Page 1

#NWACHAMPIONSHIP

Where Northwest Arkansas SHINES 2017 Tournament Magazine

June 19-25, 2017

Pinnacle Country Club | Rogers, AR


WELCOME FROM walmart

On behalf of Walmart and Sam’s Club associates around the globe, welcome to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. If this is your first time to Northwest Arkansas, it is our pleasure to have you here – the home of Walmart for more than 50 years. We couldn’t be more proud to host this championship in our own backyard. Northwest Arkansas is an amazing community where our associates live, work and play. This region has so much to offer, and Walmart is proud to support the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G as it is just one of the many wonderful activities here. As many in the community already know, LPGA week is about much more than golf in Northwest Arkansas. It’s about bringing the region together for a variety of affordable events and activities. This year the tournament has renewed its commitment to providing affordable fun for the whole family, and there are more free activities onsite than ever with the introduction of a new structure on the 17th hole opening

on June 23 – Hub479. This will be the largest single structure at the event and a great place to network and watch the tournament. If you haven’t been before, be sure to stop by this year as it promises to be the best year yet. Walmart and Sam’s Club believe in giving back to the community that has given us so much. We are proud to support an event that not only empowers women but also positively impacts important local causes. Find out more about the tournament’s commitment to causes and organizations throughout Northwest Arkansas on page 59. And stop by the concession areas onsite at the tournament to see those organizations in action during LPGA Week. Many thanks to P&G and all the other tournament sponsors, volunteers, supporters and guests who help to make the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G a wonderful week for the whole community. I hope you enjoy your time at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

Gisel Ruiz

Chief Operating Officer, Sam’s Club

Tournament Magazine

3


WELCOME FROM p&G

On behalf of Procter & Gamble, welcome to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G! I am thrilled to welcome the LPGA players and fans back to Northwest Arkansas for one of my favorite events of the year. At P&G, #WeSeeEqual. We are proud to work alongside Walmart to support the ladies of the LPGA Tour through this event. P&G aspires to create a better world for everyone, and here in Northwest Arkansas that’s no different. The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G provides a world-class event experience for the entire community. Through affordable events, fun activities and championship golf – the tournament provides a one-of-a-kind community event for the entire region. Today, the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G includes a community concert at the Walmart AMP, BITE NW Arkansas – a unique two-day food festival at the brand new 8th Street Market in Downtown Bentonville, charitable programs such as Pantene Beautiful Lengths, and the 5k run benefiting Mercy – one of my favorite parts of tournament week. There’s

nothing like getting together with 1,000 other passionate and dedicated individuals to run for a good cause on a Saturday morning. Plus it’s a great way to run off some of the calories consumed at BITE the night before! On behalf of P&G, thank you to all of our tournament volunteers and supporters for your dedication to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. I would also like to thank the LPGA players for the way they interact with the fans and especially the kids at the event—they are an inspiration to all of us both inside and outside the ropes. I look forward to cheering on the LPGA ladies with you all at Pinnacle Country Club. See you on the 17th Hole!

Mindy Sherwood

Vice President, Procter & Gamble Walmart Global Customer Team

Tournament Magazine

5


WELCOME

FROM THE CITY OF ROGERS, ARKANSAS Welcome to Rogers, Arkansas and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. The citizens of Rogers are excited to once again host this LPGA Tour event, and we want to ensure all of our visitors have a wonderful experience during their stay. The City of Rogers sincerely thanks Walmart, Procter & Gamble and Pinnacle Country Club for their commitment to making this a successful event, year after year. I would also like to extend a special thanks to the Hudson family for their commitment to excellence and investment in Pinnacle. Many Northwest Arkansas corporations, businesses, civic clubs and individual volunteers have contributed countless resources and hundreds of hours of their time to make this one of the finest stops on the tour, and their efforts are greatly appreciated. Welcome to Rogers, the city Where Possible Lives. Whether you’re returning to the tournament or getting your first experience, I urge you to get out and explore everything Northwest Arkansas has to offer. Rogers has a unique abil-

ity to offer the amenities of a major metropolis, while still maintaining its historic, small-town roots. Delve into the shopping, entertainment and fine dining in the Pinnacle Hills Promenade. Savor the local fares in the Historic Downtown District. Feel the rush of adrenaline at our nationally acclaimed Railyard Bike Park. Relax at our 236-acre Lake Atalanta Park. We’re confident that once you experience Rogers, this won’t be your last visit to the City Where Possible Lives. If we can be of any assistance during your stay, please do not hesitate to ask. We are truly here to serve you. The contact number for City Hall is (479) 621-1117 and to contact Visit Rogers, please call (479) 636-1240. Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at The City of Rogers and @Rogers1881. Enjoy your stay in Rogers! Sincerely,

Greg Hines Mayor City of Rogers

Tournament Magazine

7


WELCOME FROM THE LPGA

On behalf of all the members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), welcome to the 2017 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. In 1950, 13 women founded the LPGA with the hope of giving the best female golfers a place to play, a chance to earn a living, and an opportunity to compete to see who was the world’s best. Just 67 years later, the LPGA has transformed into the world’s longest-running professional women’s sports league that reaches all corners of the globe: • • • • •

34 Official Events played in 15 different countries More than 160 countries televise the LPGA each week, with more than 400 total hours of coverage in the United States alone The LPGA currently has players on Tour who are from more than 30 different countries Players will compete for $67.35 million in prize money in 2017 – the most in LPGA history In 2016, golf returned to the Olympic Games for the first time in 100 years and the game will again be on the world stage in Japan at the 2020 Olympics In Summer 2017, the 12 best American players will battle the 12 best European players at the 15th staging of the Solheim Cup in Des Moines, Iowa

will be amazed by the talent and the poise of our players on the golf course, and you’ll also see that they are gracious, friendly, and approachable. Additionally, you should know that these great athletes choose to “pay it forward” and contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to our LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program nationwide, helping more than 60,000 young girls per year enter this great game. The stars of the LPGA are truly committed to leaving the game better than they found it and they are excited to have you join us in that mission. We want to extend a special thank you to Walmart and P&G for helping to make this week’s event possible and to the city of Rogers for hosting us and treating our players and staff as one of your own. We’d also like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to the tournament staff and volunteers for all the hard work and dedication they have put towards the success of this week’s event. To our fans, THANK YOU for supporting the LPGA and women’s golf. Have a great week, and remember to follow the LPGA on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and our website to stay up to date on all happenings on our Tour. Sincerely,

Michael Whan

LPGA Fan and Commissioner

Simply put, you will be watching the best female athletes on the planet competing this week. You Tournament Magazine

9


table of

con t en t s 1

13

Welcome Letters

10 Schedule of Events 13

Fan Attractions

17 Special Events 21

Quick Facts

23 Spectator Information 25

Player Profiles

41

LPGA Legend

47

LPGA Feature

51 Razorback Feature 55

65

Live479 Feature

59 Giving Back 63

Pantene Beautiful Lengths Thank You

65

Partner Profile

68

Course Map

71 Hole by Hole Guide 83

2016 Retrospective

87

Volunteer Highlight

41 Tournament Magazine

11


sCHEDULEofEvents

schedu l e of e v en t s Monday, June 19 Closed to public

Tuesday, June 20 Gates open at 8:00 a.m.

Wednesday, June 21 Gates open at 8:00 a.m.

Thursday, June 22 Gates open at 8:00a.m.

