By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
The top 108 women golfers will hit the links at Boca Rio Golf Club Jan. 20-26 during the 2020 Gainbridge LPGA tournament.
Vying for a $2 million purse, the inaugural event will consist of 72 holes of stroke play.
On hand to announce the tournament last month were locals and LPGA tour players Lexi Thompson and Morgan Pressel, who is an honorary member at the members-only, private club.
Pressel, a Boca resident, said she is looking forward to bringing her friends to the area she grew up in and where she learned how to play golf.
“We are fortunate to call this our hometown,” Pressel said.
Thompson, who lives in Delray Beach, said she is looking forward to sleeping in her own bed during the tournament.
The tournament will take place one week after the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions on Jan.15-19 in Lake Buena Vista.
“We couldn’t be more excited to be in South Florida,” said Dan Towriss, CEO of Group 1001, the title sponsor of the event.
Boca Rio Golf Club president Paul Shapiro said the club has been approached about hosting a tournament before and the members always opposed the idea.
Finally, the members came around to the time. The idea to bring the tournament came from Pressel during her foundation’s golf tournament. An agreement was inked over the summer.
He said the course is not a typical South Florida course because it isn’t defended by water. The course designed by Robert von Hagge features 104 bunkers and tricky greens.
Chief Tournament Business Officer of the LPGA Ricki Lasky said the tournament is honored to be playing at Boca Rio and fans are in for a “can’t miss event.”
“These are the most elite players you will ever meet,” she said.
LPGA tournaments are broadcast to 170 countries and come January, Lasky said all eyes will be on Gainbridge at Boca Rio.
“You guys are in for such a phenomenal treat,” she said to the crowd.