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Jan Stephenson talks up Handa Cup coming to Palm Aire CC

MANATEE -- She's won 16 times on the LPGA Tour with three majors and an additional 15 times internationally, yet the biggest thrill in Jan Stephenson's professional golfing career didn't come as an individual.


Rather, it came in 2013 when she clinched the ISPS Handa Cup for the World team for the first-time in history over Team USA. On Tuesday at Palm-Aire Country Club, site of the 2015 Handa Cup scheduled for Nov. 12-14, Stephenson recalled that magical moment when she dropped a 35-footer in Nashville, Tenn.


"How am I going to make a putt that has an 8-foot break," Stephenson said. "So I played 10 feet, it went to the top of the hill and started picking up speed. I was like, 'There's no way.' It hit in the middle of the hole and went in. I was so much in shock. It was one of the greatest moments. Everybody asks me what are the greatest moments. Winning the U.S. Open and the winning all the majors, and yes they were fantastic. But when I made that putt and looked up, and saw all of my team running to hug me. I get team sports now. It was the most fun time."


The Handa Cup is an annual match play competition akin to the President's Cup, where a team full of Americans battles an international squad. It's an event on the Legends Tour, which is akin to the Champions Tour but for ladies at least 45 years old.


This year's American team includes: Danielle Ammaccapne, Pat Hurst, Pat Bradley, Beth Daniel, Juli Inkster, Rosie Jones, Christa Johnson, Meg Mallon, Barb Mucha, Laurie Rinker, Michele Redman, Kris Tschetter, assistant captain Elaine Crosby and captain Nancy Lopez.

The World team is comprised of: Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Jane Crafter, Alicia Dibos, Wendy Doolan, Lorie Kane, Trish Johnson, Jenny Lidback, Catriona Matthew, Mieko Nomura, Liselotte Neumann, Stephenson, assistant captain Dawn Coe-Jones and captain Sally Little.

"We are poised and on the precipice of an exciting, exciting five days," Palm-Aire Country Club president Ed Kornberger said.


When play commences next month, Stephenson will take part for the first time in the event since canning that memorable putt in 2013.


Last year, she couldn't participate due to an injured thumb.

"I was devastated," said Stephenson, who has played in seven Handa Cups, compiling an 8-8-5 overall record. "I was miserable the whole week."


Advanced tickets are $12 per day or $25 for all three days. They can be bought every Evie's restaurant location, Gateway Bank locations, area golf courses, online at http://tickets.completeticketsolutions.com/IHC or by calling 1-877-766-8162.


Tickets bought the same day cost $15 and are purchased at Palm-Aire Country Club.

Additionally, parking costs $5 and will occur at the Tabernacle Church off DeSoto Road just south of University Parkway, where a shuttle service is provided. A secondary parking option takes place roughly 100-yards east of Whitfield off University with a shuttle service to the course provided.


The action starts Friday, Nov. 13 with four-ball matches in the morning, modified foursomes in the afternoon and the singles portion to decide the winner occurs on Saturday, Nov. 14.


If you go ....

What: ISPS Handa Cup, a Presidents Cup-styled event for the LPGA Legends Tour

When: Nov. 12-14

Where: Palm-Aire Country Club

All-time Series: USA leads the World, 7-1-1, and are the current Cup holders

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/sports/golf/article40565511.html#storylink=cpy


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