Defending champion Juli Inkster of California will lead a strong Legends Tour field at next week’s 6th annual Walgreens Charity Classic, set for March 2-5. The LPGA Hall of Fame member will be among a field of 50 veteran LPGA players hoping to kick off the 2017 Legends Tour season with a win at Grandview Golf Course in Sun City West, Ariz.
“Juli won both of our Walgreens-sponsored tournaments last year and will undoubtedly be a force in this season’s opener,” said Jane Blalock, CEO of The Legends Tour. “Her presence definitely raises the bar and gets those competitive juices flowing in all of the Legends players.”
The Legends Tour event will offer a purse of $250,000 at the 36-hole event. The Legends Honors Division (for players age 63 and over) will play for a separate purse. Australian Jan Stephenson is the tournament’s defending Legends Honors champion.
Making her Legends Tour debut will be Brandie Burton of San Bernardino, Calif., who became eligible for the Legends Tour when she turned 45 in January. The nearly 20-year LPGA Tour veteran recorded five wins, 88 top-10 finishes and played on five U.S. Solheim Cup teams during her LPGA career.
Burton, along with longtime Phoenix resident Danielle Ammaccapane, were All-American players on the Arizona State University women's golf team. Ammaccapane won the individual NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship in 1985, and Burton helped ASU win at the 1990 NCAA Division I Women’s team championship.
This year’s field will include LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame members Amy Alcott, Pat Bradley, Sandra Haynie, Juli Inkster, Betsy King, Patty Sheehan and Hollis Stacy.
In addition, past Walgreens Charity Championship winners Rosie Jones, Michele Redman and Kris Tschetter will return to Grandview Golf Course hoping for a repeat victory.
Fourteen players with Arizona ties will also compete in this year’s event, including Betsy King of Scottsdale and LPGA veteran and TV golf announcer Jane Crafter of Phoenix. Janet Anderson of Laveen, Ariz., will be playing in the event for the first time.
The tournament week will begin with player practice rounds on Tuesday, Feb. 28, followed by the XXIO Women’s Amateur Desert Scramble event on Wednesday, March. 1. The low-gross scoring and low-net teams in the amateur event will win spots into the Official Pro-Am, set for Thursday, March 2.
Professional practice rounds will continue on Friday, March 3, with the first round of the tournament set for Saturday, March 4. The tournament’s final round will be played on Sunday, March 5. Gates will open at 8:30 a.m. each day of the professional tournament with tee times starting at 9 a.m.
Daily tickets are $15 at the gate. Advance tickets are on sale at area Walgreens stores, offering a $5 discount of $10 per ticket. Kids age 13-under, as well as military with I.D., will be admitted free. Free public parking for the tournament will be offered at RH Johnson Social Hall on Meeker Boulevard, with complimentary shuttle service from the public parking to the main gate at Grandview Golf Course.
Fans may also register in the Walgreens tent for an on-course walk each day of the tournament. Those who walk at least 3,000 steps while following tournament action will earn a commemorative Legends Tour item. Steps may be tracked on mobile devices, which must be in silent mode during the event.
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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 $14 million in prize money and helped raise over $19 million for charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia. For additional information on The Legends Tour, log on to www.thelegendstour.com