Here's a look at what's coming up:
Wednesday, June 19 Pro-Am Results
1st: Veronica Felibert: Brian Feiro, Kevin Doyle, Lee Dixon, Matt Witherall
T2nd: Austin Ernst: Paul Cannon, Mike Fields, Jeff Modica, Mary Brown
Amanda Blumenhurst: Tim Cheatham, Charles Holley, Rick Webb, Anthony Sumlin
A Birthday wish.
Ai Miyazato celebrates her 28th birthday today in Rogers, Ark. and claims she wants nothing more than a successful title defense at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. "This week is really special because, it's my birthday week and I'm defending champion," said Miyazato. "So I can feel it, it's going to be a good week."
It wouldn't be the first time Miyazato's birthday week yielded positive results. In the midst of her most successful year on Tour in 2010, Miyazato claimed her third of five victories on her birthday and says the win is always on the back of her mind should a tournament fall on her big day.
"About three years ago, 2010, my birthday week was ShopRite Tournament, which is a little different this year, but I won that week and I became No. 1 in the world in my birthday week," said Miyazato. "That was a very special moment, and I always remember that when I have a birthday week."
The Japan native says she doesn't have big plans to celebrate her day, but was surprised with a special birthday card from 12-year-old Chloe Ellis during Miyazato's pre-tournament press conference.
Causing Raucous in Rogers!
This week, one of the largest grandstands on Tour was erected on the 17th green at the Pinnacle Country Club to give fans the opportunity to see their favorite LPGA Tour pros up-close and personal. Known as the "loudest hole in golf," the shortened par-3 will give players plenty of birdie opportunities and could provide for a dramatic finish on Sunday.
"There's many birdie opportunity this year," said Ai Miyazato. "So that's the big difference, because usually 16 and 17 is really tough hole. So you have to play really well on these two. Then there's a birdie chance, birdie opportunity on 18 which is a great finishing hole. But 17, 18, there's a birdie chance opportunity this year. So it's going to be maybe drama, a little bit of drama this year."
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park says the 17th green is something both players and fans will enjoy the most this week at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G.
"Number 17th hole has always been the loudest hole even before this year," said Park. "Now they have shortened it and I think it became a lot more fun because a lot of players can really go for the pins, and I think they can really top the pins going in with like 9, 8irons. So I think it's just going to be a lot more fun for the people watching, and I'm just very excited to see how it's going to be like on the first round."
Sixteen-year-old amateur Lydia Ko returns to LPGA action this week as a sponsor's exemption at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. Ko, who last year became the youngest winner in LPGA history at the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open, has yet to miss a cut in a professional event in her young career. She comes to Pinnacle Country Club seeking a second LPGA victory, but thoughts of turning professional continue to stay in the distance.
"I'm not going to turn pro tomorrow, that's for sure," Ko said. "I can't really say at what age (I will turn professional)."
Ko has four victories in professional events across three tours since 2012, including the CN Canadian Women's Open where she defeated current Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park by three strokes. She also won the 2012 U.S. Women's Amateur.
The youngster has made five starts on the 2013 LPGA Tour entering this week with a season-best finish solo third place at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open, where she was tied for the lead entering the final round. She tied for 17th at the Wegmans LPGA Championship two weeks ago.
Quotable: "And because I won last year I have a chance, the opportunity to get to know about this tournament more and more, which is really exciting moment for me. Like yesterday it was a great experience at the press conference and I thought that was just a wonderful thing for women because every woman deserves the opportunity I think it's important for all women to have the opportunity to be successful. It's very inspiring to know that women have more opportunity to be successful." - Ai Miyazato on presenting a $500,000 check from the Walmart Foundation to Dress For Success.
Morning Tee Times
7:40 am (Tee #10) - Yani Tseng
7:50 am (Tee #10) - Stacy Lewis
8:00 am (Tee #10) - Suzann Pettersen
9:10 am (Tee #1) - Paula Creamer
Afternoon Tee Times
12:00 pm (Tee #1) - Brittany Lincicome
12:10 pm (Tee #1) - Inbee Park
1:30 pm (Tee #10) - Na Yeon Choi
Pantene Beautiful Lengths
More than 400 participants donated their hair at the Pantene Beautiful Lengths charity event tonight. Among those include two-year LPGA Tour member Jane Rah and Mina Harigae's caddy, Kurt Moskaly. Several LPGA Tour members along with Commissioner Mike Whan served as hair stylist tonight as they cut more than eight-inches of hair from each participant to be donated to cancer patients. This year marks the seventh Pantene Beautiful Lengths event and most participants since its first year.
Tickets can be purchased as you enter the Tournament:
$15 - Daily Championship Tickets valid for any one day Friday - Sunday
$30 - Weekly Grounds Tickets valid for Tuesday-Sunday
*Kids 17 and under admitted free all week
*Active and retired service personnel admitted free all week*
Heat Relief Heat Relief at the Tournament:
Fans looking to walk the course will have plenty of ways to stay cool around Pinnacle Country Club. Bottled water prices have been reduced from $5 to $1 (a reduction of 400 percent). All public bleachers, at 1 tee, 17 green and 18 green, are covered this year, as well as shade stations for spectators located at the driving range and various spots around the course. Coolers filled with chilled towels provided by Walmart will be positioned on course for spectator and volunteer use.
The tournament is also partnering with Mercy Hospital, who will have a large on-site presence to provide spectators with the knowledge and information to keep themselves cool while watching the best female golfers in the world. In addition, the tournament is working closely with the hospital to have the appropriate medical staff on location should anyone need assistance.
Throughout the week, tournament officials will monitor the weather conditions constantly to make the necessary adjustments and provide fans with the best possible experience while at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.
For the Kids:
Free to the general public, the Walmart Kids Center presented by Dove will officially open Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and remain open through the tournament. The air-conditioned tent located between 17 and 18 fairway offers families free activities and snacks, and LPGA Tour professionals will stop by throughout the weekend for player autograph sessions. Also open to the public is the Walmart Family Tent, a premier viewing location for the tournament's signature hole at 17 green. The tent is air-conditioned and has free healthy snacks available to spectators.
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