Last year’s ShopRite LPGA Classic took place with significant COVID-related loads, but remained a success.
The South Jersey Event at Seaview Resort in Galloway Township is the only regular professional golf tournament near the Cape. The pandemic has moved its normal calendar date for 2020 from late May / early June to late September / early October.
No fans were allowed, and there were no grandstands or skyboxes. That made the historic Bay Course look more like the venue for a college tournament, but with coverage from the Golf Channel and local media.
Instead of the usual 144 golfers before the cut, the 2020 version was limited to 120, partly due to concerns about the daylight hours in early autumn. This year’s field includes 132 golfers, which gives more players the opportunity to improve their position on the money list and keep their card.
Despite these challenges, title sponsor ShopRite donated $ 1.5 million to charities in the area in 2020.
Bill Hansen is the vice president of Outlyr, a sports marketing / events agency that started operating ShopRite a few years ago. The company now organizes eight tournaments for the LPGA and PGA Tour Champions.
Hansen, the tournament director, said the ShopRite 2021 set was scheduled for September 27 through October 2020. 3 may not be completely normal yet, but should be close. “It would take the state to change things” [for us to deal with],” he said.
A potential disadvantage is the Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday October 3rd when the Eagles receive Kansas City. “We are sensitive to the subject,” said Hansen. “However, we may have the same number of fans because they are itchy to come and not stay at home.”
The ShopRite is also known for holding the biggest pro-am related to a tour event, but that too has been called off for 2020. Instead, the competition was expanded to four laps instead of the usual 54-hole race.
The 2021 edition returns the two-day Pro-Am as well as the three-round schedule for the players, including defending champion Mel Reid and former ShopRite champion and youngest major winner Anna Nordquist.
Playing in the Pro-Am requires a four-digit commitment per amateur, with a foursome giving up up to $ 17,500 for the opportunity. That said, Hansen said the playgrounds routinely sell out.
There is a purse of $ 1.75 million for the LPGA competitors, but the tournament has a bigger impact on South Jersey. Hansen estimates ShopRite is providing the local economy with a $ 19 million annual boost.
I met Reid at ShopRite Media Day on August 30th and NBC Sports commentator Cara Banks. NBC announced that Banks will run this year’s ShopRite with analysts Judy Rankin and Paige Mackenzie, and reporters Karen Stupples and Kay Cockerill on the course. This is the first all women broadcast team for Golf Channel.
Reid spoke about the impact of last year’s victory, the pandemic and the upcoming Solheim Cup at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio.
“[Winning] changed my life. It made me believe in myself, ”Reid said. “As the defending champion, I can see on the track what good strokes I’ve made. I’m really happy to see the fans here. You have to play a little more aggressively at the three-day events. “
“COVID helped [me] a lot, ”said Reid. “It was a break from 20 years of uninterrupted travel and gaming. I decided to do a reset and said I wouldn’t play. It took four days, but then I only played because I wanted to. It gave me a new love for the game again. “
Reid competed for the UK in the Tokyo Olympics and said it was “the most incredible experience of my life”. She stayed on the GB block in the Olympic Village and really enjoyed mingling with the other British athletes.
She is looking forward to defending the Solheim Cup Labor Day weekend together with her long-time friend Carlotta Ciganda and the other Europeans. “We love trying to beat the Americans.”
Tickets to the event are cheap and available, with a day pass for the site only $ 15 and the week pass for just $ 30. For more information on tournament and ticket options, please visit www.ShopRiteLPGAClassic.com.
First tea fundraiser on September 16th
The First Tee – Delaware holds its 20th aAnnual Mayor’s Cup golf tournament Thursday September 16 at Rock Manor Golf Course in Wilmington. It is the largest fundraising campaign for the youth-oriented service organization. This year there has been a significant increase in program options held at golf courses in southern Delaware and Maryland Eastern Shore. More information is available at firstteedelaware.org.
Results of the local club competition
The Rehoboth Beach women’s nine-hole group played a Best Ball Stableford team game on August 31. Karen Schneiderman, Rosemary Farley, Susan Miller and Lynn Kokjohn won first place. Joan O’Toole, Susan Rodgers and Joyce McCoy finished second. Charlotte Samans, Shae Searl, Marie Bernstein and Deborah Hudson finished third.
The Mulligan’s Pointe Ladies group played a tee-to-green game with total points minus putts on August 31st.
Karen Feuchtenberger won first place in Division A, followed by Linda Kaufmann in second and Diane Braver in third. Pat Shore won Division B, followed by Christine Allison in second and Carol Love in third.