Lydia Ko Named 2016 Champion of the #NWAChampionship

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G - Final RoundClaims her 13th LPGA title with a 3-shot win in Arkansas

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko used a final round 68 on Sunday at Pinnacle Country Club to capture her 13th career victory at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. The 19-year old set a new tournament scoring record with a three-day total 17-under par 196 and finished three shots clear of Morgan Pressel and Candie Kung.

“On this stretch of the last three weeks, I played really solid, and to go back home, I know winning the last event of the three week stretch I played, it’s a really cool feeling, and I’m going to enjoy the week off next week,” said Ko.

Ko, who was tied with Pressel at 14-under to start the day, came out firing on all cylinders and took control early in the round. She birdied four of her first five holes to extend the lead to four shots and never turned back.

She picked up her first of three bogeys on the day on the par 3 6th hole and Pressel followed it up with a birdie on No. 7 to cut the lead to two shots.

Ko and Pressel exchanged birdies on both Nos. 8 and 10 to keep the margin at two shots but Pressel stumbled down the stretch with four consecutive bogeys on Nos. 11-14.

“I had high hopes certainly, and I felt like I played pretty well for nine holes,” said Pressel. “Hung in there, but then I just couldn’t keep it going and couldn’t get lucky as I had been getting lucky. It just wasn’t my day.”

Ko’s back nine wasn’t as memorable as she would like, closing with a bogey on the 18th to drop to 17-under par but the Kiwi was more than pleased to take home career victory No. 13.

“I think I got I think the sun hit me a little bit. I was feeling a little tired, but, you know, I was trying to grind my way out,” said Ko. “It’s not really the fanciest finish, finishing up with a six, but I just think of it as me bogeying another hole, but it was a great week and I love coming back here.”

Thursday Pro-Am Results

1st – Joanna Klatten – (-17): score 54 (Won in a score card playoff on the first hole)

         David Lang

         David McWhorter

         Brooke Matthews

         Mark Ryan

 

2nd – Lydia Ko – (-17): score 54

         Sarah Semrow

         John Scholes

         Denny Belcastro

         Arist Mastorides

 

3rd – Sun Young Yoo – (-16): score 5

         Rick Clark 

         Chad Fletcher

         Clarke Nolte

         Jim Townsend

 

Closest to the Pin #17

         Randy Darby (2’ 9’’)

 

Long Drive Men’s

         Chris Hopp

 

Long Drive Women’s

         Brooke Matthews

 

Wednesday Pro-Am Results

1st: In-Kyung Kim 

*won in a scorecard playoff at -17

Mark Riable, Stewart Thomas, Jim Draper, Baylee Price

2nd: Jiang Yan

*second in a scorecard playoff

Jeff Greer, William Douglas, Bill McCreary, Aaron Gorman

3rd: Gaby Lopez

*third in a scorecard playoff

Adam Taylor, Marc Sherwood, Keith Westmoreland, Kraig Kann

 

Ladies Long Drive (#4): Kristen Palmer

Men’s Long Drive (#18): Bill McCreary

Closest to the Pin (#17): James Colacarro (4 ft. 6 in.)

Weekly Update June 9

Weekly Update from the #NWAChampionship

New: Officials introduce the LPGA Greenway

Community: Pantene Beautiful Lengths donors and stylists still needed to reach 1,000 donors

Competition: Nine players expected to play in #NWAChampionship all 10 years

ROGERS, Ark.- With just two weeks until the 10th anniversary of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, tournament officials are excited to share the addition of a new golf course walking trail—the LPGA Greenway, the final drive for Pantene Beautiful Lengths donors and the return of nine LPGA professionals to the event for its 10th year. The #NWAChampionship returns to Pinnacle Country Club June 20-26. Tickets are now on sale at www.NWAChampionship.com.

NEW: Officials Introduce the LPGA Greenway

In an effort to celebrate the growth of the NW Arkansas region and 10 years of memories from the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, tournament officials announce the introduction of the LPGA Greenway. This one-mile walking trail meanders through holes 15, 16, 17 and 18 at Pinnacle Country Club and will be unveiled at the 2016 event. Each of the four holes will represent different qualities of the Northwest Arkansas community, from the scenic beauty to the vibrant business environment. In addition, each hole boasts a significant tournament moment from throughout the 10 years, including Stacy Lewis’ tricky putt on the 18th Hole to win the event in 2014 to Na Yeon Choi’s eagle on Hole 16 in 2015.

Officials plan to unveil signage onsite at the event highlighting the LPGA Greenway throughout the grounds. Signs on each hole will explain the significance of the hole and its marquee memory from the last 10 years.

