Annika Sorenstam Headlines John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic
READY FOR GOLF: Attending a recent media event for the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic at the Cedar Ridge Country Club are, from left, Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center general manager Robert Kisabeth, Cedar Ridge Country Club general manager Cleve Stubblefield, former TU golf star and LPGA touring pro Stacy Prammanasudh and director of sales Jerry Wilkins of Octagon, the company that manages the JQH Hotel Classic.
RENE TETZLOFF for GTR Newspapers
Tournament officials for the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic have announced today that nine of the top-10 money leaders, including defending champion Annika Sorenstam, will play at Cedar Ridge Country Club when the LPGA Tour returns to the greater Tulsa community Sept. 12-18.
Sorenstam will defend her title against the likes of rookie phenom Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Natalie Gulbis, Jeong Jang, Meena Lee, Candie Kung, Birdie Kim, Marisa Baena and former University of Tulsa great Stacy Prammanasudh.
“We’ve always said that our tournament draws one of the most competitive fields that the LPGA Tour sees all year. Having nine of the top-10 players on the money list in our field proves that,” says Jerry Wilkins, director of sales. “Annika will defend her title and give players like Paula Creamer and Natalie Gulbis some excellent competition. The community is in for a tremendous tournament.”
The LPGA Tour professionals will notice a few changes at Cedar Ridge Country Club when they return next month. An extensive beautification process was started after last year’s tournament with modifications being made to the creek that runs throughout the course, new bridges were constructed and some tee boxes were rebuilt. The Club has also enlarged one of its practice chipping areas from 900 to 3,000 square feet making it more conducive to longer practice shots.
The John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic holds a $1 million purse and is the premier professional golf event in Oklahoma. The tournament has featured the best players in ladies professional golf including defending champion Annika Sorenstam and other notables such as Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr and Natalie Gulbis.
Volunteers are still needed for this year’s tournament. For a volunteer application and more information, log on to www.johnqhammonshotelclassic.com or contact tournament assistant Lauren Cohlmia at Lauren.Cohlmia@Octagon.com, or call (918) 252-3643.
The list of tournament sponsors continues to grow each year, as a result of the commitment that John Q. Hammons has made to extend the Tournament in the Tulsa community through 2006. After Mr. Hammons stepped in to save the LPGA Tour-stop here in 2003, the commitments from local sponsors have continued to grow. Most recently, SEM Group agreed to a multi-year agreement as a key partner of the tournament.
“We’re thrilled that the level of community support continues to grow and appreciate the vision that Tom Kivisto, president & CEO of the SemGroup has shown,” says Wilkins. “John Q. Hammons and his Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center continue to praise the efforts of the local community. With the support of Mr. Hammons and our other 121 corporate partners, the LPGA continues to flourish in Oklahoma.”
The SemGroup joins a continually growing list of sponsors including the Oklahoma Ford Dealers, American Airlines, The Williams Companies, Cathy & Markus Hilti, Pepsi, Anheuser Busch, Tulsa Metro Chamber, Bama Companies, Schick, Ameristar Fence Company and Linde BOC.
“The John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic is a first-class event, and the LPGA is looking forward to its fifth year in Oklahoma,” comments LPGA Commissioner Ty M. Votaw. “The LPGA always enjoys playing in Tulsa with the tremendous fan support we have received in the past.”
Tickets for the John Q. Hammons Hotel Classic can be purchased on-line at www.johnqhammonshotelclassic.com, by calling toll-free (877) 583-9925 or by stopping by any of the 12-area Reasor’s Grocery Stores. Daily tickets (good-any-one-day, Tuesday thru Sunday) are available for $20 and weekly badges (good all week) cost $50. Continuing with the tradition of welcoming families, children ages 15-and-under are admitted free all week with a ticketed adult. John Q. Hammons and the Tulsa Renaissance Hotel welcome the Tulsa community to the Tournament on Monday, Sept. 12, free of charge.