FRENCH LICK, Ind., Aug. 27, 2015 – Defending champion Laurie Rinker returned to the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort today to prepare for this week’s Legends Championship presented by Old National Bank. Rinker arrives fresh off her four-stroke victory Wednesday at the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals National Championship at Reunion Resort outside Orlando, Fla. The Floridian posted a 9-under-par 207 over 54 holes for her win, highlighted by a final-round 65.
"The green speed at Reunion was about seven, so I've got to get my touch back here for these faster greens at French Lick,'' said Rinker, who played Reunion’s back nine at 5-under 31 with three-foot birdies on both holes 16 and 18 during the T&CP Championship.
Rinker also had the hot hand en route to her title at The Legends Championship last year. Runner-up to Canadian Lorie Kane in the inaugural 2013 Legends Championship, Rinker held off Wisconsin’s Sherri Steinhauer to win the 2014 title.
Steinhauer posted a second-round, course-record score of 63 to move into contention, but steady rain and thick fog forced the cancellation of the final round in the 2014 championship. Rinker was declared the winner.
"I played well both days,'' said Rinker. "My score on Saturday didn't look as good as Sherri's 63, but that happens in tournaments. It wasn't necessarily the way I wanted to win, but I was happy to win.”
Steinhauer will miss this year’s championship because she is sidelined with a broken ankle, but Rinker will have plenty of competition coming from Hall of Famer and 2015 Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster, as well as recently inducted World Golf Hall of Famer Dame Laura Davies of Great Britain. In addition, Legends Tour “rookie” Michelle McGann is in the field, as well as former U.S. Women’s Open champion Jane Geddes. Inkster and Geddes are making their French Lick debuts.
The tour's executive director, Jane Blalock, hopes to defend her title as the winner of the Super Legends division for the tour’s most veteran stars. "The Legends Championship field at French Lick this week is a real who's who in women’s golf,” said Blalock.
Karen Davies, of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Joan Pitcock, of Fresno, Calif., moved into the 58-player field during a qualifying tournament for two spots. Davies posted a 71, while Pitcock, who needed two playoff holes to earn her spot in the field, carded 73.
Friday's pro-am tournaments will start at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on the Pete Dye Course. The tournament Gala and Legends Tour Hall of Fame inductions will be held in the evening at the French Lick Springs Hotel. Rosie Jones and JoAnne Carner are this year's inductees.
Admission is free into Saturday and Sunday's tournament rounds.
Here are Saturday’s first-round pairings for The Legends Championship presented by Old National Bank:
8:00 AM: Karen Davies | Joan Pitcock
8:10 AM: Carolyn Hill | Lori Atsedes
8:20 AM: Cathy Johnston Forbes | Dana Dormann
8:30 AM: Kathyrn Young Robyn | Jean Bartholomew
8:40 AM: Marilyn Lovander | Amy Fruhwirth
8:50 AM: Martha Nause | Maggie Will
9:00AM: Cindy Figg-Currier | Anne Marie Palli
9:10 AM: Lori West | Becky Iverson
9:20 AM: Lisa Grimes | Jenny Lidback
9:30 AM: Wendy Doolan | Alicia Dibos
9:40 AM: Michelle Estill | Cindy Rarick
9:50 AM: Allison Finney | Elaine Crosby
10:00 AM: Cindy Schreyer | Christa Johnson
10:10 AM: Susie Berning (SLD) | Shelley Hamlin (SLD)
10:20 AM: Jane Blalock (SLD) | Sandra Haynie (SLD)
10:30 AM: Donna Caponi (SLD) | Sandra Palmer (SLD)
10:40 AM: Judy Dickinson (SLD)| Jan Stephenson (SLD)
10:50 AM: Donna Andrews | Barb Mucha
11:00 AM: Sherri Turner | Trish Johnson
11:10 AM: Alison Nicholas | Barb Moxness
11:20 AM: Dawn Coe-Jones | Val Skinner
11:30 AM: Pat Hurst | Jane Geddes
11:40 AM: Michelle McGann | Kris Tschetter
11:50 AM: Michele Redman | Liselotte Neumann
12:00 PM: JoAnne Carner | Danielle Ammaccapane
12:10 PM: Rosie Jones | Hollis Stacy
12:20 PM: Pat Bradley | Nancy Scranton
12:30 PM: Laura Davies | Juli Inkster
12:40 PM: Lorie Kane | Laurie Rinker
SLD = Super Legends Division Player
About The Legends Tour
The Legends Tour is the official senior tour of the LPGA. The tour began in 2000 by LPGA professionals to showcase the talents of some of the greatest women’s golfers of all time. The Legends Tour has more than 120 members, including 14 LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members. Legends Tour players have over 750 combined LPGA Tour victories, including 84 major championships. In its 15 seasons, The Legends Tour has awarded more than $13 million in prize money and helped raise over $17 million for charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia. For additional information on The Legends Tour, log on to www.thelegendstour.com.
Contact: Sue Fracker, The Legends Tour, firstname.lastname@example.org and 617-513-4716.