Professional Practice Rounds

Professional Practice Rounds

Official Pro-Am, Day 1

Official Pro-Am, Day 2

1:00 p.m. Qualifier Tournament

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sam’s Club Kids Center Open

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Sam’s Club Kids Center Open

7:30 a.m. NEW Women’s Breakfast presented by Kimberly Clark John Q. Hammons Center

2:00 p.m. The First Tee Girls on Course LPGA Day presented by Unilever 17th Hole

2:00 p.m. Junior Clinic presented by Unilever Back of Driving Range 5:00 p.m. Pantene Beautiful Lengths Hub479, 17th Hole 6:00p.m. – 9:00 p.m. BITE NW Arkansas Night One 8th Street Market

12

Tournament Magazine


Friday, June 23 Gates open at 7:00 a.m.

Saturday, June 24 Gates open at 7:00 a.m.

Sunday, June 25 Gates open at 7:00 a.m.

First Round of Competition

Second Round of Competition

Final Round of Competition

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sam’s Club Kids Center Open

7:30 a.m. 5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy Walmart AMP

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Play Golf Zone Lessons Driving Range

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sam’s Club Kids Center Open

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Sam’s Club Kids Center Open

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Golf Channel Broadcast

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Golf Channel Broadcast

8:00 p.m. Elle King Community Concert Walmart AMP

18th Green Ceremony Immediately Following Play

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Golf Channel Broadcast 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. BITE NW Arkansas Night Two 8th Street Market

Tournament Magazine

13


FANattractions

fan

ATT R A C T I O N S Public Viewing Decks

SAM’S CLUB Kids Center

Enjoy the view from any of the four public viewing decks throughout the course courtesy of Kimberly-Clark. These can be found at Holes 1, 9, 17 and 18. To view a map of these locations, check out the Course Map on page 68.

There’s fun to be had for the whole family at the Sam’s Club Kids Center. Geared towards the smallest tournament spectators, the Kids Center offers hands on games, crafts and activities in a fun environment. From putt-putt to video games, face painting and healthy snacks, the Kids Center has everything you need to entertain children of all ages and is free to general spectators. And don’t forget! Kids 17 and under get into the tournament free with a ticketed adult!

Hub479 The tournament’s newest attraction is adding some excitement to the Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour. Hub479 is a brand new structure open to the general public offering a Tyson Café concessions area, lounge style seating, interactive games and great views of the 17th hole! Bring your friends to experience the #NWAChampionship in a whole new way. Hub479 makes its grand opening debut on Friday, June 23 and will remain open throughout the weekend during tournament play.

The Club presented by LG Enjoy an exclusive hospitality experience at the #NWAChampionship by purchasing upgraded tickets to The Club presented by LG. The structure overlooks the 16th green and 17th tee box, and features the fun atmosphere found only on the Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour – #17. Daily tickets are $75 and weekly tickets are $200. Food and drinks are included in ticket prices. Tournament Magazine

15


FANattractions

Hallmark Autograph Alley

Play Golf Zone Lessons

Make plans to meet your favorite players at the Hallmark Autograph Alley after their rounds. Pick up an Autograph Book compliments of Hallmark to start your collection of signatures. Hallmark Autograph Alley is located between the 9th and 18th holes on the back patio of the Pinnacle Clubhouse. Open to spectators of all ages!

Inspired to perfect your game after watching the ladies of the LPGA? Stop by the driving range on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to receive a complimentary lesson from area golf pros. Lessons are open to any spectators with a Kids Ticket (ages 17 and under). Miles 4 Mercy

Champions Celebration Join us at the Hallmark Autograph Alley on Sunday, June 25 to help congratulate the 2017 Tournament Champion on her victory! A fun celebration is promised after the 18th Green Ceremony. The celebration is open to all tournament spectators and fans.

Help support one of the tournament’s partner charities by picking up a pedometer from the Mercy tent on the 18th Fairway. Log your steps to help Mercy receive a $5,000 donation from the tournament. One lucky winner will also win a Fitbit courtesy of Mercy and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G!

Spectator Cafes & Hydration Stations

STAY CONNECTED

Need a bite to eat or a place to cool off while out at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G? Check out any of the Tyson Spectator Cafés onsite for affordable meals ($3), snacks ($2) or drinks ($2/$1). Each Tyson Spectator Café features public seating and cooling components. Hydration Stations across the course offer drinks and water. For a complete map of Tyson Spectator Cafés and Hydrations Stations, check out the Course Map on page 68.

Learn more about what’s going on during tournament week by visiting NWAChampionship.com. Follow along on social media @NWAChampionship or NW Arkansas Championship on Facebook, and be sure to share about your tournament experience with the official tournament hashtag #NWAChampionship!

Tournament Magazine

17


18

Tournament Magazine


SPECIAL

SPECIALEVENTS

EVENTS Pantene Beautiful Lengths Thursday, June 22 One in three women will be affected by cancer in her lifetime. Pantene Beautiful Lengths creates free real-hair wigs for women battling cancer in our community. The program encourages individuals to donate eight inches of untreated hair and annually collects enough hair to satisfy demand in Northwest Arkansas. This year, donors have had three opportunities to participate and help #PBLNWA reach its goal of 1,500 donations. Traditionally Pantene Beautiful Lengths has hosted one major giving event during LPGA Week in Northwest Arkansas. The program expanded this year to include a series of events which kicked off at the Sam’s Club Home Office in Bentonville on May 15. On June 5, an additional 100 donors will be donating hair at The Record in Downtown Bentonville. The series will conclude on June 22 with 100 donors onsite at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G in a brand new location on the golf course. Donors and stylists for the June 22 event can still sign up! To learn more about Pantene Beautiful Lengths, visit BeautifulLengthsNWA.com to sign up today.

5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy Saturday, June 24 Run on the tournament course and the famous Gatorade Loudest Hole on Tour – #17! Join your family, your company and your community on Saturday, June 24 to run together for good at the 5k @ the LPGA benefiting Mercy. The race includes a 5k, 1k fun run and a Corporate Challenge for all skill levels. Companies and offices are invited to compete for titles of Fastest Office, Fittest Office, Leading Ladies and Most Spirited Office. Early registration is only $20 and includes a performance t-shirt, daily #NWAChampionship Tournament ticket, race medal, breakfast after the race and more! Join the fun, register at NWAChampionship.com/5k-the-lpga.

Walmart Community Concert featuring Elle King Saturday, June 24 Grammy nominated artist, Elle King, will headline the 2017 Walmart Community Concert on Saturday, June 24 at the Walmart AMP. King took the world by storm with the release of her Gold-certified debut album Love Stuff in 2015, a display of her grounding in rock, blues, country, and pop styles. Her hit single “Ex’s & Oh’s” was nominated for 2 Grammys and 2 Billboard Music Awards, was certified double platinum, and she made chart history, becoming the second female artist in 18 years to reach #1 at Alternative Radio. In 2016, she teamed up with country singer Dierks Bentley for the song “Different for Girls”. They performed together at the 2016 CMA Awards where she and Bentley won the award for Musical Event of the Year. Tickets for the Walmart Community Concert are $9 for lawn seats and $18 for covered reserved seats. Tickets and more information can be found on the Walmart AMP’s website at ArkansasMusicPavilion.com.

Tournament Magazine

19


SPECIALEVENTS

BITE NW Arkansas #NWAChampionship Week’s food festival event will return this year to a brand new venue – 8th Street Market in Downtown Bentonville. The two-night event offers unique experiences for attendees to taste, sip, sample and discover the best of the Northwest Arkansas culinary scene. Tickets for each night of BITE start at just $30 for an individual and $50 for a couple, and are available online at BITENWA.com.

