BITE NW Arkansas Relocating to 8th Street Market

The two-day food festival as part of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G will be first large scale event at new culinary venue in Downtown Bentonville on June 22 & 23

8th Street Market, one of Bentonville’s newest culinary destinations, will mark its opening in Northwest Arkansas by hosting BITE NW Arkansas, a two-day food festival now in its third year in the region.  BITE will take place June 22 & 23 as part of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

Encompassing approximately 10 acres along 8th Street in the Bentonville Market District near the Bentonville Square, 8th Street Market will ultimately showcase culinary education, music and the arts, new restaurant and hospitality venues, and other specialized food and drink concepts. 

“8th Street Market will bring a truly unique culinary experience to Northwest Arkansas. We could not be more excited to be their inaugural signature event, and to partner with them in building upon the momentum of BITE NW Arkansas,” said Harry Hardy, event director. “Moving BITE to Bentonville is a part of our ongoing vision to expand our reach within the community, particularly as part of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. The unique qualities that 8th Street Market will bring as an event venue will enable us to grow attendance, and enhance experiences for our restaurant and brewery partners, sponsors and guests.”

After selling out two years in a row at the Walmart AMP, BITE NW Arkansas will once again include two nights of events to appeal to the entire community. BITE Night One will take place Thursday, June 22, allowing event attendees the opportunity to discover and sample the area’s best restaurants, chefs and brands. Friday, June 23 will feature BITE Night Two—signature burgers from the best Northwest Arkansas restaurants and local libations in fun and relaxed atmosphere at this festival style event..

8th Street Market is home to Brightwater:  A Center for the Study of Food, a program of Northwest Arkansas Community College.  Brightwater represents one of the most comprehensive culinary arts and hospitality programs of its kind in the central United States.  Spring classes are now underway at Brightwater’s campus within 8th Street Market.

Glenn Mack, Brightwater’s executive director said, “Given all the culinary and hospitality growth throughout Northwest Arkansas and in Bentonville specifically, I think BITE NW Arkansas is a great way to help introduce 8th Street Market and Brightwater to the residents of the region. Brightwater and our students have been a part of BITE from its inception, and now that we share the site I’m sure our engagement will only grow in the future.”

In addition to Brightwater, Bentonville-based Bike Rack Brewery has announced that it will open an 8,000 square foot facility at 8th Street Market, its second location in Bentonville.  Beer will be brewed on site and sold for both on- and off-site consumption. Bike Rack will feature a 1,300-square-foot tap room with capacity for 90 people. 

“We are ecstatic that BITE NW Arkansas is moving to 8th Street Market and that our brewery will have the chance to help grow the impact of the event,” said Jeff Charlson, CEO and Partner, Bike Rack Brewing Company. “For two years BITE has paired great food with great beer, and that is authentic to the mission of Bike Rack and what I think we can expect to see at 8th Street Market in the long term.”

Tickets for BITE NW Arkansas will go on sale March 1 along with tickets to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. Starting at just $30 for an individual, tickets are expected to sell out due to limited quantities. More information about BITE NW Arkansas and 8th Street Market is available at www.BITENWA.com.

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

 

#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. 

#NWAChampionship Takes Home Several Top Awards

The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G was recognized by the LPGA’s Tournament Owners Association as having the best Overall Tournament Experience and best Player Engagement programs of the 2015 LPGA schedule. Octagon accepted 15 total awards for the three events managed by the company during the annual luncheon that honored excellence in event management and marketing across the entire LPGA schedule.

This is the first-time the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G has received the Overall Tournament Experience distinction. In addition to its top spots in Overall Tournament Experience and Player Engagement, the event received honorable mention for the Gold Driver – Dave Goff Series Award, which recognizes the entire body of work from a tournament and is considered the ultimate prize awarded by the LPGA and Tournament Owners Association (TOA).

“This is a stunning recognition of the work from the Octagon Events team in our Rogers office – combined with our other event offices nationwide – our team consistently creates and executes impeccable events that connect passionate fans with their sport, their players and their communities,” said Octagon Events Executive Vice President Chris Higgs. “These awards showcase our overall body of work across tournament experience, player engagement, marketing and sponsorship activation, and are a testament to our every experience matters philosophy.”

A complete list of 2015 Gold Driver Awards received by the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G is listed below.

