Long-time supporter of area men’s sports takes leadership role as women’s professional golf returns to Florida’s First Coast
(Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) - Baptist Health today has been named as a Founding Partner of the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship, a new two-week match play event for women playing on the ladies’ professional tours working toward their LPGA dream. The inaugural event will be played at World Golf Village from October 26 – November 4, 2021. Baptist is the fourth and final Founding Partner and is the Official Healthcare Provider of the tournament.
“Baptist has taken a leadership role with every major sports initiative in this market, and we are proud to support these women as they embark on their professional journeys,” said Michael Mayo, president and CEO of Baptist Health in Jacksonville (FL). “We are particularly interested in supporting athletes at all levels in achieving their highest level of performance.”
The overall mission of the PXG Women’s Match Play Championship is to create playing and earning opportunities for the developmental female professional golfer, for whom very few tours and tournaments exist. Of equal importance is the ability to shine a light on women’s initiatives in the workplace and in the community.
As part of the women’s development mission of the tournament, Generation W, a women’s thought leadership organization based in Jacksonville, will host the Links to Leadership Summit, a half day of leadership programs, on October 29. Donna Orender, founder and CEO of Generation W, said, “Links to Leadership will be energizing, informative and inspirational. It is designed to create the opportunity for the players and guests to learn from each other, and develop personal leadership and connection skills.
Mayo added, “The Generation W component of the PXGWMPC is as important to us as is the golf tournament. Baptist Health values women and the leadership role they play in all aspects of our community.”
The PXGWMPC is an official event on the WAPT, which is one of only three US women’s developmental tours for women, and the only one, which provides a pathway into the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s official entry point. While sanctioned by the WAPT, the PXG Match Play Championship is open to all professional players who are not LPGA players. “This is a pretty significant distinction as a professional event,” said tournament founder, Mark Berman. “We are very intentional in providing opportunities for the up-and-coming professional female players.”
Baptist Health joins fellow Founding Partners Murgado Bentley & Maserati of Jacksonville, SQAIRZ Golf and On Point Ball Markers. Official Hospitality Partners include the St. Johns County VCB & TDC, Murray Bros. CaddyShack ®, Manifest Distillers, Maestro Dobel Tequila and St. Francis Winery Sonoma. Kessler Creative is joined by the Jacksonville Business Journal, ActionNews CBS47/FOX30 and the Ponte Vedra Recorder as Official Media Partners. Investing in Kids (INK!) is the Official Charity Partner and beneficiary of the INK! Charity Pro-am presented by Davidson Realty on October 25.
- The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship is a back-to-back tournament series with the first week of 54-holes of stroke play being contested on King & Bear Golf Course from October 26-28. The second tournament is a 64-woman Match-Play tournament, seeded by the stroke play event, with its own unique format. The 64 competitors will be split into 16 four-player groups. Each player will play each group member twice in nine-hole head-to-head matches. Each hole is worth one point to be either won, lost or halved. The winner of each of those nine-hole matches will also receive a bonus point. The player with the cumulative points after her six matches advances to the Knockout Rounds, starting with the Round of 16. Pool Play will be contested on November 1 and 2, beginning at 9:00 AM EST. The Round of 16 and the Quarterfinal matches will be played on November 3 starting at 9:00 AM EST. The Semifinal matches will commence on November 4 at 9:00 EST AM, following by the consolation match and then the Championship Match.
- The PXG Women’s Match Championship is also a fundraiser for Investing in Kids (INK!). The INK! Charity Pro-am presented by Davidson Realty, Inc. is slated for October 25 on the King & Bear course and will feature teams of one professional player paired with three amateurs. Sherry and Jim Davidson, owners of the local development and real estate brokerage bearing their name were the original land developers of World Golf Village and have a special tie to the community and to INK!, for which Mrs. Davidson serves on its Board of Directors. The night before the Charity Pro-am. Murray Brothers Caddy Shack will host the Official Meet the Players Pairings Party. The PXG Women’s Match Play Championship will also feature a junior clinic and other community involvement activities for the players, who will be in the area for 10-12 days.
- Admission and parking for fans will be free with website registration, courtesy of Official Printing Partner, Kessler Creative, a St. Johns County-based woman-owned print marketing firm. President Dina Kessler said, “The goal is for people to see these amazing female athletes play, and we want to provide that experience at no charge to our community.” Kessler Creative is creating all of the on-course and promotional signage for the @PXGWMPC.
- In addition to $55,000 in prize money and a PXG equipment and apparel stipend, players will compete for a one-of-a-kind trophy supplied by Ocean Sole Africa, a Ponte Vedra Beach-based non-profit which fashions sculptures out of recycled flip-flops from Kenya. The 2021 PXG Women’s Match Play Championship will receive a manatee sculpture resting on top of a piece of driftwood found on a local Northeast Florida beach. It was created by Kenyan artist Mwrani and took her 22.5 hours to make using more than 40 pounds of recycled rubber flip-flops. Ocean Sole Africa will also provide similarly crafted one-of-a-kind trophies for the Runner Up and each semifinalist, as well as for the Stroke Play winner and runner up.
- Nashville band Them Vibes, founded and managed by Ponte Vedra native Kim Paige, will be the featured band in the St. Johns County VCB Between the Tournaments Concert, hosted by the Jacksonville International Airport. The invitation-only VIP concert will be held on October 30 at the host hotel, the Marriott World Golf Village Renaissance Resort Hotel.
Information about elevated hospitality opportunities, Pro-Am spots, tickets, key sponsorships, and volunteering is available on the tournament website at www.PXGWPC.com and by calling MediaShare Consulting Group at 904.838.4962. You may reach the Tournament Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Social media handles include @PXGWMPC, #PXGWomensMatchPlay and #MakeGolfYourThing.
Mark D. Berman