BITE Night One Thursday, June 22 Attendees are invited to mix, mingle and enjoy unlimited sample sized menu items prepared by the top restaurants, chefs and brands from throughout the region. In addition to a bevy of great restaurants, the evening will feature the Chef’s Table Experience curated by the James Beard Foundation with demonstrations by featured chefs Dean Fearing (Creator of Dallas-based Fearing’s Restaurant), Mario Valdovino (Tyson Executive Chef/MOD Restaurant), Matthew McClure (The Hive) and more. Featured restaurants include: The Hive | 28 Springs | MOD Restaurant | Greenhouse Grille Woodstone Craft Pizza | Vetro 1925 | Tusk & Trotter Onyx Coffee Lab

BITE Night Two Friday, June 23 Night Two will feature signature burgers from the best Northwest Arkansas restaurants and local libations in a fun and relaxed atmosphere at 8th Street Market. Live music curated by the Roots Festival will add to the lively environment as attendees savor food and drinks from across the region. Featured participants include: Lost Forty | Levi’s Gastrolounge & Lowbar | Ruth’s Chris Steak House | Black Apple Crossing | Big Orange Bike Rack Brewing Company | Hill City Popcorn Big Rub Urban Barbeque

Tournament Magazine

21


quickFacts

PAST C H A M P I O N S

LY D I A K O

N a Y eon C hoi

2016

2015

in b ee pa rk

Ai M iya z at o

2013

2012

S ta cy Le w is 2014

Ya ni Tseng

Ya ni Tseng

2011

2010

J iya i S hin

S eon H wa Lee

S ta cy Le w is

2009

2008

2007

Purse:

$2 million ($300,000 to the champion)

Field:

144 of the top female golfers in the world

Format: Three-day, 54-hole stroke play competition with a cut after Saturday’s round to 65 and ties

TV Coverage:

About Pinnacle Country Club

Friday, June 23 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Management: Pinnacle Country Club is owned and operated by the Hudson family led by Mike Hudson. The club is managed by General Manager Tim Johnson.

Golf Channel television times for the 2017 live tournament broadcast are as follows:

Saturday, June 24 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Sunday, June 25 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Yards: 6,362 Par: 71 Opened: July 1990

Course Architect: Originally designed by the late Don Sechrest, with PGA TOUR great Bruce Lietzke serving as a consultant. The course was re-designed by Randy Heckenkemper in 2009.

Tournament Magazine

23


SPECTATORINFORMATION

spectator

inform a t ion Daily Pairings Guide Pick up a free Daily Pairings Guide to find out when and where your favorite LPGA player will tee off. Daily Pairings Guides include a course map, and are available at the Main Entrance and in pairings boxes located throughout the course. Mercy First Aid In the event of an injury or emergency, contact the nearest hole marshal who will be able to help you and direct you to First Aid. Mercy First Aid is located behind the 9th tee. Spectator Parking Parking for general spectators is located West of I-49 off exit 82 beginning Tuesday, June 20 – Sunday, June 25, for $5 with proceeds benefiting local organizations. Once on Pauline Whitaker Drive, follow signage to general parking area. Spectators will take a shuttle bus to the main tournament entrance and will not be allowed to walk onto the premises. Severe Weather In the event of thunderstorms, lightning, or other severe weather, “Weather Warning” information will be displayed on the scoreboards around the golf course. When these warnings appear, patrons are advised to take precautions and seek shelter even before play is suspended. If the siren sounds suspending play, seek shelter immediately.

Spectator Tips •

Please display your admission ticket or credential at all times.

No coolers, outside food or beverages, or large bags are permitted on tournament grounds.

Cameras are not permitted on the course during tournament play (Friday through Sunday).

Please use general golf etiquette.

Players will be available for autographs after their rounds in the Hallmark Autograph Alley located behind the 18th hole.

All weapons are prohibited.

No pets (other than service animals) are permitted on the grounds.

Please silence cell phones.

Tournament Magazine

25


Playerprofiles

lyd i a

KO

Height: 5’5” • Birthdate: April 24, 1997 • Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand • Resides: Orlando, FL • Rookie Year: 2014 • LPGA Tour Victories: 14

• In 2016, Lydia became the youngest female ever to win two major championships (18

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 4 Best Finish: Won (2016) Event Top 10’s: 3 Low Round: 62

years/11 months/9 days). • In the 2016 Rio Olympics, Lydia earned a silver medal. • Lydia was named the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the year, the youngest winner in the history of the award at the age of 17. • She began golfing at the age of 5 and credits her parents as the individuals most influencing in her career.

Tournament Magazine

27


Playerprofiles

S TA C Y

LEWIS

Height: 5’5” • Birthdate: February 16, 1985 • Hometown: The Woodlands, TX • Resides: Palm Beach Gardens, FL • Rookie Year: 2009 • LPGA Tour Victories: 11

• In 2016, recorded a career best in driving accuracy (80%) which ranked fourth on the LPGA Tour.

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 10 Best Finish: Won (2014, unofficially in 2007)

• As a member of the University of Arkansas women’s golf team, Lewis won 12 collegiate events and was a four-time All-American. • In 2014, Stacy took all three of the LPGA’s most prestigious season honors: Rolex Player of the Year, Vare Trophy and Money List title.

Event Top 10’s: 6

• She spent 264 consecutive weeks from 2011-2016

Low Round: 65

ranked in the top 10 on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings.

28

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

GA B Y

LOPEZ

Height: 5’6” • Birthdate: November 9, 1993 • Hometown: Mexico City, Mexico • Resides: Mexico City, Mexico • Rookie Year: 2016 • LPGA Tour Victories: 0

• Represented Mexico in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio and finished the season ranked third in the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of Year standings.

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 4 Best Finish: 29 (2015) Event Top 10’s: 0 Low Round: 65

• Recorded nine top-25 finishes in her rookie year on the LPGA Tour. • Was a two-time First-Team All-American, two-time First-Team All-SEC selection and a 2015 Honda Women’s Golf Award Finalist at the University of Arkansas. • Graduated from the University of Arkansas in 2016 with a degree in Communications. • Gaby started playing golf when she was five and credits her coach, Horacio Morales, as having the most influence on her career. Tournament Magazine

29


30

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

morgan

PRESSEL

Height: 5’5” • Birthdate: May 23, 1988 • Hometown: Boca Raton, FL • Resides: Boca Raton, FL • Rookie Year: 2006 • LPGA Tour Victories: 2

• In 2016, Morgan tied her career-low round with a 63 during the second round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

#NWAChampionship Record

• She is a five-time U.S. Solheim Cup Team Member (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015) with an overall record of 10-7-2.

Appearances: 9

• Morgan qualified for the tour on her first attempt, tying

Best Finish: 2 (2016)

for sixth at the 2005 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament

Event Top 10’s: 1 Low Round: 63

and was granted permission at age 17 to receive an age exemption to apply for LPGA Membership. • In 2008, she started the Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer charity tournament at St. Andrews Country Club, which has raised over 5 million dollars to date and benefits her foundation in honor of her late mother. Tournament Magazine

31


32

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

IN B EE

PARK

Height: 5’6” • Birthdate: July 12, 1988 • Hometown: Seoul, South Korea • Resides: Murrieta, CA • Rookie Year: 2007 • LPGA Tour Victories: 18

• Entering 2017, Inbee has won as many majors as Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb (7)—only Patty Berg (15), Mickey Wright (11), Babe Zaharias (10), Annika

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 9 Best Finish: Won (2013) Event Top 10’s: 4 Low Round: 65

Sorenstam (10) and Betsy Rawls (8) have won more. • In 2013, she became the first South Korean in LPGA Tour history to win the Rolex Player of the Year. • In 2008, Inbee became the fifth player in LPGA history to win both the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and U.S. Women’s Open. • She was the youngest player to ever win the U.S. Women’s Open in 2008 at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 17 days. • Inbee started golfing at the age of 10 and credits her father as the individual most influencing her career. Tournament Magazine

33


34

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

NA Y EON

CHOI

Height: 5’5” • Birthdate: October 28, 1987 • Hometown: Osan, Republic of Korea • Resides: Seoul, Republic of Korea / Orlando, FL • Rookie Year: 2008 • LPGA Tour Victories: 9

• Na Yeon recorded three top-10 finishes in 2016.

