IRVING -- The LPGA returned to DFW this week for the first time since Meg Mallon won the 1991 U.S. Open at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth. The LPGA North Texas Shootout is one of the tour's new events on the 2013 schedule and it attracted 49 of the top 50 players in the world with a $1.3 million purse at stake at Las Colinas Country Club.
The week began with record-low temperatures for the Pro-Am competition that saw the competitors clad in winter gear. Local celebrities who played in the Pro-Am included former Dallas Mavericks guard Michael Finley and Sports Radio 1310 The Ticket's George Dunham. Prior to the tee off on Wednesday, LPGA star Michelle Wie tweeted "Wearing all the clothes I brought with me today! Hope its enough! Did not pack for this 40 deg weather...."
This being North Texas, the weather did change quickly and the temperature was picture perfect for the fans who came out to watch the best players in the game. Some of the bigger galleries belonged to players such as Wie, Paula Creamer, Natalie Gulbis, Stacy Lewis and TCU alum Angela Stanford and, since there was no Pavilion or Champions Club "see and be seen" party areas like the DFW annual PGA TOUR events, fans actually made the trek out on the course to watch the stellar field in action.
As one would expect from what is set to be a big event on the LPGA Tour for years to come, the top-ranked player in the world Inbee Park won the inaugural tournament. She began Sunday two shots behind Carlota Ciganda, but a steady final round coupled with Ciganda dropping three shots on Nos. 14 and 15 put Park in the lead for good. With her sixth career LPGA victory, Park took home $195,000 and passed $6 million in career earnings. Stacy Lewis, the No. 2 player in the world, tied for seventh.
Next up for local golf fans-- less than half a mile from Las Colinas Country Club -- the PGA TOUR comes to DFW with the HP Byron Nelson Championship at the Four Seasons Resort and Club (May 16-19) followed by the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial (May 23-26).
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