Three years after the Champions Tour last teed it up for an event in Minnesota, the Legends Tour has arrived.
The inaugural Land O’Lakes Legends Classic will be played Aug. 5-7 at The Meadows at Mystic Lake.
The event is co-owned by Michele Redman, a two-time LPGA Tour winner and former head coach of the University of Minnesota women’s golf program, and Jim Lehman, president of Medalist Management and former president of the Minnesota Golf Association.
“Minnesota has a rich history of hosting and showcasing women’s golf throughout the years,” Redman said in a virtual press conference Tuesday.
This will be another feather in that cap. The three-day event will kick off with a pro-am Thursday, followed by the 36-hole tournament over the final two days.
The tournament will feature 44 players — 40 LPGA legends plus four women amateurs from the Twin Cities area. Tickets are on sale now at legendsclassicmn.com/spectators/tickets, though spectators 17 years of age and under will get in free. Lehman said the event will sell 4,000 tickets, with the tournament capping out at 5,000 spectators.
Those expected to compete include seven-time major champion Juli Inkster, 13-time LPGA Tour winner Rosie Jones and Nancy Lopez, who won a whopping 48 times on the LPGA Tour, including three Women’s PGA Championships. The tournament’s purse will be $165,000, with the winner taking home around $25,000.
“I can’t wait to get my golf game in shape. I’ve been working on it a little bit more since I was able to play a little bit more this year. And it is a competition, so I am really looking forward to being there. … It’ll be a great time. I know my fellow professionals from the LPGA and Legends Tour will just be happy to be there,” Lopez said. “Usually, I don’t practice for Legends events. I go to socialize, because I miss seeing my fellow professionals that I competed against. I beat them, they beat me. I always tease them, I tell the Legends Tour players that we’re a lot nicer than we used to be, now that we’re older, because they’re really tough players, still.”
Redman had the idea for the event a while back, and immediately approached Lehman. Land O’Lakes was a logical partner; it previously sponsored a college event when Redman was coaching at Minnesota.
“We knew Mystic Lake is where we wanted to have our event,” Redman said, citing all the venue has to offer the tournament. “We’re thrilled that we’re going to be having it out there, and I think the players are going to love it.”
The 3M Championship was a popular spectator event in Blaine before it was changed from a Champions Tour event to the 3M Open, a PGA Tour event. Its success suggests the Twin Cities possesses an appetite for senior tour golf.
“Minnesota is golf crazy, first of all. We’ve had some great, great events over the years,” Lehman said. “Minnesota has a huge history of great golf, and this is going to be a huge celebration of women’s golf. I just know, from personal experience, Minnesota not only is a state of golf nuts, but people who love to play golf, observe golf, see the best play. And to have the best women, the legends of golf, World Golf Hall of Famers, that is going to be a thrill to a lot of people. … We want to create interactive experiences for those people.”