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 9 Best Finish: won (2015) Event Top 10’s: 4 Low Round: 63

• Crossed the $10 million mark in career earnings with her ninth career victory at the 2015 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. • 2015 marked the fourth season in her career with multiple wins. • She has donated $30,000 to Girls Golf twice, saying, “I want to give the girls my message: Have a dream and achieve it.”

Tournament Magazine

35


36

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

A r i ya

Jutanugarn Height: 5’7” • Birthdate: November 23, 1995 • Hometown: Bangkok, Thailand • Resides: Bangkok, Thailand • Rookie Year: 2015 • LPGA Tour Victories: 5

• In 2016, she led the Tour with five wins and 469 birdies. Ariya broke the all-time birdies in a season record previously held by Stacy Lewis from 2014 (451).

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 4 Best Finish: 4 (2016) Event Top 10’s: 1 Low Round: 66

• With her win at the RICOH Women’s British Open in 2016, she became first-ever major champion (male or female) from Thailand. • She had 55 rounds in the 60s in 2016, which broke the alltime LPGA record set by Lorena Ochoa in 2014 (51). • Became the first player in Tour history to have first three wins of her career come in consecutive tournaments and the first player since Inbee Park in 2013 to win three LPGA tournaments in a row. • Her older sister, Moriya, is also a member of the LPGA Tour. Tournament Magazine

37


Playerprofiles

SO Y EON

RYU

Height: 5’6” • Birthdate: June 29, 1990 • Hometown: SOUTH KOREA • Resides: SOUTH KOREA • Rookie Year: 2012 • LPGA Tour Victories: 4

• Won the first major of the 2017 season, the ANA Inspiration. • Crossed the $6 million mark in career earnings with

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 5 Best Finish: 2 (2013) Event Top 10’s: 3 Low Round: 65

her fourth-place finish at the 2015 Lorena Ochoa Invitational presented by Banamex. • She began playing golf in the second grade as an extra curricular activity at school. She now owns two golf simulator shops in Seoul. • In 2012, she was named the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year. • As an amateur she was a member of the Korean National Golf Team from 2005-2007. She won a gold medal for the Republic of Korea, both in individual and team events, in the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar. Tournament Magazine

39


40

Tournament Magazine


Playerprofiles

GERINA

PILLER

Height: 5’7” • Birthdate: March 29, 1985 • Hometown: Roswell, New Mexico • Resides: Fort Worth, TX • Rookie Year: 2010 • LPGA Tour Victories: 0

#NWAChampionship Record Appearances: 6 Best Finish: 20 Event Top 10’s: 0 Low Round: 66

• Gerina recorded nine top-10 finishes in 2016. • Her $842,899 in earnings in 2016 was the highest single-season total of her career. • In 2009, she was a contestant on the Golf Channel’s Big Break: Prince Edward Island series. • She is married to Martin Piller, a member of the PGA Tour. They are the only husband-wife duo to have both PGA Tour and LPGA Tour cards.

Tournament Magazine

41


42

Tournament Magazine


LPGALegend

a positive

ou t l ook The LPGA Tour’s resident comedian, Tiffany Joh, faced something rather sobering during her offseason earlier this year. The 30-yearold tour vet was diagnosed with melanoma in early January. Doctors were able to remove it from her scalp and after 10 days, she learned she was cancer free. Joh, a loyal supporter of the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program at the #NWAChampionship, talked to tournament officials about the hair donation event, her diagnosis and how she kept herself smiling during the experience.

Like many of your fans and supporters we were shocked to see the news that you were diagnosed with melanoma earlier this year. Can you sum up what that experience taught you? I think just that golf is a really small portion of your life. There are a lot more important things than missing or making a putt on the 18th hole, so I think that’s probably the biggest thing I learned. You’ve compared tackling a tough golf course to dealing with your cancer scare. How has your experiences in golf helped you through these difficult times? I think in golf, they’re constantly saying things like, ‘you need to take things one shot at a time.’ That stuff that you carry on to other aspects of your life is pretty invaluable, especially when you’re waiting for results on diagnostic tests, you really can’t get too far ahead of yourself and think, what’s the next step? You just

Tournament Magazine

43


LPGALegend have to tackle the one metaphorical shot in front of you and do the best you can with what you have. You are known for having the best sense of humor on tour. How did you keep yourself smiling during this experience? I think I’m kind of naturally someone that is pretty happy and upbeat, but it also helps to have friends, family and people around you that are also positive and upbeat. One of the first people I told was Mo Martin, and she’s probably one of the best personalities in a crisis because she’s very calm but also really positive too. I think that’s the biggest thing. I had a lot of people around me that were really positive and upbeat. You’ve personally donated your hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths here at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. What does that mean to you now that you’ve had such a personal experience with the disease? There was a certain point where I thought they were going to have to shave my head and they weren’t even really sure until they went in and did the surgery, if they were going to end up saving most of my hair or not. So I had to come to grips with the fact that I was going to show up to my first event on tour and have a completely shaved head, and I’ve never thought of myself as someone who cares very much about appearance, but it actually was really crushing for me to think about that. I think now that I have that perspective I’m definitely a lot more motivated to donate every year. Can you tell us about your experience of donating your hair through Pantene Beautiful Lengths? You know, the first year I just donated because I heard you got a free haircut out of it, and I hadn’t gotten a haircut in three years. But sharing my experience with hundreds of other young girls and guys who had really long hair was just so great. I felt uplifted by the whole event, so I continued to do it. What would you say to anyone who is thinking about donating their hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths to encourage them to do so? Just do it. Your hair grows back so fast. You have so much of it and it’s not even really a big

deal. It was never really a big deal for me to cut my hair the last five or six years. But thinking about that moment when I thought I was going to have my hair completely shaved, it was very scary. It really makes a big difference whether or not you think it does or not. Do you find yourself more cautious being out on the golf course or in the sun due to your experience? Do you have any advice for young golfers? Now, my entire wardrobe is different. I wear pants and long sleeves and a wide brim bucket hat every day. That’s pretty much the first thing I think about when I’m leaving the house to go to the golf course and the last thing I think about when I’m laying out my outfit for the next day. I would say that Tournament Magazine

45


my biggest piece of advice is that it’s not really enough to put on sunscreen and cover yourself up. I’ve always been really good with sunscreen, and I think a lot of people forget to reapply sunscreen. I think the biggest thing is to be really good about getting regular checkups.

LPGALegend

You’ve played in the #NWAChampionship each of the last six years. Do you have any favorite memories from the event? My host family lives on the 2nd hole, and I’ve watched their little girl Maggie grow up every year. Every year when I have a morning tee time she always comes down in her PJ’s, watches me play the hole and comes out to give me a hug in the middle of the fairway. I’m just dreading the day she gets too old and too cool to do that. I’d say that’s my best memory. If you had to sum up your goals or motto for the rest of 2017 into one sentence, what would it be? Keep good perspective and keep a good attitude.

