GOLF: LPGA Legends to tee it up at Moss Creek on Friday

Some of the brightest stars in women’s golf history will tee it up Friday at Moss Creek Golf Club as part of the LPGA Legends Tour. 

The one-day competition is being organized by Moss Creek resident Rosie Jones, a 13-time LPGA Tour winner and seven-time Solheim Cup participant, and the expected field includes several World Golf Hall of Famers who have collected more than 65 LPGA Tour wins, including numerous major championships. The event will be open to Moss Creek members and their guests. 

“Moss Creek has a deep history of hosting LPGA events, and I am thrilled to be hosting the legends of the LPGA for this one-day event that will bring women’s golf back to the Lowcountry,” Jones said. “This will be an exciting opportunity for Moss Creek members to enjoy a fun day of golf, and the legends will enjoy a little competition that can serve as a warm-up to the U.S. Senior Women’s Open and Senior LPGA Championship and other events this summer.” 

Hilton Head Island has long been synonymous with the RBC Heritage, the PGA Tour’s only annual stop in the Palmetto State, but the area also has a rich history of hosting women’s professional golf, most notably the Moss Creek Women’s Invitational that was played from 1976-85 and boasts a list of champions that includes household names Amy Alcott, Jan Stephenson, and Nancy Lopez. 

One past champion at Moss Creek, Hall of Fame golfer Hollis Stacy, will be in the field Friday hoping to rekindle the magic she found while winning the LPGA event in 1980 and 1983. Other notable names in the field include Wendy Doolan, Tammy Green, Nancy Scranton, Val Skinner, and Kris Tschetter, among others. 

The event came together with just a few weeks of planning, as Jones worked quickly to get players on board and attracted sponsorship from Newsletter Station and Morgan Stanley to provide prize money. It’s one of a handful of smaller events LPGA Legends Tour players have organized to get back into the flow of competitive golf after most events were canceled over the past 15 months during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“A lot of us haven’t really played any competition for almost a year and a half, and our first tournament this year goes right into the U.S. Senior Open,” Jones said. “Moss Creek Golf Club and the membership have really gotten behind it, and it’s really morphed into this really cool thing.” 

The venue was an easy choice for Jones, who lived on Hilton Head Island during the height of her LPGA career in the late-1980s and moved back to Moss Creek a decade ago before becoming a full-time resident five years ago. 

The one-day tournament will be played on the Devil’s Elbow South course, which also hosted the LPGA event decades ago and will provide a tough test to help players prepare for the summer major championship schedule. 

“The golf course is playing nice and dry, so the fairways are running out a little bit and the greens are rolling perfect,” Jones said. “Even though it’s a flat golf course, it’s very tight with the big oaks and pines that line the fairways. You really have to be in control of your golf ball and it’s not all about distance but positioning in the fairways for your approach shots to the greens, which are very small.”

The greenside bunkering around the par-72 George Fazio track and the wind on the back nine make the course “sneaky tough,” Jones says, and should prove for an exciting finish with a group of longtime friends playing for a purse and personal bragging rights.

“It will be really great to see all these gals,” Jones said. “We’ve all known each other for about 40 years going all the way back to college. Half the fun as a senior player is getting together and reminiscing about some of the years gone by, but I’ll tell you what, we’re all still very, very competitive and when the bell rings, we’re all out there for the prize. It’s going to be really good competition.” 

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