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World’s Best Female Golfers To Face Tougher Brickyard Crossing Challenge at IWiT

The 144-player field for the second annual Indy Women in Tech Championship driven by Group One Thousand One is even stronger than for last year’s inaugural event, as seven of the top 10 players in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings will compete Aug. 16-19 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

And the field isn’t the only thing that’s tougher about this year’s Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament: Brickyard Crossing Golf Course will provide a bigger challenge to the world’s best players, too.

American Lexi Thompson won last year with a three-round score of 197, 19-under par on the par-72 course, to beat Lydia Ko by four shots. Brickyard Crossing PGA Director of Golf Jeff Williams admitted he and his staff were surprised by the low scores, so they took steps to make the Pete Dye-designed course more difficult this week for the tournament, which will be contested over four rounds Thursday through Sunday.

“We were surprised that Lexi shot 9-under par on day one from what are our members’ blue tees, our next-to-longest set of tee markers for our members,” Williams said. “The golf course isn’t that easy, and Lydia Ko shot 8-under on day two. They’re pushing course records on consecutive days, and the scoring surprised last year. The greens were fast and firm, and on this golf course, the length that they played it was surprising.”

Williams and his agronomy and maintenance staffs have let the rough grow longer to further penalize errant tee and fairway shots. Recent rain also will make the par-72 course more challenging, as softer fairways will prevent tee shots from rolling as far as last summer.

“Mother Nature determines a little bit of that,” Williams said. “It’s a little softer, and the rough is up. So we hope to give them a little bit more of a challenge this year, but we all love to see a lot of birdies, as well.”

Brickyard Crossing will be re-routed slightly for this tournament, just like last year, to place more focus on the unique nature of the four holes located inside the famous 2.5-mile IMS oval. Traditional holes 7-10 inside the track will become tournament holes 15-18, with the procession of the remaining holes also changing.

“We loved the TV coverage we received to ultimately show off that we’re the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the most famous racecourses in the world, and we have a great golf course here,” Williams said. “It showed off the incredible venue to people who may not be race fans and allows us to activate with maybe some non-race fans who are golfers, who are fans of the LPGA, and bring them to this great facility.”

The success of the inaugural tournament last year lured an even stronger field to Brickyard Crossing this week. Thompson and Ko join nine of the top 10 finishers from last year returning to IMS, and the top two players in the world – No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand and No. 2 So Yeon Ryu of South Korea – will play at Brickyard Crossing after skipping last year’s tournament due to upcoming overseas tournament commitments.

“The strength of the field shows that the player feedback was really great from last year,” Williams said. “We have 90 of the top 100, and No. 1 and No. 2.

“We’re excited to be back on the public map and on the professional golf map.”

Tickets and information for the golf tournament and the byte @ THE #IWiTCHAMP food experience are available at www.ims.com.

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