The best female golfers in the world are back in Havre de Grace again. And this year there are many reasons to check out what is going on in Harford County’s backyard as the LPGA kicks off its fourth year of the McDonald’s Championship presented by Coca Cola. What’s new on the docket? Annika’s retiring. Suzann is looking to get back into her winning ways. Can Karrie break the Bulle Rock curse and break through for a win rather than second place? Wie is a no-show.
Monday and Tuesday are fan-friendly days where the professionals play with amateurs. Wednesday it gets a bit more serious as players take to the course for practice. However, these three days fans are allowed to bring in cameras and also ask for autographs. Thursday the competition heats up and the ladies duke it out to see who gets top prize. With a purse of $2 million on the line and this being one of four majors on the tour, you can expect to see some fantastic playing.
Defending her crown from 2007 is Suzann Pettersen who walked away $300,000 richer after going 14 under par and beat out Karrie Webb by one stroke (this marked the second year in a row that Webb has come in second place). How does it feel for Pettersen, coming back to Bulle Rock and defending her title?
“That’s cool. I mean, I can’t wait. I don’t really go walking around thinking I’m the defending champion. It’s a new year. I have a new field. I don’t try to copy anything I’ve done in the past. I’m just trying to move forward. Hopefully I’ll play even better.” This was Pettersen’s first win in an LPGA major.
What does Pettersen have to say about Bulle Rock, the course?
“Bulle Rock is all about hitting fairways. If you hit fairways, you’re in position to hit aggressive shots into the green. That was my strategy. Not trying to reach anything off the tee, but I just tried to get the accuracy. On some of the par 5s, I tried to take advantage. I remember kind of a risk/reward on 11. I mean, last year we could get to it. Some hoped it might be worth it, but you never kind of want to put yourself in a position where you’re always going to make a double and never a birdie. You got to play smart but try to be aggressive where there’s room to be aggressive.”
Se Ri Pak took home $270,000 in 2006 when she beat out Karrie Webb in dramatic fashion in a sudden death playoff. Annika won in the official debut at Havre de Grace in 2005. (She won it 3 years in a row)
Wednesday the Ronald McDonald House Charities will also be hosting an LPGA Junior Golf Clinic at 4 pm (pre-registration is required.) A Taste of Harford County runs from 6:30-9:30 with limited seating available Wednesday evening. Thursday the action begins: tee- times are at 7:15 am and are subject to change. Senior day 50 + patrons are free. Friday: tee- times are at 7:15 am and are subject to change. Saturday: tee-times begin at 8:40 and it’s Military Appreciation Day: all active duty members in all branches of the services, the National Guard and Reserves, plus retirees, & veterans admitted free.
Sunday: Final Round Tee Times begin at 8:40 AM and the trophy presentation immediately follows on the 18th hole. The tournament will be shown on the Golf Channel Thursday and Friday from 12:30-3:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 4-7 pm. Tickets are still available at the gate.