Second-annual Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will serve as season opener
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, September 25, 2013 – For the first time in 13 years, the LPGA tournament schedule will begin in January next season. The LPGA today announced that the second-annual Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic will serve as the Tour’s season-opening event when it returns to the Ocean Club Golf Course at Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas, January 20-26, 2014.
“It will be great to start our season in Paradise,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan. “Playing in The Bahamas in an East Coast time zone will be a great way for our fans to watch our season-opening event live on Golf Channel.”
The move takes the tournament from late May to late January in advance of the Tour’s traditional February Asia-Pacific swing. In 2013, Ilhee Lee became a Rolex First-Time Winner with her victory at the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, which was rain-shortened to 36 holes.
“We are big believers in the LPGA,” said Barbasol/Pure Silk CEO Thomas Murray. “We had a tremendous inaugural tournament last May and are thrilled to have the opportunity to kick-off the LPGA season in The Bahamas.”
The last time the LPGA played an official money event in January was 2001, when three were contested during the month.
“The Bahamas are excited to be the season-opening event location for the LPGA tour in 2014. We think there is a special relationship between golf fans and early tour events as everyone dreams of summer and imagines the joy golf will bring them,” said Mr. David Johnson, Director General of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism. “These are certainly emotions we are happy to be associated with in The Bahamas. We fully expect that our weather will be picture perfect for this event and the players, and viewers, will get a good look at the attractions of our destination. Our islands are a year-round destination for golfers and this January kick-off for the ladies golf season will surely showcase that,”
Golf Channel will feature four-day live coverage of the 72-hole, $1.3 million tournament.
"After a challenging inaugural year, we are excited to be back at the Ocean Club, preparing for the 2014 Pure Silk Bahamas LPGA Classic," said Jeff Raedle, president of Global Golf Management, which manages the tournament. "The players, fans and television viewers will truly see the event shine to its fullest with the new date."