The Legends Tour to play its First Major Championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club

Legends Tour Announcement
Legends Tour Announcement

Legends Tour Announcement

From left to right: Salamander Hospitality Vice President Chuck Pomerantz, Pat Bradley, Renee Powell, Innisbrook Owner Sheila C. Johnson, Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock, Carol Corcoran, Colleen Walker, Dale Eggeling.

Resort’s Island Course to host Open Championship November 20-22

   

INNISBROOK, FL, July 16, 2009The Legends Tour, the official senior tour of the LPGA and comprised of the greatest female golfers of all time, will play its first major championship at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in November. The Legends Tour Open Championship will be contested on Innisbrook’s Island Course from November 20-22, 2009, and feature a $300,000 purse.

The announcement came at a press conference at Innisbrook that featured Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock, LPGA Acting Commissioner Marty Evans, Innisbrook Owner Sheila C. Johnson and several of the Legends Tour players, including past champion Rosie Jones, Dale Eggeling, Colleen Walker, Rene Powell and Pat Bradley. The Tour has over 100 members, including nine LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members, and its players have over 600 LPGA Tour victories and 55 major championships.

 
“Because of the championship venue, a committed field and the support of the local community, we felt it was time to host our tour’s first major tournament,” said Blalock.  “The Legends Tour Open Championship is guaranteed to be the pinnacle event on our calendar, thanks to the generous support of Dr. Haruhisa Handa and Innisbrook Resort. We look forward to competing at Innisbrook for many years.”

 

The 36-hole stroke play tournament, which is sanctioned by The Legends Tour, will feature two days of competition, a pro-am, and community outreach programs like children’s and women’s golf clinics. Tickets will be available via local charities as well as online and at the gate. More detailed ticket information will be released on August 15. Sponsorship opportunities are available at every level. For information, including pro-am spots, contact Megan Gardner at 617-997-6194 or via e-mail at mgardner@jbcgolf.com. Additional tournament information can be found at www.legendstouropen.com or www.thelegendstour.com 

 

Previously played in Japan and Australia, the Legends Tour Open Championship has been elevated to major status by Tour officials for 2009. The event is sponsored by the International Sports Promotion Society (“ISPS”), an organization created by Dr. Handa, a Japanese businessman and philanthropist. It is a part of The Legends Tour’s Handa Series, which features other international events sponsored by Dr. Handa.

 

Innisbrook, which has recently completed an extensive renovation under the guidance of its management company Salamander Hospitality, currently hosts the PGA TOUR’s Transitions Championship event every March at its Copperhead Course. In a previous incarnation, that tournament featured mixed teams of male and female professionals, which proved popular with spectators.

 

“As a strong supporter of women’s sports, I am thrilled that The Legends Tour will hold its first major championship at Innisbrook” said Sheila C. Johnson, the resort’s owner and CEO of Salamander Hospitality. “The Island Golf Course was the first location renovated under my ownership exactly two years ago, and it provides a beautiful and challenging setting for the legends of the women’s game to compete for a place in history.”

 

Like Innisbrook’s three other championship golf courses, the Island Course was designed by Larry Packard. With tight fairways, 70 feet of elevation changes, intimidating water hazards and abundant bunkers, it is considered by many to be as demanding as the Copperhead Course. The Island Course has played host to numerous U.S. Open qualifiers, NCAA Championships and has been ranked among the country's top 50 resort courses by Golf Digest.

 

For more information about the Legends Tour Open Championship, visit www.legendstouropen.com. For more information about Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, visit www.innisbrookgolfresort.com or call (727) 942-2000.

 

About The Legends Tour

The Legends Tour is the Official Legends Tour of the LPGA. The tour began in 2000 by LPGA professionals to showcase the talents of some of the greatest women’s golfers of all time. The Legends Tour has over 100 members, including nine LPGA and World Golf Hall of Fame members. Legends Tour players have over 600 combined LPGA Tour victories, including 55 major championships. In its seven seasons, The Legends Tour has awarded more than $6 million in prize money and donated more than $7.25 million to charity. The Legends Tour has hosted events in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Japan and Australia. For additional information on The Legends Tour, log on to www.thelegendstour.com.

 

About Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club

Situated on 900 wooded acres of rolling hills and 70 acres of lakes in the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club is located just 25 minutes from Tampa International Airport. Recently and completely renovated by Owner and Management Company Salamander Hospitality, Innisbrook features 72 holes of championship golf, 608 spacious guest suites and rooms, four restaurants and three bars, the Innisbrook Golf Institute, 11 tennis courts, the new full-service Indaba Spa with 12 treatment rooms and fitness center, six heated swimming pool complexes, a nature preserve, and three conference halls with 65,000 square feet of meeting space. Innisbrook is a member of the Preferred Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Golf programs. For additional information call (727) 942-2000 or visit www.innisbrookgolfresort.com.  

 

About Salamander Hospitality

Salamander Hospitality is a privately owned and operated company based in Middleburg, VA, just outside Washington, D.C. Founded by entrepreneur Sheila C. Johnson in 2005, the company manages and develops hotels, resorts and inns that reflect the authenticity and character of their surrounding environment. The portfolio includes the recently renovated Innisbrook Golf Resort and Club near Tampa, Fla., host to a PGA TOUR stop every March; Woodlands Inn near Charleston, SC, which is one of only four properties in North America to hold Mobil Five Star and AAA Five Diamond ratings for both accommodations and dining; and the under-construction Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. Salamander Hospitality also operates a division of gourmet prepared food markets called Market Salamander with locations in Middleburg and Innisbrook, FL, and Salamander Touch, a fine goods and linen store in Middleburg for the luxury resort lifestyle.  For additional information, call (540) 687-3710 or visit www.salamanderhospitality.com.

 

About Dr. Haruhisa Handa

Dr. Handa is an international businessman involved in the management of more than a dozen companies and organizations and is recognized globally for his promotion of a wide range of activities on arts and cultural exchanges. Dr. Handa serves as Chairman for a number of organizations worldwide, including, but not limited to, the International Foundation for Arts and Culture, Japanese Blind Golf Association, International Sports Promotion Society, International Blind Golf Association and Women’s Senior Golf Association. Known to many as the “Father of Blind Golf” Dr. Handa founded the first blind golf club in Japan and was appointed to the post of Vice President at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Britain’s oldest and largest charity, in recognition of  his long-standing commitment to blind welfare. Dr. Handa established the Sihanouk Hospital in Cambodia, a 24-hour, free emergency hospital and was awarded the Commander of the Royal Order of Sahametrei (Friendship), conferred by King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, the highest award given and for the first time to a foreign private individual. In addition, he was bestowed Commander of the Royal Order of Monisaraphon by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. Dr. Handa is known to many as the “Modern Renaissance Man.”

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Attached media

Legends Tour Announcement

Legends Tour Announcement

From left to right: Salamander Hospitality Vice President Chuck Pomerantz, Pat Bradley, Renee Powell, Innisbrook Owner Sheila C. Johnson, Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock, Carol Corcoran, Colleen Walker, Dale Eggeling.

Legends on Island

Legends on Island

On Island's 10th tee, from left to right: LPGA CAO Carol Corcoran, Pat Bradley, Rosie Jones, Innisbrook Owner Sheila C. Johnson, Legends Tour CEO Jane Blalock, Renee Powell, Colleen Walker, Dale Eggeling, LPGA Senior Director of Professional Development Judy Dickinson