@TiffJoh: It ’s been a w hirlwind sinc calls you ca e I received ng one of the between th et from your dermato scariest pho at dark per logist’s offi ne ce. But som iod spent d searches an eep in the ewhere d now, I star throes of g ted to thin a really diffi oog k about ho cult golf co w I would g le/WebMD urse; Well, then the fir o about tack I’d probab st green, th ly ling try to hit th en make th on the one e first fairw at first putt. shot before ay, ..and I’d co me at any but expect ntinue to fo given time. a few bad cus I’d pray for ones and trust in good boun my caddy to too because, hey, th ces, at’s just go hit a shot in help me na lf. I’d rely o vi to the port n a-potties, I’d gate the difficult dec chip out in isions, and to the fairw try to find hu if I ay, and cont m ultimately, o r in th e inue to stic the k to the gam crap situation, the one that most important shot e plan. Bec isn’t the fir ’s right in fr ause st one or th ont of you. e last one, #SorryForT it’s heFeels #B lameYoga

Through her lens

@TiffJoh

led it. @TiffJoh: Nai

@TiffJoh: As the sun gets ready to set on the last day of my extended offseason, I can’t help but reflect on what an amazing period of growth the last few months have been. Strangely, the more time I spen d in competitive golf, the more strongly I feel that life is less about accomplishments and more about relationsh ips. I’m so grateful to get to play a game I love, but I’m immeasurably more grateful for the community of ama zing unicorns that I’m surrounded by. LPGA season #7, here we go. It’s about to get a whole lot weirder out there . #CleanUpOnAisleFeels

Tournament Magazine

47


LPGAfeature

lydia’s

m a rk

As K o l e av es t eens , a l so l e av es m a rk in record b ooks By: Randall Mell

Originally published April 24 on Golfchannel.com

A teenager no longer rules as Rolex world No. 1 in women’s golf. Lydia Ko turned 20 today. The most accomplished teen phenom in the history of the women’s game built a record worth celebrating with her birthday.

The final wrap on her teen years will show she won 14 LPGA titles, two of them major championships. Ko’s 14 victories have already surpassed every active LPGA pro in the game today except Karrie Webb (41 victories), Juli Inkster (31), Laura Davies (20), Cristie Kerr (19), Inbee Park (18), Yani Tseng (15) and Suzann Pettersen (15).

Tournament Magazine

49


LPGAfeature

A l is t of K o ’ s record - se t t ing t een a chie v emen t s : At 14...

At 16...

At 18...

At 19...

Wins the silver medal for New Zealand at the Summer Olympics.

Wins two more LPGA titles, boosting her career victory total to 14.

Sees her reign at No. 1 reach 79 consecutive weeks on the eve of her 20th birthday, 98 weeks overall.

Wins the New South Wales Women’s Open on the Australian LPGA Tour, becoming the youngest player at the time to win a pro title.

At 15... •

Wins the Canadian Women’s Open, becoming the youngest winner of an LPGA event.

Wins the New Zealand Women’s Open, becoming the youngest winner of a Ladies European Tour event.

Successfully defends her title winning the Canadian Women’s Open, becoming the youngest player to win two LPGA events. Is named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.

Becomes the youngest player to win LPGA Rookie of the Year honors. Becomes the youngest man or woman to reach the No. 1 world ranking in professional golf.

Wins the ANA Inspiration, becoming the youngest woman to win two majors.

Becomes the youngest player to win 10 LPGA events, surpassing the mark Nancy Lopez held by three-and-a-half years.

Becomes the youngest Rolex Player of the Year in LPGA history.

Becomes the youngest player to win the LPGA money title.

At 17... •

Wins the Evian Championship, becoming the youngest player to win a major championship in women’s golf.

Tournament Magazine

51


52

Tournament Magazine


razorbackFeature

do the

p ossi b l e Shauna Estes-Taylor has been head coach of the University of Arkansas Women’s Golf Team since 2007—a role that she has seemingly been priming herself for since the age of 11. A South Carolina native, she took up the sport at the urging of her dad and grew up on the course under Mike Adams (who is now her assistant at the University of Arkansas). She went on to be one of the best collegiate golfers in the country at the University of Georgia and even had a professional stint on the Futures Tour.

After a surprising diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, Estes-Taylor made the move to Arkansas as Assistant Coach to Kelly Hester in 2003. Soon after coming to Arkansas, the Razorback coaching staff recruited Stacy Lewis—the start of a bond between the two that remains today. Since she’s made the switch to head coach, Estes-Taylor has been responsible for other recognizable recruits including Emily Tubert and Gaby Lopez, earned the program’s first No. 1 national ranking and a program-best third-place NCAA Regional finish – proving that everything really is possible when you “do the possible.”

Tournament Magazine

53


razorbackFeature

What is your philosophy as a coach? I try and create culture of a journey. If I give my players all of me—my resources, my time, my commitment, my passion, and help them become better people, then the golf takes care of itself. I’ve never really thought about the wins and the losses. I think about giving them tools to be great in sport, in life and in the classroom. What is your mantra in life and as a coach? Do the possible. We wake up every day with a to-do list, and most people only do what’s on that list. I think when you want to go from good to great or average to good, you have to do more. When you do more than what is on that to-do list, you start doing things you once thought were impossible, they become possible. We come from a culture where we do what we have to do to get by. When you see great leaders, great coaches, great golfers and great people, they are doing more than what’s on that list. That’s what I challenge my team to try and do. I think to do great things, you have to be uncomfortable at times. As you do this, you stretch your boundaries and your vision for what is possible. How do you recruit players and sell them on coming to Arkansas? In recruiting, there’s two things: it’s about relationships and about my gut feeling. I treat our team like a family and I’m very protective of who comes in and out of our family. I look at obviously their golf fundamentals and their school grades. Once they qualify through that, I start looking at the little stuff—if they love the game, if they’re a good person, how they treat other people. Sometimes a less talented, really awesome person is a better golfer in the end. I think that’s the challenge as a coach—finding the other side of the golfer is really important and I think we do a really good job with that. There are amazing tools and resources that we can provide in addition to our coaching staff [here at the University of Arkansas] that give young women tremendous fundamentals and a foundation to either play professional golf or connect them in an amazing community to have a tremendous job after their career here. There are many really unique things that set our program apart. We have fun selling it and showing people around. If we can get them here, it’s an easy sell.

54

Tournament Magazine

What does it mean to you to have girls you’ve coached playing on the LPGA Tour? When I first got here as an assistant, I think we were maybe 80th in the country, and I had only ever been part of a winning tradition [at the University of Georgia]. My goal coming in was to create a culture of winning. We’re going to win in life, in golf and we’re going to win in the classroom. I think through that, we’ve been able to create an environment where our girls have been very successful. Through mine and Mike’s [my assistant coach] experiences and our resources, we’ve been able to provide them a toolbox that has gained a lot of tools. They come in with some, but they leave with a lot. The really good ones; the Stacy Lewis’, the Gaby Lopez’s and Emily Tubert’s, those are the people who have truly used every resource we provided them. When you do that, the LPGA Tour is an obtainable goal. How do you stay positive despite your struggle with rheumatoid arthritis? I’ve always been a person where the glass is half full. I got diagnosed after I returned from a mission trip. I felt like maybe it was God’s way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you this. Let’s see what you do with it.’ I don’t feel great every day, but I think you have a choice when you wake up if it’s going to be a good day or if you’re going to make it a bad day. I let my players see that even when adversity strikes, you still have a choice of how you’re going to deal with it. It’s unfortunate that I have rheumatoid arthritis, but I’ve also found many blessings in having the diagnosis.


