The Legends Tour’s 2015 season will culminate Nov. 12-14, with the 10th staging of the ISPS Handa Cup. Team U.S.A. hopes to defend its title against the World Team at the event, hosted by Palm Aire Country Club in Sarasota, Fla. The Americans wrestled back the cup in 2014 with a 28-20 victory over an international squad that won the 2013 event for the first time. “The ISPS Handa Cup event epitomizes the mission to unite communities around the world, in particular, through professional golf,” said Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock, a 29-time LPGA Tour winner. “Philanthropist Dr. Haruhisa Handa’s ongoing support of The Legends Tour and this event comes from his belief in the power of the sport.”
The team stroke-play event between the United States and the eight-nation World Team will feature players on both sides who have competed in the LPGA’s biennial Solheim Cup, a team match-play event.
Scotland’s Catriona Matthew will make her World Team debut this year at the Handa Cup. Matthew, now 46 and eligible to compete on the Legends Tour for LPGA members age 45-over, has competed for Europe on seven Solheim Cup teams, including the 2015 squad that lost to the Americans by one point.
“It will be like a reunion playing with all of these former competitors and captains of the Solheim Cup,” said Matthew, a four-time LPGA Tour winner. “I’m excited to play in my first ISPS Handa Cup. There is incredible talent on both sides and I expect the matches to be close.”
Matthew will be the “rookie” on this year’s World Team, but will be joined by former top European Solheim Cup players Helen Alfredsson, Laura Davies, Trish Johnson and Liselotte Neumann. South Africa’s Sally Little will serve as captain to the World Team.
The Americans will be captained by Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, who will guide a team that includes U.S. Team rookie Pat Hurst, as well as former U.S. Solheim Cup captains Juli Inkster, Pat Bradley, Beth Daniel, Rosie Jones and Meg Mallon.
“It’s going to be really competitive this year,” said Mallon. “So many players on both sides have competed in the Solheim Cup and we still have that drive. We all still want to win.”
The Americans have won seven Handa Cup titles outright, and tied the World Team in 2012 to retain the Cup. The World team won in 2013 and has added new firepower in recent years.
The event’s format is 36 holes of stroke play within matches made up of either two-person teams or a single player. The entire competition is held over two days with 18 holes of play each day.
The inaugural ISPS Handa Cup was played in 2006 at the World Golf Villages in St. Augustine, Fla., and has since been hosted in Portsmouth, N.H., Orlando, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., West Point, Miss., and now Sarasota, Fla.
Tickets are available at www.thelegendstour.com or by calling 1-877-766-8162. A single-day pass is $10 and a three-day pass is $25 and includes access to practice-round day, team matches and singles matches.
For more information about The Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA, visit www.thelegendstour.com.
Listed below are the teams for the 2015 ISPS Handa Cup:
Captain, Sally Little, South Africa
Assistant Captain, Dawn Coe-Jones, Canada
Helen Alfredsson, Sweden
Jane Crafter, Australia
Laura Davies, England
Alicia Dibos, Peru
Wendy Doolan, Australia
Trish Johnson, England
Lorie Kane, Canada
Jenny Lidback, Peru
Catriona Matthew, Scotland
Liselotte Neumann, Sweden
Mieko Nomura, Japan
Jan Stephenson, Australia
Captain, Nancy Lopez, Alabama
Assistant Captain, Elaine Crosby, Michigan
Danielle Ammaccapane, California
Pat Bradley, Massachusetts
Beth Daniel, Florida
Pat Hurst, California
Juli Inkster, California
Christa Johnson, Arizona
Rosie Jones, Georgia
Meg Mallon, Florida
Barb Mucha, Florida
Michele Redman, Minnesota
Laurie Rinker, Florida
Kris Tschetter, Virginia
About Palm Aire Country Club
Palm Aire Country Club is a privately owned country club with a member-elected Board of Governors that is passionately committed to the club and its members The Sarasota Herald Tribune named Palm Aire the “Best Golf Course Community in the Sarasota-Bradenton Area” in 2014. In the early 1960’s, Palm Aire Country Club, then known as the DeSoto Lakes Golf Club, played host to PGA and LPGA Tour events featuring Sam Snead, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Louise Suggs, Patti Berg and more. Palm Aire Country Club is proud to welcome back LPGA Tour greats now playing The Legends Tour for the 2015 ISPS Handa Cup. For more information about Palm Aire Country Club, visit www.palmaire.net.
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.