COMMUNITY: Pantene Beautiful Lengths Donors and Stylists still needed to reach 1,000 Donors

Over the last 10 years, the #NWAChampionship has partnered with Pantene Beautiful Lengths to collect hair used to make wigs for people suffering from cancer. This year, organizers set a goal to collect hair from 1,000 donors by the end of the event planned for June 20 at the Walmart AMP. Tournament officials are encouraging both stylists and donors to sign up to attend the June 20 event to ensure the ambitious goal is reached as part of the tenth anniversary celebrations.

Donors or stylists interested in participating at the June 20th event can still register at www.beautifullengthsnwa.com

COMPETITION: Nine Players expected to Play at #NWAChampionship all 10 Years

In addition to the tournament itself, several LPGA players are also marking their 10th year in Northwest Arkansas in 2016. Nine of the 144 players in the field at the 2016 event are expected to have participated in the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G each year of the tournament’s history. The list of returning players includes a former Razorback, past winners and top-ranked players on tour.  The complete list is included below. Officials expect to announce the final field list for the 2016 tournament Tuesday, June 14.

10 Year Players:

1.       Christina Kim

2.       Brittany Lang

3.       Meena Lee

4.       Stacy Lewis

5.       Brittany Lincicome

6.       Becky Morgan

7.       Jane Park

8.       Kris Tamulis

9.       Sun Young Yoo

MEDIA: Media Credentials Now Available

The tournament media credential application is now open at www.lpgamediacredentials.com. All members of the media interested in covering the tournament will need to apply for a credential. Advanced approval by the LPGA is required for media access to the tournament. Contact Taylor Fisher at taylor.fisher@octagon.com with any questions.

 

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Razorback Freshman Maria Fassi Secures Sponsor’s Exemption

In addition to Fassi, University of Arkansas golfers Alana Uriell and Regina Plasencia will compete in the tournament’s Monday qualifier event

MariaThe 10th annual Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G announced Freshman Maria Fassi as the recipient of its 2016 Sponsor’s Exemption as part of the annual Road to the #NWAChampionship partnership. With only one semester of college golf under her belt, Fassi earned the exemption with a 72.56 Scoring Average, making her the top ranked player on the Razorback Women’s Golf Team and the 15th ranked player in America. Alana Uriell and Regina Plasencia rounded out the season with the second and third best scoring averages, giving them the opportunity to play in the tournament’s Monday qualifier event.

“It will be an amazing experience playing with the top players in the world at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, and I’m excited to learn from them,” said Fassi. “I am really thankful for this opportunity and look forward to making memories at the tournament.”

Fassi is the newest and youngest member of the Razorback golf team, joining the team in January. At the beginning of the semester, tournament officials and Razorback Golf Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor evaluated that Fassi would become eligible for the Road to the #NWAChampionship after she completed 16 rounds of competition and therefore becoming  ranked on the official Golfstat player rankings.

The 18-year-old golfer hails from Pachuca, Mexico and joined the team in January 2016 after finishing high school last December. In her first collegiate tournament experience at just 17 years old, Fassi won the Lady Puerto Rico Classic shooting a low round 67 and three-round total 208. She has remained consistent all season carding four top-10 finishes in the first five events of her collegiate career. In 2015, Fassi won the Mexican Amateur and qualified to play in the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I couldn’t be more proud of each of these ladies for their hard work and performance on and off the course this spring,” Razorback Women’s Golf Coach Shauna Estes explains. “This is especially exciting for Maria with this being her freshman year and first semester of college golf. She has proven herself these past few months and I look forward to seeing her represent the University of Arkansas at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.”

Razorback Sophomore Alana Uriell closed out the season with a 73.46 scoring average and Senior Regina Plasencia finished with an average of 73.93. Both golfers will compete in the tournament’s qualifier round on Monday, June 20 for a chance to claim each of the two final spots available in the official tournament field. Plasencia competed in the 2014 and 2015 tournament qualifier, while this is Uriell’s first year to compete.

This marks the second year of the Road to the #NWAChampionship partnership between the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Team. The  partnership guarantees one Razorback student-athlete a Sponsor’s Exemption into the tournament and two student-athletes the chance to Monday qualify for the full field LPGA event. Past exemptions have included Stacy Lewis, Emily Tubert and Gaby Lopez, who finished T29 at the 2015 event.

To find out more about the Road to #NWAChampionship or the LPGA tournament, please visit www.nwachampionship.com.

Tickets On Sale Now!

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G

Over the last 10 years, the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G has become a premier stop on the LPGA Tour. June 20-26 the tournament will celebrate its 10th anniversary while 144 of the world’s best LPGA Professionals tee it up at Pinnacle Country Club. Players will vie for a $2,000,000 purse and a chance to be named Champion of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Ticketholders can expect to see popular staples of the golf event return such as the Walmart Kids Center presented by Dove, Hallmark Autograph Alley and the Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour (No. 17). To view a complete schedule of events for #NWAChampionship Week, click here.

