LPGA Media Day
“Three…two…one…and we’re live!”
Bright lights, cameras, satellite trucks and lots of questions are all sure signs that a media outfit is on the ground.
And Media Day for the upcoming 2015 LPGA Coates Golf Tournament presented by R+L Carriers at Golden Ocala followed true to form, giving media outfits a preview of what’s to come when the event gets underway on Jan. 26. This is the inaugural LPGA Coates Golf Tournament and start of the 2015 season.
A live broadcast of the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” meant an early start for the crew since the show airs at 7 a.m. And on this early January morning, the Florida sun and heat is noticeably absent. None the less, the show must go on.
The live segments from the 10th Tee of the Golden Ocala Golf Course included interviews with Don DeLuca, Vice President and General Counsel for R+L Carriers, presenting sponsor along with Mollie Coates, President of Coates Golf the title sponsor.
DeLuca talked about the magnitude of the golf tournament for the company and the overall community.
“It’s huge,” DeLuca said. “We are somewhat of an unknown course here in Central Florida [and] to be approached by the Coates and invited to host this tournament with them is tremendous. We’re on the map now and we’re really excited about it.”
A Fan on the Set
Wayne Tippett of Ocala watches the “Morning Drive” live from home every weekday. On Jan. 14, 2015, he had a spot on the green watching all the behind the scenes action. Tippett was the guest of Golden Ocala club member Drew Ditty who arrived before sunrise to see the show.
Trippett had a chance to meet one of the show’s anchors Paige McKenzie the previous afternoon. He’s planning to attend the weeklong tournament.
Ditty, a local Allstate Insurance agent, also plans to attend the event and hopes to bring clients out to enjoy the festivities.
“I’m excited with everything that’s going on,” Ditty said. “Mr. Roberts has put the community on the map along with the Coates and are so supportive of the area.”
Morgan & Brittany
LPGA golfers Brittany Lincicome and Morgan Pressel took a seat in front of the cameras for both the live broadcast of “Morning Drive” followed by a press conference in the main ballroom in the Golden Ocala Clubhouse.
In between sending social media posts from her phone and handling media interviews with ease, Pressel talked about Golden Ocala and playing golf on the back nine the previous day.
“It’s the first time I’ve played the course…it’s great,” she said. “And all I did while riding in the golf cart was look around at everyone’s back entertainment areas. It’s so nice and beautiful.”
An LPGA win this season Pressel said could prompt a return trip to Golden Ocala to go house shopping.
Open for Questions
During the press conference, Joe Donnelly, General Manager of Golden Ocala, was asked about what the ladies can expect of the course when tournament play begins at the end of the month.
“The golf course is unique,” Donnelly explained. “When people play here, they leave remembering holes that aren’t necessarily the tribute holes.”
Kraig Kann, LPGA Chief Communications Officer, talked about the overall scope of the LPGA which expanded from 24 events in 2014 to the 2015 season including 33 events. The 2015 tour includes 22 events in North America and stops in 14 countries.
“We are a global tour,” Kann said.
Both Lincicome and Pressel are ecstatic about having two tournaments in Florida this year, which allows them to have more fan and family support close to home and play on the Bermuda grass they know and play well on.
“It’s a great time to be a part of the LPGA,” Lincicome said.
“What other sport can you get so close to the people you came to see?” Pressel said.
Kann encouraged community and fan support of the local LPGA event, “let’s make the Coates Golf Championship not just another tournament on our schedule. We want to build something here; let’s do something special.”
For more information about the Coates Golf Championship visit our golf blog. If you would like information on purchasing your LPGA tickets visit Coates Golf Championship.