Meijer LPGA Classic returns with changes for players and fans

Kent County

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give is underway at Blythefield Country Club after being canceled last year because of COVID-19. 

“One of the more positive things that because of COVID, we are seeing a huge crowd here today,” said Cathy Cooper, the executive director of the tournament. 

Players and fans can expect several changes to this year’s event compared to tournaments held before the pandemic.

One of the differences is that standard bearers will not be following golfers around the course. Standard bearers carry signs showing the golfers names and their scores. 

“We’re really trying to have a safe tournament because we’re just coming out of a really tough time here in the state of Michigan,” Cooper said. “We’re working with the LPGA to be safe as possible.”

Another change fans will notice is the absence of one of the tournament’s staples: The Grand Taste. The food event draws around 50 restaurants and breweries offering an assortment of food and drinks. 

This year’s tournament is offering unique concession stands as a replacement. 

“We’ve been able to collaborate with local restaurants and breweries and put together several viewing decks for the public, which we haven’t had before,” Cooper said. “Really great locations. One on 18th green, one at 18th tee. You can buy food and watch the tournament.”

In addition to providing fans with the opportunity to watch pro golfers in action, organizers are happy they’ll be able to raise money for Meijer’s Simply Give program. 

“Simply Give is really the reason we do this tournament,” Cooper said. “Our goal is to have at least a million dollars coming out of this tournament to donate to local food pantries.”

The second round of play will tee off on Friday at 7:15 a.m.

Daily tickets for the tournament are $10.

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