Thornberry Creek preparing for LPGA Classic
By Rich Palzewic
HOBART – Organizers of the third annual Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic are busy making preparations for this year’s event.
The popular tournament, which will be held July 4-7, saw winner Sei Young Kim play the course at an LPGA record 31-under par in 2018.
Kim, along with 2017 champion, Katherine Kirk, will be back to seek another title this summer.
Kirk, who is playing her 16th season on tour, was in attendance for the LPGA Classic Media Day May 14.
“It is always special to come back to a place that you love and have enjoyed success at, so I’m excited about returning to Thornberry Creek,” said Kirk, who along with the other 143 golfers, will be competing for a $2 million purse. “Everyone at Oneida is so supportive and the fans really know how to get behind the players, even when you walk through town in your golf gear, people are shouting good luck. During my title defense, I could not believe how many people welcomed me back, and that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Kim’s record-setting tournament last year prompted some to say the course wasn’t demanding enough for some of the best golfers in the world.
“At this golf course, everyone has a chance coming into Sunday,” Kirk said. “I would expect to see another jam-packed leader board again this year. All the girls love coming here because it’s a great opportunity to score low – who doesn’t like making birdies? The spectators also want to see birdies and eagles. It’s a beautiful course. I see another score in the ‘20s [under par] needed to win. Pin and tee placement can be changed a little bit.”
Joining Kim and Kirk at this year’s event will be No. 3-ranked Sung Hyun Park, No. 5 Nasa Hataoka and seven-time major winner and LPGA Hall of Famer, Inbee Park.
“We will have 144 of the best lady golfers in the world coming to the event this July,” said IMG Tournament Director John Paul Genet. “We will have more names in regards to the field in the coming weeks – it will be exciting to see who commits. One thing we have tried to embrace and integrate with the tournament is the pride and culture of the Oneida Nation. New this year, we are opening the clubhouse to every single person that holds a ticket.”
For more information, to volunteer or to purchase tickets, visit thornberrycreeklpgaclassic.com or CLICK HERE.