Glen Riddle Hopes To Talk With LPGA About Tourney

BERLIN – Glen Riddle’s golf courses could be tapped to host a Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) major in 2010, Golf Operations General Manager James Mason said this week.

Mason said that he is in “very early” talks with the LPGA to host one of its four major tournaments in 2010, the McDonald’s LPGA Championship, taking over from Bulle Rock golf course in Havre de Grace, Md. The event would use the War Admiral golf course at Glen Riddle.

“We’re pretty excited for this, to even think about having it,” Mason said.

There have been no formal meetings or talks held, which would be the next step.

“We certainly would love to talk to them,” Mason said.

The LPGA’s contract with Bulle Rock is up after the 2009 event.

While Bulle Rock is an 18-hole course, Glen Riddle offers 36 holes, which would allow both a professional tournament and a charity event.

“They try to raise a lot of charity dollars through this tournament,” Mason said.

Charitable donations have dropped significantly since the event moved to Bulle Rock from the last venue, DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

LPGA organizers are also reportedly looking for a venue to accommodate more fans, in a more easy to reach location.

Mason said that Ocean City and its variety of accommodations are one of the reasons Glen Riddle golf is being considered.

One sticking point could be the distance between Ocean City and a major airport.

Since the McDonald’s LPGA Championship was first hosted at Bulle Rock in 2005, attendance figures over the six-day event have risen as high as 92,000 at the current location.

The early June event has been estimated to bring $5 million into the Maryland economy.

“I think getting a major tournament in Ocean City would also be a home run,” said Dr. Lenny Berger, an Ocean City hotel owner and chairman of the Ocean City Economic Development Committee.

The event, begun in 1955, is one of four majors on the LPGA tour and is the second longest running LPGA tournament.

The championship has been hosted at other Maryland and Delaware golf courses in the past, including Pine Ridge Golf Course in Baltimore and Bethesda Country Club in Bethesda.

Glen Riddle golf also hopes to host the Maryland State Women’s Open next fall, on the War Admiral golf course, but that is not a done deal, Mason said.

While Glen Riddle hopes to be chosen for the LPGA Championship, there is a long way to go before a decision.

“We’re up against some pretty tough competition in that area,” Mason said. “We’re happy just to be mentioned.”