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Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic into final week of preparation

  • Ladies professional golfer Georgette Rolle will compete in the main draw of the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, to be held next weekend at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island. FILE

Published: May 15, 2013

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With just one week remaining, preparations are being finalized for the inaugural Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, the first Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) event ever held on this idyllic tropical destination.

The $1.3 million event, one of three new tournaments on the LPGA schedule this year, will be held May 23-26 at the Ocean Club Golf Course at the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island.

“Not only are course operations running smoothly, but the Bahamian community is really getting involved,” said tournament director Matt Truax. “We expect it to be a great week, and we cannot wait to have the ladies tee it up here in paradise. Course superintendent Jeff Hood and his team have the course looking spectacular, and it's only going to get better as we get closer to the first tee shot.”

Tournament organizers have decided that in order to provide for a more exciting finish, they are flipping the first eight holes on each side on the 6,644-yard, par-73 golf course, designed by Tom Weiskopf. The ninth and 18th holes remain the same. This means more waterfront holes will be on the inward nine. Hood pointed out that those holes generally are more challenging since they are not protected from the ocean breezes. “That could make things really interesting coming home,” said Hood, who expected the par-4 13th hole (normally the fourth hole) to play among the toughest.

“We wanted to capture the magic of so many ocean side holes down the stretch,” Truax said. “The tournament front nine will feature two par 4s where we can adjust the yardage by using different sets of tees based on the prevailing wind conditions. The back nine closes 4-3-5, with the 18th hole playing 485 yards. We could see some lead changes and a lot of drama at the end.”

Another key change to the course for the tournament is the conversion of the 18th hole from a par-4 to a medium-length par-5. Some players might be able to go for the green in two shots.

“The players are going to have a lot of options playing that last hole,” said Hood, 41, a Georgia native who has been at the Ocean Club since it opened in 2000. “I’ve got 25 guys working for me getting ready for this event, and I think the golf course is going to be in great shape and show well and be a good challenge for the great talent level of golfers that’s coming here.”

Bahamian professional golfer Georgette Rolle is entered into the main draw, and fellow Bahamian Racquel Riley will try to qualify for the event out of the qualifying tournament next Tuesday.

“We are thrilled with current tournament preparations at the Ocean Club Golf Course. The stage has been properly set,” said Jeff Raedle, president of Global Golf Management, which manages the tournament. “The entire golf course is one giant ‘signature hole’ with ocean views in every direction, and we feel as though our decision to reverse the nines for tournament week will make for a beautiful Golf Channel broadcast.”

Volunteers for the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic are still being accepted online or by email to Emily Palacioz at emily@globalgolfmanagement.com. Sign up is free and volunteers will receive shirts with logos on them, preferred parking and free meals on the days they work. Admission and general parking are free for all spectators. For more information, the public is asked to visit the website www.puresilkbahamas.com.

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