Jamaica to host LPGA tournament
Published: Wednesday | December 9, 2009
Jamaica will in April next year host 16 of the world's top female golfers in a new and fast-paced Ladies Professional Golf Association (LGPA)-sanctioned golf tournament at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in Montego Bay.
The tournament, which will signal Jamaica's return to the list of international golf venues for the LPGA Tour - the women's version to men's Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour - after a 20-year hiatus, will feature some of the world's top players, including former world number two Paula Creamer, Christina Kim and Suzann Pettersen.
The winner will take home US$1 million.
"This event is an ideal platform to bring women's professional golf back to Jamaica after a 20-year break and it comes at a time when we are strengthening our sports tourism product," Sports Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange was quoted as saying in a release, during the event's launch in Orlando, Florida last week.
"We want people to come to Jamaica for our beauty and sun and our culture and for thrilling experiences," she added.
New 'Raceway Golf' format
The tournament, dubbed the Mojo 6, will be contested over two days and will be played under a new 'Raceway Golf' format, which includes arena-style made-for-TV type execution geared at attracting new viewers and new interests in the sport.
On day one, the 16 players will each participate in three separate six-hole matches geared towards the accumulation of points, which will then determine a day-one ranking of one to 16.
The top eight golfers will then move on to day two, or what will will be referred to as 'Championship Day'.
Each golfer will then compete in a tournament bracket single-elimination, where three match victories will crown the champion.
In addition, the players will face innovative challenges throughout the event with hole set-up changes after each round geared at encouraging players to develop personal strategies and make risk-reward considerations when picking their opponents on day one.
It will be the first time the LPGA will be trying this format on its tour.
"We are thrilled to work with the Government of Jamaica, through its Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and Ministry of Tourism, as well as with the LPGA, to formally introduce the exciting 'Raceway Golf' format to the golfing world and to a larger, more diverse audience, who may not have watched golf in the past," Edwin Moses, the former US Olympic track and field champion and co-founder of Mojo Marketing & Media - organisers of the event - was quoted as saying at the launch, in a press release.
Creamer, who is also an eight-time LPGA Tour winner, was equally upbeat about the event.
"I'm honoured to be invited to play in The Mojo 6 in Jamaica," said Creamer following the launch.
"Not only is this exciting for the players who will have the opportunity to select their competitors in a unique, head-to-head format, but it will also bring an added level of excitement for both new and avid golf fans," she added.