From Thursday July 20 to Sunday, July 23, our region’s premier summer sports event—the 32nd annual Marathon Classic, presented by Owens Corning and O-I—returns to Sylvania’s Highland Meadows Golf Club. This year’s tournament, featuring all the brightest stars of the LPGA, promises more family fun than ever before and will benefit 23 area children’s charities.
An epic wrap-up in 2016
The 2016 Marathon Classic had an exciting finish and became an instant classic with three LPGA stars—Lydia Ko, Mirim Lee, and Ariya Jutanugarn—battling to determine the winner after four playoff holes! Ko had a chance to win it on the last hole, but the putt did not fall, so Ko, Lee, and Jutanugarn headed back to the tee on 18 for a playoff—for three extra holes! There were putts to win it, but none fell. Finally, with a great approach shot to five feet from the hole, Ko stepped up to her ball and sank the winning putt. The win was Ko’s 14th LPGA victory!
An epic lineup for 2017
Tournament Director Judd Silverman is confident this year’s competitors won’t disappoint either. Atop the stellar list of players who have already committed to participate in the 2017 Marathon Classic is, of course, defending champion Lydia Ko, the #1 ranked player in the world. Other commitments include Lexi Thompson, who is currently 4th in the world rankings and is the highest ranking American player, Toledo native Stacy Lewis, 2016 U.S. Women’s Open Champion Brittany Lang, 2017 tournament winner Brittany Lincicome, 2015 U.S. Solheim Cup star Gerina Piller, Brooke Henderson, Morgan Pressel, and Michelle Wie.
“With these exciting commitments, this year’s field is shaping up to be one of our best ever,” states Silverman. “It’s going to be another great shoot-out between the greatest women golfers in the world. Of course, the real winners are the 23 local children’s charities that will benefit from this year’s tournament.”
The course will provide a new look for the LPGA players with the recent renovation of the 18th hole and driving range. Sixty yards were added to the driving range, which now features seven target greens. The practice putting green and the first tee positions were shifted. Also, eight yards were added to hole one and hole 18 was reduced by 40 yards, with revisions to the fairway and a new green complex. In addition, new curb and cart paths and a new clock have been installed next to the putting green. The new design will offer the LPGA professionals a state-of-the-art driving-range facility and new challenges to the par-5 18th hole.
Kids activities galore
The 2017 Marathon Classic promises much more than world-class golf. Back by popular demand is the Kids Zone presented by Valpak of Northwest Ohio, Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Not only will children ages 17 and under enjoy free admission to the tournament, but they’ll also have access to a host of exciting, kid-friendly activities, including a tournament-long scavenger hunt that kicks off on Thursday, July 20. Vito’s Pizza will be available for kids on Saturday and Sunday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Friday, July 21 is Mascot Day (10:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.) and will feature Michigan State’s Sparty, the Detroit Lions’ Roary, and the Cleveland Browns’ Chomps as well as local mascots! The Kids Zone will also have a visit from Imagination Station and an opportunity for kids to take their picture and tweet the photo to @MarathonLPGA.
On Saturday, July 22, kids will have an opportunity to meet their favorite Laurel’s Princess Parties characters, including Spiderman, Belle, and more, and have close-up encounters with animals brought by the Toledo Zoo.
Last but not least, on Sunday, July 23, the Laurel’s characters will be back in the Kids Zone and the First Tee will be working with young tournament attendees to help them learn the great game of golf.
New this year, the 2017 Marathon Classic is excited to announce the first-ever Women’s Summit. The event will feature keynote speaker Amy Robach, Anchor on ABC’s Good Morning America and a regular contributor on 20/20, as well as U.S. Army veteran and motivational speaker Dan Nevins. The event theme, “Driving Fore Balance,” will touch on leading an intentional, purpose-driven life and will include a yoga class led by Nevins.
2017 schedule of events
Tournament week events include:
Monday, July 17
PNC Pro-Am, Highland Meadows, 7:30 a.m. shotgun start
ProMedica/Hylant Pro-Am, Highland Meadows, 1:30 p.m. shotgun start
Tuesday, July 18
Pro Practice Round
KeyBank Putting Pro-Am, 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Main Putting Green, Highland Meadows
Huntington Gala Dinner & Show at SeaGate Centre, 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday, July 19
Buckeye Broadband Celebrity Pro-Am, Highland Meadows, all day (top 58 LPGA pros participate)
Thursday, July 20
First Round, Kroger Senior Day – Seniors 55 and over admitted free and park for free
Friday, July 21
High School Girls Golf Luncheon, lunch provided by Magic Wok
“Friday at Club 14” Business Networking Party
Saturday, July 22
Third Round, The Blade Day
Sunday, July 23
Final Round, The Toledo Clinic’s Championship Sunday
18th Green Closing Ceremony
2017 Benefitting charities
Since the tournament’s founding in1984, the Marathon Classic has raised over $9.8 million for 170 northwest Ohio children’s charities. In fact, last year alone, the tournament donated $543,000 to 19 northwest Ohio children’s charities. “We’re grateful to all of our sponsors for their continued support of the Marathon Classic,” states Silverman. “Last year’s contribution of $543,000 takes us close to the $10 million mark in charitable donations over the past 32 years. This kind of sustained effort would not have been possible without the loyal support of the business community!”
This year’s benefitting charities include Autism Model School, Cancer Connection of NW Ohio, Century Health, Challenged Champions Equestrian Center, Dental Center of NW Ohio – Findlay Smiles, Double ARC, Epilepsy Center of NW Ohio, Family and Child Abuse Prevention, First Step (Sandusky Valley Domestic Violence Shelter), First Tee of Hancock Co., Good Grief of NW Ohio, Hancock County ADAMHS, Miracle League of NW Ohio, Open Arms – Council on Domestic Violence, Serenity Farm Equestrian Center, Sylvania Area Family Services, Tiffin Seneca Public Library, Tiffin Seneca United Way, Together We Can Make A Difference, Toledo Science Center (Imagination Station), Toledo Seagate Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation.
Tickets and parking
Tickets for the Marathon Classic can be purchased at area Kroger stores and online at www.marathonclassic.com. Prices are as follows:
Weekly Grounds Pass (buy one, get one free online or at Kroger)—$60
Weekly Clubhouse Ticket (online only, access to grounds and clubhouse)—$120
Daily Grounds Ticket (available at gate only)—$15 Monday through Friday, $20 Saturday through Sunday
LaBatt Blue Light Party Deck—$60 per day (Thursday through Sunday)
Kids 17 and under—free (with paid adult)
Active and retired military, police officers, and firefighters (plus one guest)—free grounds admission with valid ID
Seniors (55+) get free parking and grounds passes on Thursday, July 20th for Kroger Senior Day! Seniors can purchase a Weekly Grounds Pass for half price, $30.
With both of the weekly options above, you can designate a charity to receive 100% of your sales price! Visit marathonclassic.com/ticket-information for a list of eligible charities.
Parking, available in Lot B at Centennial and Brint, is $10 for a weekly pass (available online or at Lot B entrance) and $5 for a daily pass (available at Lot B only).❦