The River Region's Wave of the Future!
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Lexi Thompson watches her tee shot from Hole One of the Senator Course during the final day of the 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Capitol Hill in Prattville. / Advertiser file
PRATTVILLE — It’s still three months away, but work is going on to welcome the Navistar LPGA Classic back to Prattville’s Capitol Hill golf course.
The week of Sept. 17 through 23 will see a full field of the best women golfers in the world will test their mettle on the Senator course on the Robert Trent Jones Trail location. This marks the sixth year the tourney has made the stop in Prattville.
Last year’s event blew out attendance records. This year promises to be better than ever, said Jonathan Romeo, tournament director.
“We have Lexi coming back as defending champion,” he said. “She is very popular with the folks in Prattville and the River Region. By the time Navistar rolls around, she should be in the hunt for the Rolex Rookie of the Year and she will be contending for Player of the Year.
“So there is going to be an incredible amount of media attention following her.”
Alexi “Lexi” Thompson, 17, of Coral Gables, Fla. won the tournament in 2011 by five strokes. She became, at 16 years, seven months and eight days old, the youngest champion in LPGA history. The previous record was set in 1952 by Marlene Hagge when she was 18.
Along with the sporting angle, the tournament is a huge economic boost for the region, said Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie Jr. The city is kicking in $240,000 to help offset the cost of the tournament, as well as providing in kind services.
“The golf tournament is good news for our hotels, restaurants and shops,” the mayor said. “The week focuses a great deal of attention on Prattville and the areas around Prattville.”
A University of Alabama study has placed the economic impact of the tournament for the River Region as a whole at about $7 million.
Prattville has become one of the most popular stops on the tour, Romeo said.
“The ladies love Prattville, the LPGA officials and Navistar love Prattville,” he said. “It’s that Southern hospitality. The River Region welcomes the tour with open arms.
“Everyone looks forward to coming back to Prattville.”
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