 

2015 Gold Driver Awards

·        Honorable Mention – Gold Driver – Dave Goff Series Award

·        Gold – Overall Tournament Experience

·        Gold – Player Engagement

·        Silver – Sponsorship Activation

·        Bronze - Internet Advertising

·        Bronze  – Marketing Sales Material

·        Bronze – Pairings Spectator Guide

·        Bronze – Program 

2015 Champion, Na Yeon Choi

NYC1Whenever the favorite club question comes up, Na Yeon Choi’s answer is always the same – the 8-iron. She proved why Sunday, jarring her approach from 145 yards from the 16th fairway for eagle to storm into the lead at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship Presented by P&G. It proved a lead she would never relinquish, winning by two shots for her second win of 2015 and ninth of her career.

“Yeah, I hit 3 wood and I hit 8 iron to the pin, was like 145. Then I hit controlled 8 iron,” Choi said. “I mean, when I hold the finish, I thought it’s going to be good, but I didn’t expect like it go in.  I knew it was going to be good. That was a good shot and then I knew it’s going to be good.”

Choi approached her tee shot in the middle of the 16th fairway with Stacy Lewis holding a one-shot lead and heading towards a short birdie putt at the 17th. It looked like Lewis’ to be had for the second straight year, but Choi flipped the script completely with her eagle while Lewis missed her putt to give Choi a one-shot lead.

She needed only one more swing to close the door, nearly jarring her shot at the par-3 17th before tapping it in for a two-shot lead and an easy walk up the 18th. That shot into the 17th also came with an 8-iron.

Choi’s total of 15-under 198 came on a day where she struggled with the flat stick en route with 33 putts. But when she needed it the most, she found it, playing the last three holes in 3-under-par with two consecutive twos on the scorecard for a 2-under 69 Sunday.

“I mean, today, especially my putting didn’t really work and but still I tried to keep focus my shot and swing, and then I kept hitting well and then after 16 I, after I hit the second shot, I knew this is going to be good,” Choi said. “I felt really good, you know, feeling after the impact. So when I holed the finish, I thought it’s going to be good, but I didn’t expect like go in. So I was very happy after that shot, but like unfortunately I couldn’t see the ball going in. I just heard a lot of screaming around the green.”

Mika Miyazato finished as the runner-up at 13-under-par after Lewis bogeyed the 18th. Azahara Munoz (66), Lewis (68) and Anna Nordqvist (70) each tied for third at 12-under-par.

 