General Admission Tickets:

Extreme Tix ThumbnailEnjoy general grounds access to the #NWAChampionship! Kids 17 and under get in free with a ticketed adult. Military members and their families get in free with a valid military ID. 

Daily tournament ticket: $10

Weekly tournament ticket: $25

 

The Club:

Extreme Tix ThumbnailExperience the #NWAChampionship like you never have before. The Club is an exclusive hospitality suite overlooking the 16th and 17th holes offering ticketholders an enhanced experience to watch the best female golfers in the world. Food and drinks included in ticket price.

Daily admission: $95

Weekly admission: $250

Click Here LPGA Tickets

BITE NW Arkansas

The newly rebranded and expanded two-day food festival as part of #NWAChampionship Week returns June 23 & 24 to the Walmart AMP! Celebrating the region's best fares, ingredients, restaurants and chefs, BITE NW Arkansas aims to give attendees an unparalleled culinary experience in their own backyard.

Taste of NW Arkansas

Thursday, June 23

*tickets available at 10am CST March 1. 

taste iconMix, mingle and enjoy sample sized menu items prepared by restaurants from throughout the region at this grand tasting style event. Special guest chefs will host the evening, inclusive of cooking demonstrations and hands on interactions with guests. Click here to see a current list of participating restaurants.

Individual Ticket: $30

Couple’s Ticket (admits 2 people): $50

     Youth Ticket (12-20 years of age): $20

Beer & Burger Fest

Friday, June 24

beer burger iconA traditional beer fest with a burger twist! Sample local and national brews paired with signature burgers prepared by select local restaurants. Click here to see a current list of participating breweries.

Individual Ticket: $30

Couple’s Ticket (admits 2 people): $50

     Designated Driver Ticket (valid for food only): $15

     *All ticket holders must be 21. IDs will be checked at the gates

Click Here BITE Tickets

5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy

5k iconThe second annual 5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy will be held Saturday, June 25, starting and finishing at the Walmart AMP. The course winds through the streets of Pinnacle and down the famous Gatorade 17th hole, before exiting Pinnacle with a straight shot back to the Walmart AMP.  After the race enjoy a free breakfast at the Walmart AMP. Find out more about the 5k by clicking here.

Early registration fee: $20

Register for 5k

 

Rachel Platten Community Concert

Tickets to the Rachel Platten Community Concert presented by Walmart will be available at a later date. Please like us on Facebook to stay up to date with Community Concert news and announcements!

 

Volunteer Registration

The #NWAChampionship could not happen without the 750+ dedicated volunteers it takes to help put on the event. Volunteer opportunities exist throughout tournament week in over 20 different Volunteer Committees. Click here to view a complete list of available committees. Registration cost includes two tournament polos, tournament hat or visor, Volunteer parking, meals on scheduled days, four weekly tournament tickets and commemorative volunteer pin.

$45 per person

Register to Volunteer

#NWAChampionship Announces Week-Long Schedule

Full Color Lockup

10th edition of event will take place June 20-26 and promises to be the biggest yet, with a week-long schedule of events for the whole community, including the newly rebranded food festival—BITE NW Arkansas

The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G will return June 20 – 26 to Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark. for its 10th anniversary event. Along with the golf tournament, event organizers announce today a week-long lineup of auxiliary events and activities for the whole community, including a 5k, community concert, and an expanded and rebranded two-day food festival.

“Our event has grown significantly in all respects these past 10 years, and is now considered by the LPGA tour as one of the best golf and community events on tour,” stated Event Chairman Jay Allen. “We're proud of that, particularly on behalf of our volunteers and sponsors, and likewise proud of the contribution we're making to the overall quality of life in Northwest Arkansas.”

Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a community driven hair donation ceremony, will open up #NWAChampionship Week at the Walmart AMP. Six days later events will draw to a close as the 2016 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G Champion is crowned on Sunday during the 18th green ceremony where the tournament also plans to honor the volunteers who have been involved all 10 years of the event’s history.

#NWAChampionship Week will see popular staples of the golf event return such as the Walmart Kids Center presented by Dove, Hallmark Autograph Alley and the Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour (No. 17), in addition to a number of events outside of the golf course. In partnership with the Walton Arts Center, the Walmart AMP will once again be home to events aimed at the broader community such as a two-day food festival, the 5K @ the LPGA benefitting Mercy and a Rachel Platten community concert courtesy of Walmart.

#NWAChampionship Week’s two-day food festival debuted in 2015 and will return under the new name of BITE NW Arkansas. The food festival will once again include Taste of NW Arkansas, a grand tasting style event featuring local restaurants and chefs, and the Beer & Burger Fest which aims to feature the best local and national brews paired with select restaurants’ burger offerings.

Ticket sales for events associated with #NWAChampionship Week as well as Volunteer Registration will begin on March 1. Click here to view the complete 2016 Schedule of Events. 

