The LPGA Tour hasn’t had a tournament of champions in more than a decade. But that’s about to change for the 2019 season with the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions Presented by Insurance Office of America.
To be held Jan. 17-20, 2019, at Tranquilo Golf Course at Four Seasons Orlando in Florida, the tournament will be a true champions’ event with only LPGA winners from the 2017 and 2018 seasons qualifying to compete.
They will be playing 72 holes with no cut for $1.2 million in official prize money, and with one of the top fields of women golfers in the world, the competition will be tough.
And there’s a twist.
The women will be playing alongside a roster of world-class sports and entertainment celebrities who will be competing for their own $500,000 purse using a modified Stableford scoring format.
“This is not your mom and dad’s golf tournament,” said Mike Flaskey, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Resorts, a global leader in the hospitality, vacation ownership and entertainment industries. “We hold great concerts and events in the evenings and focus on hospitality, which is a big part of what we do at Diamond Resorts, so we’re bringing that together with the professional golf element mixed with celebrities – it’s way more than just a golf tournament. In fact, it will be the place to be in Orlando that week.”
To date, 36 LPGA players have qualified to compete, including Brittany Lincicome, Brooke Henderson, Marina Alex, Shanshan Feng, Georgia Hall, Nasa Hataoka, Eun Ji, Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn,
Danielle Kang. Cristie Kerr, In-Kyung Kim, Sei Young Kim, Katherine Kirk, Jin Young Ko, Lydia Ko, Jessica Korda, Mi Hyang Lee, Minjee Lee, Mirim Lee, Stacy Lewis, Pernilla Lindberg, Haru Nomura, Anna Nordqvist, Annie Park, Inbee Park, Sung Hyun Park, So Yeon Ryu, Thidapa Suwannapura, Angela Stanford, Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie and Amy Yang.
Confirmed celebrities include Hall of Famers, All-Stars, MVPs and superstars from major sports, such as: Marcus Allen, Jeremy Roenick, Mark Rypien, Justin Verlander, Brian Urlacher, Charles Woodson, Roger Clemens, John Smoltz, Ray Allen, Jon Lester, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Mark Mulder, Jerry Rice, Mardy Fish, and former NASCAR champion Michael Waltrip. Actors, personalities and entertainers
include Alfonso Ribeiro, Jack Wagner, Cole Swindell, Rob Riggle, Blair O’Neal, Larry the Cable Guy and Chad Pfeifer, who is a Bush Institute Warrior Open Champion.
Threesomes may include a combination of LPGA champions and sports or entertainment celebrities, and some with all LPGA players or all celebrities, so fans could see their favorite LPGA champions playing alongside their favorite baseball star.
Thursday and Friday rounds will air on Golf Channel, and Saturday and Sunday rounds will air on NBC, preceded by an hour-long Golf Channel lead-in. But nothing will beat being on the course for this inaugural event.
TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW at DiamondLPGA.com and range from $30 for a single day pass to $60 for a four-day grounds pass.
For more information about the tournament, visit DiamondLPGA.com or follow Diamond Resorts on Twitter @DiamondResorts and #DiamondLPGA.