember It’s Better in The Bahamas. For more information on travel packages, activities and accommodations, call 1-800-Bahamas or visit www.Bahamas.com. Look for The Bahamas on the web on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. To purchase one-of-a-kind items from The Bahamas, visit www.eshopbahamas.com.
About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 29 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.
About Global Golf Management
Global Golf Management is a worldwide sports event management company. With headquarters in Chicago, GGM has successfully staged more than 500 events on five continents since its inception in 1989. GGM specializes in professional golf tournament production but also handles corporate outings and other golf-related event ventures. For more information, visit www.GlobalGolfManagement.com or www.twitter.com/GlobalGolfMgmt.
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