When the LPGA brings the inaugural Bank of Hope Match Play to Shadow Creek next month, it will do so without spectators on the course.
LPGA Tour officials confirmed Monday that the tour will continue its policy that has been in place since golf resumed during the coronavirus pandemic last summer.
Although the PGA Tour has started letting smaller numbers of fans back on the course over the past few weeks and the Korn Ferry Tour played its stop in Las Vegas this month with a handful of spectators, that isn’t the case with the LPGA.
“The LPGA and our tournaments are taking a slow and steady approach to welcoming fans back to our events,” said Christina Lance, director of tour media for the LPGA. “We hope to have fans back soon but are moving with caution.”
The decision means less of a Solheim Cup atmosphere and more of a college golf feel when the best players in the world take on Shadow Creek in a rare match-play format.
Danielle Kang was hoping fans would be back by the time her hometown event rolled around, saying match play lends itself to fan engagement.
“With COVID, we never know what’s going to happen,” she said in March. “We’re going to have to be very patient, see what happens and hope for a better tomorrow.”
The tournament will be played from May 26 to 30, with 64 players competing for a $1.5 million purse. The women will be grouped into pods of four and play a round robin over the first three days. The 16 winners of each pod will advance to knockout rounds on the weekend.
There is one way for golf fans to get a glimpse of the action. Anyone who volunteers to work at the event will be permitted to spectate when not on duty.
Volunteers are needed for dozens of positions. Information can be found at bankofhopelpgamatchplay.com.
The tournament is also granting admission to 20 fans in a random drawing. Entries can be made at bankofhope.com/lpga-sweepstakes.
Women’s SNGA Mid-Amateur
To say Kim Braaten coasted to victory in the inaugural Women’s SNGA Mid-Amateur would be quite an understatement.
Braaten won the event last week by 26 shots over two days at Boulder City Golf Club, finishing at 6-over 150 in the championship bracket.
“My ball striking was pretty solid,” Braaten said. “And then when I missed, I missed in the right spots so I was able to get it up and down.”
In the Senior Mid-Amateur, Regina Quintero finished at 4-over 148 to claim a five-shot victory over Ronda Henderson.
“My strength was to hang in there and just keep trying to get pars,” Quintero said.
Other winners included Shayna Both (Championship Net), Linda Cartwright (Senior Net), Ronda Henderson (Silver Gross) and Theresa Summers (Silver Net).
The players were grateful for the new event on the schedule.
“It’s really nice to be the first winner. It’s definitely special,” Braaten said. “I’m glad they added this event, and hopefully it will continue to grow.”
SNGA Mesquite Classic
UNLV senior Brandon Resnick walked away with the championship title at last week’s Mesquite Classic, one of the oldest and most prestigious events on the SNGA calendar.
Resnick birdied four of his final six holes to shoot a tournament-best 68 in the final round, finishing at par 144 for a one-shot win over Ian Fitz at Palms Golf Club.
In the Senior division, Glenn Hogle won his second straight event, finishing at 2-over 146 for a five-shot margin over Brian Frye.
Other winners included Jerry Algeo (Championship Net), Gordon Schiring (Senior Net), Steven Fink (Silver Gross) and Dario Gonzales (Silver Net).
Greg Robertson is a freelance reporter who covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at [email protected]
What: Valspar Championship.
When: Thursday, Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, Sunday, 10 a.m.-noon (Golf Channel), noon-3 p.m. (KLAS-8).
Where: Palm Harbor, Fla.; Innisbrook Resort (Copperhead).
Prize money: $6.9 million. Winner’s share: $1,242,000.
Defending champion: Paul Casey (2019).
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When: Wednesday-Saturday, 8 p.m.-midnight (Golf Channel).
Where: Singapore; Sentosa GC (Tanjong).
Prize money: $1.6 million. Winner’s share: $240,000.
Defending champion: Sung Hyun Park (2019).
PGA Tour Champions
What: Insperity Invitational.
When: Friday, 9-11 a.m. (Golf Channel). Saturday, Sunday, noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Where: The Woodlands, Texas, CC (Tournament).
Prize money: $2.2 million. Winner’s share: $330,000.
Defending champion: Scott McCarron (2019).