Women's pro golf returns to Minnesota in August with an LPGA Legends tour event in which three-time major champion Nancy Lopez and other World Golf Hall of Famers are expected to compete.
Organizers call the Land O'Lakes Legend Classic a "celebration of women's golf" from junior to senior in a state that has produced three U.S. Women's Open champions. It also has held the Patty Berg Classic and later LPGA Tour events at Edinburgh USA and Rush Creek, the 2002 Solheim Cup, U.S. Women's Opens including 2008 at Interlachen and the 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National.
The event will be held Aug. 5-7 at the Meadows at Mystic Lake course in Prior Lake. There's a Thursday pro-am and a 36-hole tournament Friday and Saturday in which 44 women golfers age 45 or older play for a $165,000 purse, including $25,000 for the winner.
Tournament co-owner and former Gophers coach Michele Redman and 48-time LPGA Tour winner Lopez will play. Other golfers could include Golf Hall of Famers Juli Inkster, Pat Bradley, Patty Sheehan and Jan Stephenson as well as Legends Tour CEO Jane Geddes and Rosie Jones.
Other Minnesota pros and top amateurs such as Alissa Herron, Leigh Klasse, Betsy Aldrich and Claudia Pilot will play as well.
"I can't wait to get my golf game in shape," Lopez, 64, said Tuesday from her Florida home in a promotional video call. "It's really fun and exciting for me now that I'm not playing on the LPGA Tour to have somewhere to really go and compete."
Redman said the idea to bring an LPGA Legends event to Minnesota "started out over coffee" with Medalist sports management company President Jim Lehman, the tournament's other co-owner.
"Minnesota has a huge history of great golf," Lehman said. "This is a huge celebration of women's golf."
About 4,000 tickets are for sale — youth 16 and younger are free — and 5,000 people will be allowed on site, according to Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community tribal health protocols.
"Usually, I don't practice for a Legends event," Lopez said. "I get to socialize because I miss seeing my fellow professionals I competed against. I beat them, they beat me. I tell the Legends Tour players we're a lot nicer than we used to be now that we're older. They're really tough players still."