Nasa Hataoka wins LPGA tournament at Wilshire Country Club

| April 28, 2022 | 0 Comments

NASA HATAOKA of Japan displays winner’s trophy received after her 15-under-par LPGA victory at Wilshire Country Club on Sunday, April 24.

The last time Wilshire Country Club allowed spectators to attend the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association) tournament was three years ago, in 2019. The impact of COVID-19 was very much felt: the tournament was cancelled in 2020. In 2021, it returned but was closed to everyone but the press. Not this year.

The LPGA’s Dio Implant LA Open returned full-force to Wilshire Country Club April 20-24. It was the event’s fourth year, and it featured 144 of the best professional lady golfers, including LPGA-at-Wilshire defending champ Brooke Henderson, Jin Young Ko (ranked No. 1) and 2019 champion Minjee Lee. The golfers played 72 holes while competing for $1.5 million in prize money. The winner’s purse was $225,000.

Henderson did not make the cut for the final rounds. Ko finished in a tie for 21st place, and Lee was in a tie for 3rd place with Madelene Sagstrom and Inbee Park, all behind 2nd place finsiher Hannah Green and winner Hataoka, who was 15 under on the par-71 course.

Preparation for the event began months before, although the final week saw a whirlwind acceleration in activity. Club members’ final day to play was Easter Sunday, four days before the tournament’s first round. Camera-tower scaffolding and bleachers for spectators were erected, courtesy tents were placed along putting greens, and last-minute landscaping was completed.
“We recruit volunteers and members to help get the course ready,” said club general manager Daniel Enzler.

The course’s transformation from members-only to world-class event venue was truly fantastic. The experience was worth the one-day ticket price of $28.13 (a four-day pass was $45, and the Macbeth Pass, which included Terrace Viewing and 18th Green Lounge access, was $1,687.50.) The tournament ran from Thursday to Sunday, but the golf began on Wednesday with the Pro-Am.

LPGA competition golfers teed off Thursday morning promptly at 7 a.m. The front nine is on the south side of Beverly Boulevard, which bisects the course. The first hole is a 390-yard par 4. Access to the first tee is via a tunnel that runs beneath Beverly Boulevard that’s just wide enough to accommodate a golf cart.

In the Dio Implant Open’s four-year history, Canadian Brooke Henderson holds the 72-hole record at 268 (-16.) That was her tournament-winning score last year.

For spectators, the festivities began immediately upon entrance at the Rosewood Avenue gate. Sponsor booths offered giveaways, sign-ups and product demonstrations. Parked along the course were food trucks with accompanying outside dining areas. There also were concessions adjacent to the clubhouse, which flanks the 18th hole. This was the hub of the festivities.

By Jim Kalin

Tags: , , ,

Category: Entertainment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *