Thursday February 28, 2013Hedberg and Lendl Selected to Play in LPGA Kraft Nabisco Championship On Sponsor Exemption
Recently, one of the LPGA’s major tournaments, The Kraft Nabisco Championship, announced the names of nine of the world’s top amateurs, college and junior players that will participate in this year’s tournament and current Gator sophomore Camilla Hedberg (Sitges, Spain) and senior Isabelle Lendl (Goshen, Conn.) were both selected to play in the prestigious event on sponsor exemptions.
The Kraft Nabisco Championship is one of the now five major championships on the LPGA Tour, along with the Women’s U.S. Open, the Women’s British Open, The LPGA Championship and for the first time this year, The Evian Championships. The Kraft Nabisco is one of the oldest majors on tour as it has been considered a major tournament since 1983.
For both Hedberg and Lendl, this will be the first tournament either of them has ever teed it up against the pros of the LPGA Tour, although Hedberg has made some spot appearances on the Ladies’ European Tour (LET). Hedberg and Lendl both expressed how excited they are to get to play in one of the most prestigious tournaments in women’s golf.
“I’m so excited,” Hedberg said. “Playing in this tournament is a great honor for me and I couldn’t be happier. I’m really looking forward to going out there and playing with the best players. It’s going to be an awesome experience.”
“I am beyond honored to be playing in a tournament as prestigious as the Kraft Nabisco Championship,” Lendl said. “To have been selected to play in the tournament on a sponsor’s exemption is an incredible opportunity. I am looking forward to teeing it up with the best professionals in the world and seeing how my game measures up to those playing at such a high level.”
Florida women’s golf is no stranger to having a presence on the LPGA Tour. UF’s most recent alum to see major success on tour has been Sandra Gal (’08), who has tallied one tour victory and nine top-10 finishes to go with over $1.7 million dollars in earnings. Overall, Florida has seen 20 student-athletes in its history have a career on the LPGA Tour.
Current Gator head coach Emily Bastel, also spent some time on LPGA Tour after graduating from Michigan State, and expressed how much of an honor this was for her players.
“This is a tremendous honor for Camilla and Isabelle,” Bastel said. It is a direct reflection on their hard work and dedication to their golf games and the University of Florida. We are proud to have them both there representing the Gators. It is going to be an exciting experience for them.”
Hedberg and Lendl are both in the midst of one of Florida women’s golf’s best seasons since 2007. The fifth-ranked team has already notched three team wins and both Hedberg and Lendl have at least two individual medalist honors in this season alone. Hedberg actually leads the team with three tournament wins (Cougar Classic, Betsy Rawls Invite and Florida Challenge) and is one of only 11 other Gators to win three or more tournaments in their careers.
The 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship is set to be played April 4-7 at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California on the famous Dinah Shore Tournament Course.