LPGA Official Money List No. 2, and arguably playing the best golf on tour, Stacy Lewis leads a stellar field into the June 20-24 tournament at Grey Silo Golf Course. The field features 8 of the top 10 and 24 of the top 30 on the LPGA Official Money List.
“We are excited to have this kind of a response from the players and the community for our first-year event,” says Tournament Director Richard Kuypers. “We expect a tremendous turnout from the fans and cannot wait to showcase the greatest female golfers in the world to Waterloo Region.”
Along with Lewis, 2012 tournament winners Azahara Munoz (ranked 3rd on the Money List), Ai Miyazato (ranked 4th), and Shanshan Feng (ranked 5th) highlight the spectacular 144-player field. Previously announced superstars who will be competing include Suzann Pettersen, Karrie Webb, Cristie Kerr, Morgan Pressel, Lexi Thompson, Paula Creamer, and Michelle Wie.
"We are very excited to have attracted such a high calibre field of the world's best female golfers to the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic," noted Brian Gooding, Senior Vice President of Distribution at Manulife Financial. "When we consider the strength of the players that will be competing, the quality of the golf course on which they'll be playing, and the energy with which this community has embraced the tournament, we are truly ready to welcome the world to Waterloo region next week."
The field’s top Canadian golfers Lorie Kane and Alena Sharp will look to keep the championship trophy from leaving the country. Kane, the Charlottetown, PEI native has enjoyed great success on the LPGA Tour, ranking 18th all-time in career earnings. Sharp has enjoyed similar success while playing on the Canadian Women’s Tour, the West Coast Ladies, and the Cactus Tours. Sharp is still searching for her first LPGA Tour victory, and none would be sweeter for the Hamilton, ON protege than the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic title.
Other Canadians in the field include Jessica Shepley, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Stephanie Sherlock, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, and Samantha Richdale. In addition to the Canadian tournament professionals, amateurs Jennifer Kirby and Lindsey Smith will compete for the coveted first year title. Born in Paris, Ontario, Jennifer Kirby was a member of the 2012 NCAA Division 1 Champion, Alabama Crimson Tide golf team and continues to grow as an amateur golfer and is currently the top-ranked Canadian amateur. Lindsey Smith, from nearby London, Ontario, will get her first career LPGA start next week after competing on both the CN Canadian Women’s Tour and the Duramed Futures Tour (developed by the LPGA). In total, there are nine Canadians competing in the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
The full field is listed below. Two players will be added after the qualifier on Monday, June 18 at Paris Grand Country Club.
Heather Bowie Young
Na Yeon Choi
Mi Jung Hur
Yoo Kyeong Kim
Jennifer Kirby (a) *
Min Seo Kwak
Jee Young Lee
Mi Hyang Lee
Seon Hwa Lee
Na On Min
Ji Young Oh
Jin Young Pak
Hee Young Park
So Yeon Ryu
Dewi Claire Schreefel
Hee Kyung Seo
Lindsey Smith *
Sarah Jane Smith
Sun Young Yoo
* Sponsor invite
Tickets to the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic are priced as low as $30 and can be used any day of the tournament. Children age 15 and under will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Fans can order tickets online at www.manulifeclassic.ca or call the tournament office at (519) 884-5742. Group ticket packages are also available.
About the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic is a new addition to the LPGA Tour and will feature a standard eligibility field of 144 players, 72 holes of stroke play and a purse of $1.3 million. The 2012 inaugural tournament will take place June 20-24, at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, home of Manulife Financial’s Canadian Division. www.manulifeclassic.ca
About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.
About Sports Properties International
Sports Properties International was created to provide an environment where communities and spectacular sporting events can come together, connected by a common interest. Sports Properties International can be found on the Internet at www.sportspropertiesinternational.com.
About Bruno Event Team
Bruno Event Team (BET) is a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports marketing and event management company formed in 1996 by Ronald Bruno and Gene Hallman. Bruno Event Team is experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of 70+ employees in nine offices around the United States and one office in Canada. Bruno Event Team services each client with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, advertising, public and media relations, ticket and merchandise sales, sponsor relations, hospitality consulting, event operations, event financial planning/accounting and volunteer coordination. Visit www.brunoeventteam.com for additional information.
|Tracy Van Kalsbeek
Public Relations Consultant
Manulife Financial Canadian Division
Promotions & Ticket Manager
Manulife Financial LPGA Classic