Final Round Pairings

Tee   #1 9:20AM Katie Burnett             Brunswick, GA             69-71 140 -2
Group #1   Jacqui Concolino          Orlando, FL               67-73 140 -2
Tee   #1 9:29AM Pernilla Lindberg         Bollnas Sweden            69-71 140 -2
Group #2   Danielle Kang             Oak Park CA               69-71 140 -2
                Rebecca Lee-Bentham       Toronto, Canada           69-71 140 -2
Tee   #1 9:41AM Laetitia Beck             Caesarea, Israel          70-70 140 -2
Group #3   Ilhee Lee                 Seoul South Korea         70-70 140 -2
                Beatriz Recari            Pamplona, Spain           70-70 140 -2
Tee   #1 9:53AM Haeji Kang                South Korea               71-69 140 -2
Group #4   Karlin Beck               Montgomery, AL            70-70 140 -2
                Amelia Lewis              Jacksonville FL           70-70 140 -2
Tee   #1 10:05AM Candie Kung               Allen, Texas              72-68 140 -2
Group #5   Sei Young Kim             Seoul                     72-68 140 -2
                Lee-Anne Pace             South Africa              72-68 140 -2
Tee   #1 10:17AM Lizette Salas             Azusa CA                  65-74 139 -3
Group #6   Cydney Clanton            Rockwell, NC              74-66 140 -2
                Jane Park                 Rancho Cucamonga CA       73-67 140 -2
Tee   #1 10:29AM Sandra Changkija          Orlando, FL               68-71 139 -3
Group #7   Joanna Klatten            France                    68-71 139 -3
                Sandra Gal                Cologne, Germany          67-72 139 -3
Tee   #1 10:41AM Karine Icher              France                    69-70 139 -3
Group #8   Thidapa Suwannapura       Thailand                  69-70 139 -3
                Min Lee                   Taoyuan County, Taiwan    69-70 139 -3
Tee   #1 10:53AM Christina Kim             San Jose CA               70-69 139 -3
Group #9   Ji Young Oh               South Korea               70-69 139 -3
                Caroline Hedwall          Sweden                    70-69 139 -3
Tee   #1 11:05AM Tiffany Joh               San Diego CA              70-69 139 -3
Group #10   Xi Yu Lin                 China                     70-69 139 -3
                Wei-Ling Hsu              Chinese Taipei            70-69 139 -3
Tee   #1 11:17AM Lydia Ko                  New Zealand               70-69 139 -3
Group #11   Jessica Korda             Bradenton FL              70-69 139 -3
                Cheyenne Woods            Phoenix, AZ               70-69 139 -3
Tee   #1 11:29AM Hee Young Park            South Korea               73-66 139 -3
Group #12   Lexi Thompson             Coral Springs, FL         71-68 139 -3
                P.K. Kongkraphan          Thailand                  71-68 139 -3
Tee   #1 11:41AM Eun-Hee Ji                South Korea               69-69 138 -4
Group #13   Min Seo Kwak              Seoul, South Korea        68-70 138 -4
                Mirim Lee                 South Korea               66-72 138 -4
Tee   #1 11:53AM Meena Lee                 South Korea               71-67 138 -4
Group #14   Karrie Webb               Ayr Queensland Australia  69-69 138 -4
                Sakura Yokomine           Japan                     69-69 138 -4
Tee   #1 12:05PM Katherine Kirk            Sunrise Beach, Australia  67-70 137 -5
Group #15   So Yeon Ryu               South Korea               73-65 138 -4
                *Gaby Lopez               Mexico City, Mexico       73-65 138 -4
Tee   #1 12:17PM Haru Nomura               Kanagawa, Japan           69-68 137 -5
Group #16   Jodi Ewart Shadoff        North Yorkshire, England  69-68 137 -5
                Ashleigh Simon            South Africa              68-69 137 -5
Tee   #1 12:29PM Gerina Piller             Roswell NM                66-70 136 -6
Group #17   Suzann Pettersen          Norway                    69-68 137 -5
                Cristie Kerr              Miami FL                  69-68 137 -5
Tee   #1 12:41PM Kelly W Shon              Port Washington, NY       68-68 136 -6
Group #18   Julieta Granada           Paraguay                  68-68 136 -6
                Paula Creamer             Pleasanton CA             67-69 136 -6
Tee   #1 12:53PM Mariajo Uribe             Bucaramanga Colombia      66-69 135 -7
Group #19   Azahara Munoz             Malaga Spain              65-70 135 -7
                Jenny Shin                Torrence CA               68-68 136 -6
Tee   #1 1:05PM Jee Young Lee             South Korea               68-67 135 -7
Group #20   Jennifer Johnson          Carlsbad CA               67-68 135 -7
                Marina Alex               Wayne, NJ                 66-69 135 -7
Tee   #1 1:17PM Q Baek                    South Korea               71-64 135 -7
Group #21   Alison Lee                Valencia, CA              70-65 135 -7
                Mo Martin                 Altadena CA               69-66 135 -7
Tee   #1 1:29PM Minjee Lee                Australia                 68-66 134 -8
Group #22   Chie Arimura              Japan                     67-67 134 -8
                Paula Reto                Bloemfontein, South Africa  71-64 135 -7
Tee   #1 1:41PM Amy Yang                  South Korea               65-68 133 -9
Group #23   Austin Ernst              Greenville, SC            69-65 134 -8
                Angela Stanford           Saginaw, TX               68-66 134 -8
Tee   #1 1:53PM Stacy Lewis               The Woodlands TX          68-65 133 -9
Group #24   Mika Miyazato             Okinawa Japan             66-67 133 -9
                Brittany Lincicome        Seminole FL               65-68 133 -9
Tee   #1 2:05PM Na Yeon Choi              South Korea               66-63 129 -13
Group #25   Anna Nordqvist            Eskilstuna Sweden         65-66 131 -11
                Mi Jung Hur               South Korea               63-68 131 -11

5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy

5k1

The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G's newest event, the 5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy, was held Saturday morning. More than 450 runners participated in the inaugural event, starting and finishing at the Walmart AMP. The chip-timed race ran alongside the golf course, making it a unique 5k experience for runners of all ages. As part of the event, the tournament and P&G presented Mercy Northwest Arkansas with $10,000. A