The third-annual Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic returns to Lake Merced Golf Club April 18 – 24 with the LPGA’s best players battling to stop World No.1 Lydia Ko from racking up a third consecutive victory at the event.
Fresh off her second career major championship victory at the ANA Inspiration earlier this month, Ko is headed back to the Bay Area with her sights set on a 13th LPGA win and third at the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. With a victory next week, Ko would become the 11th player in LPGA history to win the same tournament three years in a row. She will celebrate her 19th birthday on Sunday, April 24 during the final round of the tournament.
“The Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic will once again be a celebration of golf, art and culture,” said Jon-Paul Genet, Tournament Director, IMG. “With the generous support of Swinging Skirts, CTBC, and our local partners, we will once again welcome a world class field of the LPGA’s best to Lake Merced Golf Club. We hope fans will enjoy the most engaging athletes in sports as the best golfers in the world return to the Bay Area next week.”
Seventeen of the top 20 players on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and 24 of the top 25 players from the 2015 LPGA Official Money List have committed to the field, including No. 3 Lexi Thompson and No. 4 Stacy Lewis.
Minjee Lee, winner of last week’s LOTTE Championship, will be at Lake Merced following her final-round 64 and one-shot victory on Saturday in Hawaii. With the win, Lee is projected to rise to No. 12 in the Rolex Rankings and becomes just the fifth player in Tour history to win twice before the age of 20. Lee is familiar with the world-renowned course at Lake Merced – she won the USGA Junior Girls’ Championship there in 2012.
Teenage Canadian star Brooke Henderson, who held the 54-hole lead last year as a 17-year-old playing on a sponsor’s exemption, returns to Lake Merced this year aiming to improve on her third place finish in 2015. Henderson went on to win the Cambia Portland Classic in August and earn LPGA Tour membership. She has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last seven tournaments.
Bay Area native and returning U.S. Solheim Cup Captain Juli Inkster will also return to the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, in the same week that the San Francisco Giants will honor her as a lifelong fan with “Juli Inkster Bobblehead Night” on Friday, April 22. Inkster is also scheduled to deliver the keynote address at Swinging Skirts Executive Women’s Day, a program that will include San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Kay Cockerill of Golf Channel, Brenda Villa, the most decorated athlete in women’s water polo history, and two-time Olympic gold medalist and U.S. Soccer legend Brandi Chastain.
“We are proud to welcome a world-class field to the third edition of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic Presented by CTBC,” said Swinging Skirts Chairman Johnson Wang. “We know that Lake Merced Golf Club and the Bay Area will once again serve as a challenging and beautiful backdrop as we showcase all that Taiwan has to offer in one of Asia’s biggest gateway cities.”
Other fan favorites in the field include such locals as Pleasanton native Paula Creamer, San Jose native Christina Kim, Stanford graduate Michelle Wie, as well as Cristie Kerr, Suzann Pettersen and Cheyenne Woods.
“CTBC Bank is proud to support the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic and to join with Lydia Ko and the world’s greatest golfers in the women’s game,” said Noor Menai, President and CEO of CTBC Bank USA. “With IMG and Swinging Skirts, we share a love of golf, devotion to communities and perfection in business, which is connected to CTBC’s vast global customer commitment to building a real bridge to financial dreams.”
Tickets are still available at www.SwingingSkirtsLPGAClassic.com in a variety of price ranges including Wednesday Only ($15 advance/$20 at the gate), Tournament Round Daily ($25 advance/$30 at the gate) and Weekly Grounds ($80 advance only) passes, as well as Champions Club hospitality packages. Complimentary admission to the tournament is provided to children ages 15 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. Prices for tickets will increase on April 18.
Fans can also view the tournament on the LPGA’s global television partner networks including Golf Channel in the U.S., which will show live coverage Thursday, April 21 through Sunday, April 24 from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time, and Fox in Taiwan.
Hung Yi, an acclaimed contemporary artist from Taiwan, will once again display his colorful animal sculptures at Lake Merced this year. These 16 pieces of art have become a cultural staple of the tournament and will be spread throughout the course for players, spectators, and volunteers to enjoy.
For more information on Executive Women’s Day or to register for the event, please click here.