Year two of the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship officially got underway with a media day and panel discussion at World Golf Village Sept. 23.
“We established this event to extend their (female golfers) season and create more opportunities for them,” said Mark Berman, championship founder and owner and operator of the East Coast Women’s Professional Golf Tour.
The fact that the championship is back one year later showed that it was able to create a lasting impact, that Berman now looks to turn into a tradition for years to come.
The event will be held Nov. 1-6 at the World Golf Village’s Slammer & Squire course. The tournament is centered around match play, which is a unique format that has been a part of the golf world since its early days.
“Match play is a really big part of the golf world, and they just don’t get to play a lot of that,” Berman said.
Which is just another example of how the tournament tries to have the growth of women’s golf in mind with every move it makes.
There are some changes that will make this year’s tournament different from last year, starting with an increased purse from $50,000 to $55,000.
“We wanted to make it bigger, and we had that opportunity when Stephanie (Clarkson) and Vitis Energy came on board,” Berman said.
According to Clarkson, she was happy to get involved as soon as she heard all the great things the tournament and Berman are striving to accomplish.
“I work in a very male-oriented industry,” Clarkson said. “People have invested in me, and what better way to give back than by supporting other women in their career journey.”
The winner of the tournament will receive $15,000.
“It’s probably the biggest purse at the development level in women’s golf,” Berman said.
Donna Rodriguez of Generation W was part of the panel, as the organization will once again partner with the tournament to present the Links to Leadership Summit.
“We’re all about inspiring young girls, so it’s a perfect fit to be partnered with an event like this,” Rodriguez said.
Investing In Kids is also back as the official charity partner of the tournament and all proceeds from the INK! Charity Pro-am presented by Davidson Reality Inc. will go towards the nonprofit organization’s mission of raising funds for public education in St. Johns County.
The format to decide a champion has been tweaked heading into this year’s event.
Eighty-four golfers from across the country and around the world will take part in the championship format, which will include two days of stroke play to start that will seed the field for the match play portion.
One of those 84 players will be Micaa Thomas, who was the player representative on the panel.
Thomas is well versed, including being a published author and a graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design to accompany her path as a professional golfer.
According to Berman, many of the players have other jobs that they do while they pursue their dream.
Sixty-four golfers will then be paired up in a match play competition that will be broken down into 16 pods of four players each.
Every hole will be worth a point during a match play round and every match win is worth 10 bonus points.
“We wanted every hole to count, and we’ve done that,” Berman said.
Tickets for this year’s event will be $10, which includes a complimentary beverage. Go to womensmatchplaychampionship.com to purchase.
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