Michigan

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Grand Rapids Ready for LPGA Classic

30 Jul, 2014


The LPGA Tour will see its best players in women’s golf heading off to Grand Rapids, Mich. for the first time in more than a decade to take part in the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic, which will be held August 7-10, 2014 at Blythefield Country Club.

The $1.5 million Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full-field of 144 players playing 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. The tournament will be the LPGA Tour’s first stop in Michigan since 2000 when the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing, Mich. ended its 9-year run. It will also mark the first annual golf event to take place in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula since 2009 when the PGA Tour last hosted the Buick Open in Grand Blanc.

“The Midwest has a great history when it comes to women’s golf and we are truly excited to partner with a company like Meijer to bring the LPGA Tour back to the state of Michigan,” LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan said. “The area has such passionate golf fans and with Meijer’s commitment to giving back to their community, this tournament could not be a better fit for the LPGA.”

With Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer as title sponsor, the driving mission of the Meijer LPGA Classic is focused on feeding the hungry and improving the quality of life within the region. The tournament will coincide with the retailer’s Simply Give program, which has generated more than $6.5 million – equaling 39 million meals – for food pantries in the communities it serves.

“Hunger is a problem that impacts one out of six people in nearly every community,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. “The Simply Give program gives everyone a chance to work toward ensuring no one has to go to bed hungry. We are pleased to partner with the LPGA to continue our fundamental philosophy of strengthening the communities where our customers and team members work and live.”

Although this is the first time the LPGA will play in Grand Rapids, the area has a strong history of showcasing premier golf events. The city played host to a Champions Tour event for 19 years, from 1986-2004, and the LPGA hopes to continue the long-standing relationship that professional golf has within the community.

"Octagon looks forward to teaming up with Meijer and the LPGA to create a sustainable event that spotlights the Grand Rapids Community. With Meijer's deep community relations and charitable impact, the best women golfers in the world, and Blythefield Country Club as the perfect backdrop, this event could not be built on a better foundation" said Octagon Senior Vice President Andy Bush.

Located just north of Grand Rapids in Belmont, Blythefield Country Club has hosted a number of prestigious golf events including the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open and the 2005 Western Junior. The exquisite 18-hole, 6,859-yard golf course will provide a true championship test for the best women golfers in the world who come there to compete in August.

 “The passionate membership of Blythefield Country Club is honored to be selected by generous community leader Meijer to partner on this important initiative SIMPLY GIVE. We look forward to partnering with the LPGA in offering the greater golf community the opportunity to experience the 144 best women golfers in the world" said Patti Butcher, 2010 LPGA National Golf Professional of the Year and Director of Golf and Club Operations of historic Blythefield Country Club.

About Meijer Simply Give: Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates 204 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.

About Blythefield Country Club: Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. Beginning in 2014 Blythefield is honored to host the Meijer LPGA Classic. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org.

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 Octagon Global Events: Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world’s largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit www.octagonglobalevents.com.

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