Sherwood CC, Grand Cypress welcome world’s finest

LPGA Tour Championship and Tiger’s Chevron World Challenge
bring golf season to a close on Jack Nicklaus-designed courses

More than 2,200 miles separate some of the world’s best men and women’s professionals this week, but one thing does link them—Jack Nicklaus. As the golf season comes to a close, the best women in the world tee off today in Orlando at Grand Cypress Resort, home to 45 holes of Nicklaus-designed golf, for the LPGA Tour Championship. Meanwhile, across country near Los Angeles, Tiger Woods and some of his world-ranked friends have gathered at Sherwood Country Club to take on the Golden Bear’s design in the 2010 Chevron World Challenge.

The 72-hole LPGA Tour Championship at Grand Cypress Golf Club features a total purse of $1.5 million, with a first-place prize of $225,000. The event also features a unique two-cut format, as the field will be reduced to the low-70 players and ties after 36-holes and to the low-30 players and ties after 54 holes.

With everything up for grabs at the Tour Championship beginning today, the battle for the most coveted awards on the LPGA Tour is expected to come down to six different players—Jiyai Shin (South Korea), Suzann Pettersen (Norway), Cristie Kerr (United States), Yani Tseng (Taiwan), Na Yeon Choi (South Korea) and Ai Miyazato (Japan). The battle for Rolex Rankings No. 1, Rolex Player of the Year, Vare Trophy and the LPGA money title will culminate at the season finale.

Opened in1984, Grand Cypress provides a truly diverse selection of Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf. The 27-hole North/South/East Course provides the ultimate test of accuracy while the 18-hole New Course provides a Scottish links masterpiece. The North, South and East nines provide three distinctly unique playing experiences, all of which will challenge even the best of golfers. The 2010 LPGA Tour Championship will be contested on the North and South courses.

In its first year of play, Grand Cypress Golf Club was named Best New Resort Course by Golf Digest, and since has continued receiving other accolades and awards. Grand Cypress Golf Club is open to resort guests, tournaments, memberships and limited public play.

“It’s great to have another event back here in Orlando,” said LPGA star Paula Creamer. “(Grand Cypress) is a good golf course. I know the LPGA used to be here at Grand Cypress, but it is a different golf course here now with the greens being reconstructed. It is kind of a new one as well for everybody. It’s not too far behind in that sense of knowing the lay of the land. I am looking forward to the last event of the year. I hope that it is going to be a good one and then head into a good offseason.”

The Chevron World Challenge—in its 12th year at center stage of the PGA Tour’s rigorous Challenge Season—annually features some of the biggest names in professional golf, and this year’s edition is no exception. Tiger Woods, the former No. 1-ranked player in the world and a four-time champion of the event, will find his hands full as he attempts to end his year-long winless streak. Ryder Cup hero and U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell, along with BMW Championship and AT&T Pebble Beach winner Dustin Johnson, lend star power, but they’ve got plenty of company.

The top-heavy list of competitors also includes Steve Stricker, Luke Donald, Paul Casey, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Rory McIlroy, Hunter Mahan, Anthony Kim, Zach Johnson, Sean O’Hair, Nick Watney and Bubba Watson. The elite field will be competing for a $5 million purse at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Sherwood Country Club during this charity fundraiser.

Opened in 1989, Sherwood Country Club is tucked away in the Santa Monica mountains and has proven to be a worthy test for the game’s greatest stars. Under Jack Nicklaus’ supervision, the course was designed to blend flawlessly with the surrounding natural landscape and offer a serene ambiance for members and residents. The Sherwood course’s imaginative use of land elevations and valleys, waterfalls, running streams, and unique rock formations echo the aesthetically rich natural environment of Sherwood Valley and tranquil Lake Sherwood.

“Since the day the golf course opened, I like to think Sherwood has looked like it has been there for 100 years,” Jack Nicklaus said. “One of the reasons is the property itself. This was one of the more magnificent pieces of land I’ve had the opportunity on which to design a golf course. It is rare to see a piece of property that is so private, with so much natural beauty. Another reason is the oak trees, which are absolutely sensational.”

Golf Digest has consistently ranked Sherwood among the top courses in golf-rich California, and it was also a part of Travel and Leisure Golf’s list of America’s Top 100 Golf Communities in 2007.

“It’s always fun to come home and play in front of the Southern California fans,” said Woods, “The Chevron World Challenge is a great event, and there is always a fantastic international field. I’m really looking forward to competing.”

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