The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) will head to Pinehurst and Pinehurst No. 8 Aug. 27-29 for the 2018 LPGA T&CP National Championship.

The 54-hole, stroke-play Championship will be held on the Tom Fazio-designed course, which was built in 1996 and has hosted many national championships including the stroke-play portion of the 2017 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship and the PGA Club Pro Championship in 1997 and 1998.

The LPGA T&CP National Championship has been contested at Pinehurst No. 8 three times previously and this year will mark the first time the championship will return there since 2008.

The LPGA T&CP National Championship was originally organized in 1983 to provide additional playing opportunities for LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals. The three-day competition has since grown to become recognized as the premier tournament for women golf professionals in the world.

The tournament features three divisions: Championship (6,292 yards), Challenge (5,972) and Senior (50+, 5,710 yards). The field will be cut to the Top 70 and ties after 36 holes.

“We are very excited to bring this Championship back to Pinehurst No. 8,” said Nancy Henderson, Chief Teaching Officer of the Teaching and Club Professionals and President of the LPGA Foundation. “The resort is the perfect setting for the Championship and will provide unique challenges for our professionals, especially on the greens. Female members of the PGA of America will be competing side-by-side with our LPGA T&CP members for a share of the $100,000 purse and the opportunity to compete in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.”

The top eight finishers in the Championship division will go on to represent the LPGA T&CP in the 2019 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, one of five major championships on the LPGA Tour, which will be held at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

The top five finishers in the Senior division will qualify for the 2019 Senior LPGA Championship at the French Lick Resort as well as any competitors over the age of 45 who finish in the top 10 in the Championship division.

Defending champion, Wendy Doolan, an LPGA Teaching Professional from Australia but now residing in Lakeland, Florida, will headline the field competing for the T&CP National Championship as well as one of the eight coveted exemptions.

“I’m looking forward to the upcoming T&CP National Championship at Pinehurst No. 8,” Doolan said. “I’m excited for the opportunity to defend my 2017 title at such a fantastic venue. Visiting the Pinehurst area is always a fun time and I can’t wait for the tournament.”

Joining Doolan in the field will be 2016 champion Lisa Grimes as well as four-time winner Jean Bartholomew. More than a dozen LPGA T&CP members who reside in North Carolina will also compete in this year’s Championship, including University of North Carolina at Greensboro women’s head coach Janell Howland, Kelly Cap of Pinehurst, PineNeedles Head Golf Instructor Donna Andrews and Ann Marie Goslak of Winston-Salem.

The 2018 field features players from 28 different states with the most hailing from Florida, including the 2015 T&CP National Championship winner Laurie Rinker of Stuart, Florida. Many of the top-eight finishers from last year’s Championship return including PGA Master Professional Alison Curdt (Calif.), Joanna Coe (Md.), Ashley Grier (Penn.) and Charlotta Sorenstam (Fla.).

In addition to the National Championship, family and friends will have the opportunity to join in on the action by participating in the LPGA*USGA Girls Golf Clinic on Saturday, Aug. 25 and the Titleist Pro-Am competition on Sunday, Aug. 26.

Photo by John Patota, Sandhills Sentinel Sports Reporter.

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