By GW staff and news services
BOSTON – Some of the best known veterans of the LPGA Tour are coming to the Phoenix area to kick off the 2017 Legends Tour season. Defending champion Juli Inkster will lead a strong field at next week’s 6th annual Walgreens Charity Classic, set for March 2-5 at Sun City West’s Grandview Golf Course. The LPGA Hall of Fame member, who has won seven Majors, will be among a field of 50 veteran LPGA players, ages 45 and above, competing in the inaugural event of the Legends Tour season.
“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 36-hole Legends Tour event offers a $250,000 purse. 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.
This year’s field includes LPGA and World Golf Hall 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 are competing in this year’s event, including Betsy King of Scottsdale and LPGA veteran and TV golf announcer Jane Crafter of Phoenix.
Gates open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 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.
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.
For more information about The Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA, visit www.thelegendstour.com.
Photos by Rick Sharp.