Weekly Update: June 8, 2015
New: Additional viewing decks added to enhance spectator experience
Community: Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier to take place Sunday before tournament
Competition: Olympic hopeful Candy Hannemann secures second Sponsor’s Exemption
With just one event left on the LPGA Tour schedule before the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, tournament officials announced today improvements to the on-course spectator experience, a Drive, Chip & Putt qualifier event for local youth, and the recipient of its second and final Sponsor Exemption. Once again the world’s best female golfers will return to Pinnacle Country Club, Rogers June 22-28. Tickets remain on sale at www.NWAChampionship.com.
NEW: Tournament expands viewing decks throughout Pinnacle Country Club
In an ongoing effort to enhance the on-site spectator experience at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, new and expanded viewing decks and seating will be added for general spectators at the 2015 tournament. These new spaces will be located on holes #1, #9, #17 and #18.
“The experience of our general spectators is very important to us,” said Harry Hardy, Tournament Director. “Kimberly-Clark stepped up their sponsorship this year in a bid to make these new viewing areas possible and for that we are grateful. Our spectators are going to enjoy watching the world’s best female golfers from these new vantage points found throughout the course.”
On the front nine, viewing space on the 1st Tee has doubled with stadium seating on two sides of the tee box. The 9th hole, a popular viewing spot for spectators annually, now features a Kimberly-Clark Viewing Deck with views of the green and approach shots. On the back nine, the 17th Hole now features three different options for general spectators, offering different vantage points throughout the hole. The Kimberly-Clark Viewing Deck and the BallPark Fan Pavilion will offer open-air seating, while the Filtrete Cooling Zone will be an enclosed, air conditioned space for general spectators. On the 18th hole, spectators will find a wrap-around viewing deck, giving general spectators an excellent view of the entire 18th hole.
COMMUNITY: Area youth to compete at Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier on tournament grounds
Drive, Chip & Putt will host a qualifier event at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers on June 21. Bringing this youth golf development initiative to NW Arkansas was made possible by a partnership between Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, The First Tee of NWA and Pinnacle Country Club, and gives participants the chance to earn an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National Golf Club. The closest qualifying location previously was Tulsa.
In only its third year, the Drive, Chip and Putt Championship will provide playing opportunities throughout all 50 states for boys and girls ages 7-15, who will compete in separate divisions in four age categories. Top performers at the local level will advance through sub-regional and regional qualifiers with the top 80 performers overall—40 boys and 40 girls—earning an invitation to the National Finals at Augusta National on Sunday, April 3, the eve of the 2016 Masters.
Registration for the Drive, Chip & Putt Qualifier is now open at www.DriveChipandPutt.com.
COMPETITION: LPGA Veteran Candy Hannemann to play at NW Arkansas Championship
The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G has announced its second and final Sponsor’s Exemption recipient. Candy Hannemann, an LPGA tour professional from 2004 to 2008, will join the 144-player field at the tournament June 26-28. The Rio de Janiero, Brazil native and mother of two has returned to golf in hopes of competing in the 2016 Olympics.
“I want to play in the Olympics in 2016 because it is in my hometown [Rio de Janeiro] and my home country [Brazil],” said Hannemann. “It is the only reason why I am coming back. I was happy being home with the kids and working here and there, but this is the one main goal that has brought me back to golf.”
As the host country, Brazil will receive one golfer in the Olympic field, which will be selected based on the golfers’ Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Hannemann is currently unranked and is number 407 on the LPGA priority list. She hopes to bolster her ranking by securing sponsor exemption invites into LPGA events. The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G will be Hannemann’s second appearance in an LPGA event since 2008.