Lorena Ochoa, winner of the 2005 Wegmans LPGA was welcomed back to Locust Hill Country Club today for Defending Champion’s day. Lorena, number one on this year’s money list, is among other local favorites such as Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Rosie Jones, Cristie Kerr Christina Kim, Morgan Pressel and Karrie Webb who will be returning to Rochester this June. Tournament Chairman Jerry Stahl also announced that 9 of the top 10, 23 of the top 25, and 93 of the top 100 LPGA players have already committed to competing in the tournament.
Colleen Wegman, President of Wegmans Food Markets announced the tournament’s player exemptions for 2006. The exemptions were given to Kelli Kuehne, an All American at the University of Texas, member of two Solheim Cup teams, and champion of the 1999 Corning Classic. The second exemption was given to Amanda Blumenherst, a freshman at Duke University who was named ACC Player and Freshman of the year.
For the first time ever, Wegmans LPGA tournament merchandise is available to the public at Snow Country in Pittsford plaza. Merchandise went on sale May 11 and will be available through tournament week. All proceeds benefit the Disabled Children of Monroe.
Buick, the official vehicle of the tournament has provided a 2006 Buick Lucerne for the tournament raffle. Buick has also provided a 2006 Buick LaCrosse to be won during the Time Warner Million Dollar Hole In One event which begins with the qualifying round June 2 -9 with the final round on Sunday June 18 at Locust Hill. Time Warner Cable is running a Million-Dollar Dad Essay contest for a chance to win a dad a spot in the final round of the Million-Dollar Hole-In-One Contest this Father’s Day! If your dad is chosen, you’ll win a $100 Dick’s Sporting Goods gift certificate. Visit timewarnercable.com/rochester for contest details.
On Tuesday, June 20th, The Tournament of Champions will begin at 1:30 PM on the 1st tee: Jane Blalock, Penny Hammel and Kathy Whitworth will be in Group 1 and will tee off the 1st tee at 1:30 PM. Deb Richard, Ayako Okamoto and Pat Bradley will be in Group 2 and will tee off at 1:40 PM. Sandra Haynie, Tammie Green and Nancy Lopez will be in Group 3 and will tee off at 1:50 PM. Group three will tee off at 2:00 PM and will feature Judy Dickinson, Lisa Kiggens and Patty Sheehan. They will be competing for a $50,000 purse with first place taking home $30,000.
Opening ceremonies will be held on the 18th green and will be at 8:00 PM. Sometimes Three will begin playing at 6:30 PM. Concession stands and merchandise areas will be open. The evening will end with fireworks at disk. Admission to the opening ceremony is free to the public with the gates opening up at 5:00 PM.
On Wednesday, June 21, a Luncheon and Conversation with Champions….Women, Sports and the LPGA, will be held at Locust Hill Country Club. This event is presented by Good Home Co, in conjunction with the Wegmans LPGA and the University of Rochester’s Anthony Center for Women’s Leadership. The event includes lunch in the Champion’s Pavilion, an awards presentation, and a conversation with champions Paula Creamer, Heather Daly-Donofrio, Alice Miller and Betsy Rawls. Tickets for this event are still available.