Top golfers join the LPGA field

May 10th, 2012


Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis, and Alena Sharp Scheduled to Compete in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

Waterloo – Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Natalie Gulbis, and Alena Sharp have joined the field for the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic at Grey Silo Golf Course, June 20-24.

Coming off an incredible year in 2011, Stacy Lewis has certainly proven herself to be one of the premier female golfers in the world.  Lewis finished the 2011 season fourth on the LPGA Money List, racking up 12 top 10 finishes, two second place finishes, and one major title win at the Kraft Nabisco Championship.  Lewis has shown no signs of slowing down in 2012 as she won the Mobile Bay LPGA Classic just two weeks ago and soared up the Rolex World Rankings to number six.

Morgan Pressel turned professional at age 17 and is the youngest-ever winner of a modern LPGA major championship (2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship).  The 23-year-old fromTampa,Floridais a three time U.S. Solheim Cup team member and is undefeated (3-0-0) in singles play in her appearances.  Pressel has reached as high as fourth in the world rankings in her career, and currently sits at number 23.

Fan-favourite on the LPGA Tour, Natalie Gulbis, is currently playing in her 11th season on the tour.  Gulbis earned a spot on the LPGA Tour in her first attempt in 2001 after finishing third in the LPGA Qualifying Tournament.  The 2007 Evian Masters Champion is looking forward to the week at Grey Silo: “I am really excited about playing at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic this year inWaterloo,” says Gulbis.  “As a first-year event on the tour, the players on the LPGA Tour are extremely happy to be going to this beautiful area ofCanada to play.  We have heard great things about the golf course and the community and I look forward to playing soon.”

Hailing fromHamilton,Ontario, Alena Sharp is sure to bring a great deal of energy and excitement to the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.  Sharp has totaled eight tournament wins as a professional while playing on the Canadian Women’s Tour, the West Coast Ladies, and the Cactus Tour.  She joined the LPGA Tour in 2005 and is currently the second highest ranked Canadian player on the tour.

 “The excitement continues to build and we are thrilled to be announcing the commitment of these four world-class players.  We are looking forward to hosting the world’s best players in June,” said Tournament Director Richard Kuypers.

 “We are thrilled to see more of the world’s best golfers announced for the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic including Alena Sharp fromHamilton,” shared Brian Gooding, Senior Vice President of Distribution at Manulife Financial. “The LPGA Tour’s top professionals are proving to be very supportive of this new event. When they get here next month, I think they’ll be pleased to see just how much our community has rallied around the tournament.”

Tickets to the 2012 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic are priced as low as $30 and can be used any day of the tournament.  Children age 15 and under will be admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticketed adult.  Order your tickets online now at www.manulifeclassic.ca or call the tournament office at (519) 884-5742.  Group ticket packages are also available.

www.manulifeclassic.ca
@ManulifeClassic 

About the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic is a new addition to the LPGA Tour and will feature a standard eligibility field of 144 players, 72 holes of stroke play and a purse of $1.3 million. The 2012 inaugural tournament will take place June 20-24, at Grey Silo Golf Course in Waterloo, Ontario, home of Manulife Financial’s Canadian Division. www.manulifeclassic.ca

About Manulife Financial

Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia,Canadaand theUnited States. In 2012, we celebrate 125 years of providing clients strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$512 billion (US$512 billion) as at March 31, 2012. The Company operates as Manulife Financial inCanadaand Asia and primarily as John Hancock in theUnited States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

About Sports Properties International

Sports Properties International was created to provide an environment where communities and spectacular sporting events can come together, connected by a common interest. Sports Properties International can be found on the Internet at www.sportspropertiesinternational.com.

About Bruno Event Team

Bruno Event Team (BET) is a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports marketing and event management company formed in 1996 by Ronald Bruno and Gene Hallman. Bruno Event Team is experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of 70+ employees in nine offices around the United Statesand one office in Canada.  Bruno Event Team services each client with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, advertising, public and media relations, ticket and merchandise sales, sponsor relations, hospitality consulting, event operations, event financial planning/accounting and volunteer coordination. Visit www.brunoeventteam.com for additional information.

 Media Contacts:

Tracy Van Kalsbeek

Michael Perez

Public Relations Consultant

Promotions & Ticket Manager

Manulife Financial Canadian Division

Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

519-594-4697

519-884-5742

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