Jan. 13, 2014, Paradise Island, Bahamas – Bahamas native Georgette Rolle and veteran LPGA player Wendy Ward have accepted sponsor exemptions to play in next week’s Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic Jan. 23-26 at the Ocean Club Golf Course.
The two will join the 108-player field for the second LPGA event staged in the Bahamas. Ilhee Lee won the inaugural event last May at the Ocean Club, earning her first LPGA title.
Rolle, a 28-year-old who twice won the Bahamas National Amateur Championship, in 2003 and 2007, also was awarded a sponsor exemption in 2013. But since being graduated from Texas Southern University, Rolle has spent most of her time as an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional Class B member while trying to build her career as a touring professional.
Rolle relocated from Texas to her homeland in January. And she is again going to play on the layout where she learned the game.
“I am very grateful and excited to again have the opportunity to play in an LPGA event at home,” said Rolle, who missed the cut last year. “
Conversely, Ward, 40, has been a full-time player on the LPGA Tour from 1996 through 2013, with four victories and $5 million in earnings. Her last win came in 2005 at the LPGA Takefuji Classic. Since 2012, however, she has spent increasing amounts of time overcoming injuries and tending to the family’s 300-acre cattle ranch in Washington.
“I am honored and excited to accept this special place in the field, and I look forward to teeing it up with my fellow LPGA superstars and show them that this veteran still has some competitiveness in her bag,” Ward said. “I have battled a few injuries over the past two seasons, but now I’m healthy and hungry to get back in contention.”
As an amateur, the Texas native was among the most accomplished of all-time, leading her Arizona State University team to three NCAA titles and winning the 1994 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The Pure Silk-Bahamas Classic is the first event of the 2014 LPGA season, and the impressive field includes six of the best 10 women’s golfers in Rolex World Rankings, including Suzanne Pettersen and Stacy Lewis, ranked second and third respectively. Women’s Golf Hall-of-Famers Juli Inkster and Se Ri Pak will also compete.
“We are privileged to be able to offer special exemptions to Georgette and Wendy, and we know that they will only strengthen our field for the first LPGA event of the 2014 season,” said Matt Truax, tournament director. “I feel that something special is going to happen here and we can’t wait to get started.”
The Golf Channel will provide 10 hours of coverage of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, which is in its second season. Live play will be shown from 11:30 -2:30 on Thursday and Friday and from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
For more tournament information, visit www.puresilkbahamasclassic.com or contact the Tournament Office at (242) 363 2000 (extension 67179). Admission and general parking are free for all spectators.
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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.
Craig Smith, Media Official, Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 484-456-9145
Mike Harmon, Global Golf Management, email@example.com; +1 205-281-6704