“We don’t say thank you enough. The art of writing a thank you note is pretty much going out the window. I think it’s such a really neat thing to do. It’s something we’ve held true in our recruiting. I still send letters, a lot of people don’t anymore. It’s really cool to go to the mailbox and have something that is personally written that says, ‘Thank you,’ or ‘Come be a part of what we’re doing here.’ It’s something I really try and If you weren’t a golf coach, what would you be? Something in the business of giving back. I just love helping instill into my team.” people. I love sports, so maybe coupling that with administration and helping other coaches. Are there any goals that you are still wanting to reach in your career? Competitively my goal is winning a championship. Obviously an SEC Championship and a National Championship are the ultimate pinnacle at my career level. Competitively these are the two things this team deserves. They work hard, they have all of the tools and now it’s just going out and doing it. Secondly, it’s just to continue to give our young women everything they need to be successful when they walk out the door. The best part of my job is getting the letters, the text messages and the phone calls from former players. Those little personal touches is a really great way to say, ‘Wow, we’re doing things right,’ and in the end that makes me feel pretty accomplished. Tournament Magazine

55


56

Tournament Magazine


live479Feature

Li v e | P l a y Give In February 2017, Live479 was created as a social group for young adults in NW Arkansas, providing individuals the opportunity to connect with others in the community and experience the best the region has to offer. The group meets monthly and hosts four signature events throughout the year. Live479 is managed by Octagon as an extension of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G.

NW Arkansas has so much to offer for those lucky enough to call this place home, even if it’s only home for a few years. Live music on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, cooking classes at the amazing Brightwater facility at 8th Street Market in Downtown Bentonville, miles and miles of trails for running and biking, opportunities to give back in a meaningful ways through charities like the NWA Food Bank and NWA Children’s Shelter, local breweries and new restaurants opening every week and more. But how do we share all of these unique experiences with those relocating to the area or thinking of accepting a job here? And more importantly, how do we help connect these individuals with each other?

Tournament Magazine

57


Launched in February 2017, Live479 was created to do exactly that. To bring together young adults in NW Arkansas through unique experiences in the region, including the growing culinary scene, health and wellness activities and the community’s culture of charitable giving. 120 people in an off-the-beaten path local brewery listening to live music and playing board games. Individuals from 10 different companies learning to make homemade pasta in a private cooking class at Brightwater. Another group of people singing Rihanna with a band from Toronto on a rainy night in Downtown Bentonville. These are just a few of the unique experiences that Live479 has helped to create this year. And we’re even more excited for what’s next. The hope is that Live479 will become a valuable resource for the community. That it will help companies attract and retain top young talent to the region. That it will showcase all of the amazing things to do in NW Arkansas. The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G was created to help make NW Arkansas a desirable place to live and work and to make a positive impact in the community through charitable contributions. As an extension of the #NWAChampionship, Live479 is the next phase of this mission. To help make NW Arkansas a great place to live and work – especially for young adults. We hope that you will join us for one of Live479’s signature events held Sunday of Tournament Week in Hub479 at the golf course. Learn more at www.facebook.com/ live479.

Get Connected:

/Live479 58

Tournament Magazine

@Live_479 @Live479


live479Feature

From the Creators of Live479 There seemed to be a common reaction from friends and family members when I broke the news that I was moving to NW Arkansas after college graduation for my job, “Why are you moving to Arkansas? Is there anything to do there?” Originally being from Oklahoma, so while not far away in regards to distance, it was still quite an adjustment moving to a new city where I knew absolutely no one besides a few coworkers that I had met the summer prior while interning at the company. And I will admit it took a few months to find a solid group of friends and for Arkansas to start to truly feel like home. With all that being said, from the moment I moved to NW Arkansas, I knew there was something special about this place. For what may be a small mark on the map, this community has so much to offer and left my adventurous soul intrigued to discover all of these offerings. Who would have ever thought that we would be fortunate enough to have such a notable art museum in Crystal Bridges and a trail system in everyone’s backyard (literally). Each and every day I am finding a new way to explore this Natural state and my bucket list continues to grow. Arkansas may be a flyover state, but I view it as America’s hidden gem, we hope that you join us and learn what it means to truly Live479. – Natalie Wallace

I attended college at the University of Arkansas, so Fayetteville has been my home for over five years now. However, after starting my job in Rogers after graduation I learned there was so much more to NW Arkansas than Fayetteville and Razorback sporting events. We hope that Live479 will help make it an easier transition and positive experience for those graduating college and moving into the workforce as well as those relocating to the region. – Rachel Reece Tournament Magazine

59


60

Tournament Magazine


GIVINGBACK

Making the

D ifference The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G is committed to giving back to the NW Arkansas community. It does this each year by financially supporting local charitable organizations from throughout the region. This year, the tournament has partnered with six organizations for the onsite spectator concessions experience. Each of the Tyson Spectator Cafés will be managed and staffed by a different charitable partner. Stop by any of the Cafés to meet the team and help make a difference by purchasing an item off the brand new menu! Items are available for $3 (meals), $2 (snacks and soft drinks) and $1 (water). Sales from the tournament’s concessions will help one of these deserving organizations continue to make a difference in our community. Tournament Magazine

61


GIVINGBACK

ALS Association The Arkansas Chapter of the ALS Association was founded in 2006 to serve the needs of those living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and their caregivers. Sue Larson was diagnosed with ALS in 2005. At that time, there was no formal assistance to those with ALS in the state of Arkansas. She rallied her closest friends and, in her memory and a commitment made to her, the Arkansas Chapter was established. Thanks to the request of Sue and the determination of her friends, this organization aggressively serves people living with ALS in Arkansas today. The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. ALSA covers all the bases — research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy — in providing help and hope to those facing the disease. The ALS Association operates under a shared mission: to help people living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and to leave no stone unturned in search for the cure. The Arkansas Chapter focuses primarily on helping local patients and families living with ALS.

Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County The Children’s Advocacy Center of Benton County (CAC) opened January 10, 2000 to provide a safe place to serve sexually and physically abused children in a supportive child friendly environment. At the CAC abused children and their families can receive the support needed to deal with the abuse. The organization is available to serve all Benton County child abuse victims under age 18 after a report has been made to the child abuse hotline. The Center strives to increase the ability of child abuse victims and their non-offending family members to lead lives free of abuse and the trauma they have experienced. Equally important, the CAC provides child abuse awareness and education to the community and offers training to various professionals that work with children including schools, daycares, churches, civic organizations and other community events. In a perfect world no child would be abused!

62

Tournament Magazine


GIVINGBACK Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter The Northwest Arkansas Children’s Shelter is a private, non-profit organization with a mission to provide a safe haven, high-quality care and hope for the future to children who have been abandoned, abused or neglected. The Shelter’s 24-hour emergency residential care is designed to meet the needs of these children by providing them with a safe and loving environment to reduce their trauma, through support and nurturing. Since opening in 1993, the Children’s Shelter has cared for more than 8,500 children from throughout the state of Arkansas. The Shelter’s capacity of 48 beds, state-of-the-art campus, on-site school and counseling services make it unique among children’s emergency shelters in Arkansas and the region. The combination of these features creates a stable, secure and loving environment where the hurt that children have experienced can begin to heal. Northwest Arkansas Food Bank No one should go hungry, yet in Northwest Arkansas over 70,000 men, women, senior citizens and children face hunger every day. The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank was founded in 1988 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to serve four Northwest Arkansas counties by providing an affordable and credible food source to our partner agencies serving the hungry. The NWA Food Bank currently has about 160 partner agencies ranging from food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and many more. In 2016 we distributed over 11.4 million pounds of food to these partners. The Northwest Arkansas Food Bank secures donations from the food and grocery industries, government agencies and other organizations throughout the region. The food that is donated or purchased is then stored in the Food Bank’s 22,000 square foot warehouse located in Bethel Heights. Donations are provided to people in need at food pantries, soup kitchens, youth programs, senior centers, schools, and emergency shelters. Rogers Early Risers Rotary Club Made up of over 34,000 Rotary clubs around the world, Rotary International forms a global network of business, professional, and community leaders who volunteer their time and talents to serve communities locally and around the world, and form strong, lasting friendships in the process. These leaders unite worldwide to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Locally, the Rogers Early Risers meet each Wednesday at the Embassy Suites in Rogers at 7:00am. A special thank you to the City of Rogers for their support of our concessions program over the years. Stop by the Coors Light Patio behind the Clubhouse to say hi to their volunteers! Tournament Magazine

63


64

Tournament Magazine


PARTNERPROFILE

The #NWAChampionship’s

D yn a mi C D uo It takes 850 volunteers for the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G to run smoothly each year. At the helm of those volunteers are Kim Ellis and Jim Taylor, the event’s Volunteer Chairmen. Kim and Jim can be seen throughout tournament week supporting tournament staff and volunteers in a myriad of roles. The duo have supported the event since its inception and this year will celebrate their 11th year as part of the tournament. It is due in part to their hard work and dedication that the tournament’s volunteer program is the success it is today.