Road to #NWAChampionship Returns

Gaby LopezThe Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Team have again partnered on  the Road to #NWAChampionship, an program which guarantees one Razorback student athlete an opportunity to play in the LPGA event this summer in Rogers, Ark. In addition, two spots in the tournament’s qualifying event held Monday of tournament week will also be reserved for the Razorback Women’s Golf Team. The Road to #NWAChampionship seeks to give female college athletes the chance to experience a professional level event while still in full-time education and also make the University of Arkansas a more desirable college to prospective recruits. In 2015, Gaby Lopez received the sponsor’s exemption and finished T29., Samantha Marks qualified for the event through the Monday qualifier and missed the cut.

The partnership, which began in 2015, includes specific criteria set for players to qualify. The criteria for selection include team rankings and academic standing for the golfers. The top ranked University of Arkansas player based on the Golfstat Cup Rankings as of May 10 will be eligible for the sponsor’s exemption. The qualified player must write an official letter requesting invitation and be in good academic standing with the University. The second and third best stroke averages from the team’s competitive season will have an opportunity to Monday qualify for the official LPGA event.

The tournament has partnered with KNWA & Fox 24 to keep fans updated on the Road to #NWAChampionship. Viewers can tune into Razorback Nation to find out who is leading the quest to compete at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G, which will be held June 20—26 at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark.

Drive to 1,000 Hair Donors Challenge

PBL

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G officials announce today the return of Pantene Beautiful Lengths to LPGA week in Northwest Arkansas. The annual Pantene Beautiful Lengths hair donation ceremony is planned for Monday, June 20 at the Walmart AMP. This year will mark the 10th annual event and organizers hope to help more cancer patients than ever before by aiming to collect hair from 1,000 donors in a special challenge between now and the June 20 event.

“Our goal for this 10th year in NW Arkansas is to create the largest community driven hair donation in Pantene Beautiful Lengths history,” shared Mindy Sherwood, Vice President at Procter & Gamble. “Northwest Arkansas is well known for its philanthropic and community spirit and with that in mind, we are aiming to unify salons, schools, companies and organizations, volunteers and those who have been affected by cancer behind our goal.  To do so, we invite girls, boys, women and men of all ages to join us as we make the kindest cut of all for those that suffer from cancer right here in Northwest Arkansas.”

The Pantene Beautiful Lengths program collects eight inches of untreated hair used to make real-hair wigs given free of charge to those suffering from cancer. The first hair cutting ceremony held in conjunction with the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G took place in 2007 and included 10 donors. Each year since, the LPGA event has held a donation ceremony and last summer over 320 donors participated at the Walmart AMP. Throughout the year, P&G also collects donations at its Fayetteville office but has never surpassed the goal set this year of 1,000 donors.

To reach this goal, organizers have planned a community initiative encouraging hair salons and schools to get involved. Local salons are invited to become partner salons of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program by recruiting hair donors to participate during their regular haircut appointments. Donors can cut their ponytails during their visit to a participating salon and have the salon mail them to Pantene Beautiful Lengths (1303 E. Joyce Blvd., Fayetteville, AR 72703) to be part of the 1,000 donor drive. Salons that recruit at least 10 donors will be recognized through a comprehensive marketing campaign as part of the initiative.

Stylists from partner salons will also be encouraged to donate their time at the 10th annual Pantene Beautiful Lengths event in June. In recognition of their contributions, event organizers have added an upgraded experience and complimentary ticket package for all stylists and hair donors, and plan to implement a comprehensive climate plan to maintain comfortable temperatures in the Walmart AMP.

In addition, hair cutting events will take place at participating local schools in each of the four major school districts during the week of May 9 – 13. Area schools volunteer to recruit students, teachers or family members to donate their hair during a cutting event typically held during an all-school assembly.

“Our local Pantene Beautiful Lengths event has seen tremendous success and growth over the last 10 years. We are proud that through this initiative enough hair has been collected to satisfy demand for wigs locally, meaning that a large amount of the donations stay right here in NW Arkansas,” said Jay Allen, tournament chairman. “This June we plan to welcome over 300 donors to the Walmart AMP cutting event, but our efforts will not stop there. In the months leading up to tournament week, we hope to rally the community of Northwest Arkansas to help us reach an unprecedented total of 1,000 donors by June 20.”

Through the 10th anniversary initiative, organizers hope to spread the message of the kindest cut of all to more than ever before. Individuals, businesses, salons and schools interested in getting involved can visit www.BeautifulLengthsNWA.com to find out more, or contact Natalie Wallace at Natalie.Wallace@octagon.com. Hair donations of over eight inches of untreated hair can be sent to Pantene Beautiful Lengths at 1303 E. Joyce Blvd., Fayetteville, AR 72703. 

Click here to see a list of 2016 Partner Salons.