Ever since the 2015 LPGA tournament schedule was released in November, the future for the annual stop in Mobile has been in question. The answer has finally arrived, and it was a disappointing one for local golf fans.
John Cannon, the chairman of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Foundation, officially confirmed that the event tentatively planned for the Magnolia Grove course will not take place in May.
“Despite efforts on all sides and a tentative date selected, the Airbus LPGA Classic will not be held in 2015,” Cannon confirmed in a news release. “The Crossings Course at RTJ Magnolia Grove in Mobile and other facilities were reserved in preparation for the May event and our team was prepared to make the tournament a success.
“However, without a title sponsor and less than four months to prepare, hosting this event in 2015 is not possible. We welcome the opportunity to discuss a 2016 LPGA event in Mobile with Airbus or any other potential title sponsors.”
The RTJ Golf Trail will still host one LPGA event this year. Prattville’s Yokahama Tire LPGA Classic is set for August 27-30 at the Capital Hill Golf Club. It was moved from its original September start, in order to avoid conflicts with several college football openers.
A new PGA Tour event is also planned for Alabama’s RJT Golf Trail. The Barbasol Championship will be played at the Grand National course in Opelika. It will be on July 16-19, the same dates at the British Open.
Jessica Korda captured last year’s tournament title in Mobile. Cannon remains hopeful she and other LPGA stars will display their skills again in the future for local golf fans.
“Over the years, Mobile has been a great supporter of the LPGA and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail,” Cannon said. “We appreciate your past support and thank you. The RJT team would love nothing more than to hold more professional events in Mobile, while showcasing a great city, renowned hospitality and wonderful fans.
“In the meantime, we welcome the public every day to RTJ Magnolia Grove and its world-class golf courses.”
The entire RTJ Golf Trail has 26 courses at 11 sites across Alabama. The idea of the courses came from Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, who wanted to bring visitors and investors to Alabama while making the state a better place to live. In addition to Magnolia Grove, another course is the Lakewood Golf Club at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort in Point Clear.