How did you both get involved in the tournament? Kim Ellis: I originally signed up to help out when they started publicizing the event in its first year. I thought, ‘Oh, this will be fun and something different.’ I signed up for carts and shuttles because it sounded like fun. Then I was asked last minute to chair the committee—I had never even driven a golf cart! I had no idea what it would lead into. Jim Taylor: I got started as a walking scorer, the first year in the rain. A lot of people didn’t show up, so I was doing double loops. It was a lot of fun. From there, I moved into the caddie master position. Like Kim with the carts and shuttles, I was coordinating the caddy committee. I did that for three years. How did you become tournament chairmen? Jim: It was a new role that was developed to create more of a point person between Octagon [the tournament managers] and the volunteers. Kim and I got tapped on the shoulder, and they asked us if we’d like to do it. Tournament Magazine

67


Kim: It was very hard for me to give up my carts and shuttles, so for the first few years I did both. I didn’t sleep much but it was fun. I developed so many great relationships with the volunteers, I didn’t want to give that position up. Do you still see those volunteers you worked with the first year out at the tournament? Kim: Yes, a lot of them. Most of them still do the same positions. One of the volunteers I see every year didn’t think she was going to make it back this year. She’s had a rough go of it, but she’s still here despite what the doctors told her. She is signed up to volunteer this year and is super excited. Stories like that is what I look forward to. We talk to them a couple times throughout the year and are really a part of their lives. Their dedication is what makes us so dedicated. Speaking of dedication, why do you guys feel so passionate about putting so much time, effort and hard work into the tournament?

68

Tournament Magazine

Jim: It’s about giving back to the community and to the kids. I get to have relationships with the volunteers who have been here for so long—we want to make sure they have a good experience. My goal is to always make sure the volunteers have a positive experience and any kids do too. A lot of times I will find golf balls along the course, and give them to the kids I see at the tournament. Their eyes just light up. What is your favorite part of tournament week? Jim: Being able to do little things to recognize people for what they do for the tournament. Like taking ice cream and passing it out or other little tokens of appreciation. We’ve developed relationships for years and years with a lot of these volunteers. One of my most memorable experiences was in 2013 when it was so hot. Being able to give free water out to everyone, and the way that Walmart and the sponsors stepped up to provide loads of water. That was a memorable year. Kim: I’ve always been very passionate about the Walmart Kid’s Center over the years. I get great satisfaction when I see fans on the weekends wearing what they’ve made in


the Kid’s Center out on the course. It’s fun to see. I also love the little moments we get to have with the volunteers. Just sitting with Earl Kisling the Caddie Chairman down in the laundry room, washing the caddie bibs – there’s something about listening to him talk about his grandkids. I love all those little moments. You may not be out right on the course, but you still learn a lot about their personal lives. How integral are volunteers to the success of the tournament? Kim: Very! Our volunteers are so experienced, they know their job better than anyone. So many of them will fix things themselves. They take the initiative knowing, ‘Alright, we need to do this right away.’ I’m always amazed at all the moving parts that come together and how it all seems to flow so well. Jim: Our goal is to take care of what we can ourselves. There’s a lot of things we do, that our volunteers do that most people would never know about. It’s our job to make sure if there is an inefficiency somewhere, that is gets corrected as soon as possible. How does it feel when the end of tournament week comes around? Kim: It is such mixed emotions. It’s awesome to see all the crowds around the 18th hole, the check presentation and seeing all the volunteers are out there. But then it’s over and it’s sad. You’re kind of excited because you know you’re going to get some sleep, but it’s sad. It’s like the day after Christmas. What would you tell someone who never volunteered at the tournament? Jim: It’s a very fun experience. You get out of it what you put into it. If you come out there wanting to have a great experience and give back, it’s very rewarding.

Volunteering by the Numbers: •

1,100 total volunteers in 2007

850 total volunteers in 2017

60 – number of 11 year volunteers in 2017

30% – percentage of new volunteers in 2017

11,354 – number of volunteer hours during tournament week

1,536 miles – longest distance traveled by a volunteer to be at the #NWAChampionship

3,770 – number of meals served in the Volunteer Center during #NWAChampionship Week

Tournament Magazine

69


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 1 Par: 4

Yards: 320

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

85

PARS

246

BOGEYS

31

OTHER

3

AVERAGE

RANK

3.868 16

Precise tee shots will yield birdies at this hole. The ladies will choose whatever club they know they can hit the fairway. From that position, a short iron to wedge awaits. Lots of birdies on this hole will occur from the fairway. A lot of miscues will take place from the rough. The pros will be disappointed with a par.

hole 2 Par: 5

Yards: 549

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

78

PARS

241

BOGEYS

38

OTHER

8

AVERAGE

4.937

RANK

9

This three-shot par 5 has a very challenging approach and will provide a lot of entertainment. The second shot is the key to this hole—players must position their shots to the left side of the fairway. The green is well-protected by bunkers right and long, the area to the left of the green slopes dramatically towards a lateral water hazard. Tournament Magazine

73


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 3 Par: 3

Yards: 166

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

60

PARS

269

BOGEYS

33

OTHER

3

AVERAGE

2.945

RANK

8

This hole is a difficult hole and will make the best player pause. Featuring an angled green positioned beyond a lake, this short hole requires a precise shot from the tee. Pin positions are key—front pin positions will see lots of shots past the pin, and back pin positions will see lots of shots left and to the fastest part of the green.

hole 4 Par: 4

Yards: 401

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

66

PARS

220

BOGEYS

67

OTHER

AVERAGE

12 4.079

RANK

3

This hole is a straight away par 4 that has ample room to drive the ball. This green is deep and deceiving. The fairway is a must on this hole. Any shot coming from the rough will have the potential of going into the water right of the green. 74

Tournament Magazine


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 5 Par: 4

Yards: 348

2016 hole stats

eagles

1

BIRDIES

89

PARS

222

BOGEYS

48

OTHER

5

AVERAGE

RANK

3.912 11

Going for the green in one on this hole is not recommended due to the difficult rough and bunkers that surround the target area. Players will get penalized for being short of the green on any approach shot. Front and middle pin settings bring the fairway bunkers into play. A back pin permits players to hit further down the fairway to provide an approach missing right greenside bunkers.

hole 6 Par: 3

Yards: 180

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

63

PARS

243

BOGEYS

51

OTHER

8

AVERAGE

3.016

RANK

5

This hole will be one of the most difficult holes on the front nine. Water lurks left and long on this lengthy, challenging par 3. A front right greenside bunker prohibits a “run-up” shot. Precision is required. Most players will play right and to the meat of the green. Tour players and amateurs will take a 3 every day on this demanding par 3. Tournament Magazine

75


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 7 Par: 5

•

Yards: 520

2016 hole stats

eagles

8

BIRDIES

PARS

155 183

BOGEYS

16

OTHER

3

AVERAGE

RANK

4.592 17

A fairway bunker in the right center of the fairway calls for an exact shot. Players will have to thread their drive to the narrowest part of this fairway to get there in two. Longer hitters can carry it, but a front, greenside bunker may cause players to re-think going for the green in two. Drives that do not find the fairway will require the player to lay up, leaving the player with a short iron to this green.

hole 8 Par: 4

•

Yards: 404

2016

hole stats

eagles

1

BIRDIES

63

PARS

249

BOGEYS

48

OTHER

4

AVERAGE

3.975

RANK

7

This is a sneaky, difficult hole. Players must carry the right side of the fairway far enough to clear the trees on the left. Those that play it too safe to the right may find the rough and have a difficult shot to a huge elevated green that is well guarded by deep bunkers. A huge tier in the middle back portion of this green makes getting an approach shot close difficult. Tournament Magazine

77


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 9 Par: 4

•

Yards: 351

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

66

PARS

266

BOGEYS

30

OTHER

3

AVERAGE

RANK

3.918 10

This will be a challenging hole for the ladies strictly because the well-protected uphill green with a false front requires a short iron shot that is blind. This green is the most difficult to read and has very deceiving breaks. The fastest putt on the course will come from players putting downhill to a front pin position that is sneaky fast.

hole 10 Par: 4

•

Yards: 364

2016

hole stats

eagles

1

BIRDIES

83

PARS

242

BOGEYS

35

OTHER

4

AVERAGE

RANK

3.885 14

This hole has ample driving area and may require some players to hit a 3 wood. The driving area gets very tight the farther the player hits their tee ball. Roll-off areas behind and right of the green await overly-aggressive approaches. The elevated and angled green with mounding and deceiving breaks challenges players on their approach shots. 78

Tournament Magazine


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 11 Par: 3

Yards: 190

2016 hole stats

eagles

1

BIRDIES

99

PARS

219

BOGEYS

37

OTHER

9

AVERAGE

RANK

2.874 15

Don’t let this short hole fool you! This multi-tiered green is guarded by bunkers and a creek that flows in front of the green, making any tee shot difficult. Putting from the wrong tier will be a challenge for all the players. This is another green that has sneaky fast putts.

hole 12 Par: 4

Yards: 394

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

75

PARS

206

BOGEYS

62

OTHER

AVERAGE

22 4.104

RANK

2

Any player that likes to draw the ball will have difficulty with this hole. The tee ball requires a fade off the tee to fit the dogleg right. The enlarged green requires considerable skill to hit it close with a lower right side shelf guarded by a bunker. Any ball that is long may roll off a severe slope into the water. This is an exciting spectator hole. Tournament Magazine

79


80

Tournament Magazine


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 13 Par: 4

Yards: 413

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

30

PARS

228

BOGEYS

97

OTHER

AVERAGE

10 4.241

RANK

1

Considerable trouble with trees and channel on either side of the fairway awaits poorly-placed drives on this hole. A long second shot to a long green awaits the player. The large green makes club selection a priority. Par is a great score here.

hole 14 Par: 5

Yards: 549

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

63

PARS

251

BOGEYS

38

OTHER

AVERAGE

13 5.008

RANK

6

Look for the majority of players to play this hole very conservatively and to lay up. This is a demanding par 5 that requires three quality shots. Players’ third shot will be a blind shot with a short iron to an elevated sloped green from back to front, making it difficult to hit the ball close. There will be lots of excitement on this hole. Tournament Magazine

81


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 15 Par: 3

Yards: 150

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

68

PARS

269

BOGEYS

24

OTHER

4

AVERAGE

RANK

2.901 12

This is the easiest hole on the course to make par. Pinnacle’s signature hole is a short, island green with a severe elevation drop. The water surrounding the green should not come into play unless there is a front right pin or front left pin. Any wind will make the players second guess their yardage, and with the elevation drop, it is difficult for a lot of shots to get close.

hole 16 Par: 4

Yards: 393

2016

hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

42

PARS

269

BOGEYS

52

OTHER

2

AVERAGE

4.041

RANK

4

Players will hit a driver, fairway wood or hybrid off the tee trying to favor the left side of the fairway on this beautiful hole. From this position, they will be hitting short to mid irons to a difficult green. 82

Tournament Magazine


HOLEbyHOLEGUIDE

hole 17 Par: 3

Yards: 151

2016 hole stats

eagles

0

BIRDIES

70

PARS

267

BOGEYS

26

OTHER

2

AVERAGE

RANK

2.896 13

The loudest hole on tour! The girls will have fun taking a short iron and trying to make birdie when it counts. A big swale in the middle-back of the green can reward a properly-aimed tee shot—or create a nightmare chipping or putting situation for players who land on the wrong side. This hole should be an exciting finish down the stretch.

hole 18 Par: 5

Yards: 488

BIRDIES PARS 2016 eagles 11 168 165 hole stats

BOGEYS

20

OTHER

1

AVERAGE

RANK

4.540 18

This hole for the majority of the players will be a three-shot hole. Players will be laying up to a large flat area at the bottom of the hill to the right of a pond that sneaks into the fairway. This will leave the player a blind third shot onto a two-tiered green that will reward good shots and punish anything that is not exact. This hole promises to afford an exciting finish to the course with a definite birdie opportunity on the final hole. But can you make the birdie to win the tournament?

Tournament Magazine

83


2016retrospective

#NWAChampionship

Where NW Arkansas Shines A look back at the 2016 event...

Tournament Magazine

85


2016retrospective

86

Tournament Magazine


2016retrospective The Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G celebrated 10 years of being a part of the NW Arkansas community in 2016. The tournament marked the special occasion in a number of ways including honoring its 10 year volunteers for their dedication to the event. Other highlights from the 10th anniversary included reaching 1,000 donors for Pantene Beautiful Lengths, the sold-out two-day BITE NW Arkansas food festival, an exciting 5k benefiting Mercy, and the inaugural The First Tee Girls on Course LPGA Day to encourage young girls in the game of golf. The week ended on a high note with Lydia Ko claiming the title of 2016 Champion. With the victory safely secured on Sunday afternoon, Lydia greeted #17 Hole wearing a hog hat on her stroll to the green, much to the delight of fans—a moment that will surely shine for many years to come.

Tournament Magazine

87


Thank you to all of our outstanding volunteers who make the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G a success year after year!

2 0 1 7 Vo l un t eer C h a irmen Paul Cannon, Back Nine Marshals Jody Carlisle, Scoring Tents/Runners Don Conrad, Supply Distribution Mary Conrad, Volunteer Services Joe Deschaine, Standard Bearers John Doughty, Transportation Kim Ellis, General Chair Sandy Ensinger, Marshals Nathan Fairchild, Vice Chair Erica Gardner, Admissions/Will Call Earl Kisling, Caddie Tent Scott Malm, Television Kim Miller, Standard Bearers Andy O’Neil, Hospitality

Judy Owen, Ambassadors Julia Reeves, Office Support Jerry Robinson, Carts Mike Shea, Pro-Am Operations Nancy Stokes, BITE NW Arkansas Jim Taylor, General Chair Sharon Taylor, Player Services/Pro-Am Karen Theel, Walking Scorers Kevin Thomas, Scoring Central Wayne Tuck, Driving Range Scott Turner, Front Nine Marshals Kat Ward, Hydration Anita Werts, Hospitality

Tournament Magazine

89


Profile for #NWAChampionship

2017 Tournament Magazine  

#NWAChampionship

2017 Tournament Magazine  

#NWAChampionship

Profile for annyed
Advertisement