I know... it seems like forever ago; That luminous afternoon at Mission Hills when three Americans waged a tense battle in the final round of of the LPGA's first '09 major.
Fans won's soon forget the excitement of that 18th green ... where it was all decided when Cristie Kerr's prodigious 18ft Birdie putt was answered by an amazing Eagle by Brittany Lincicome for the win. And it was definitely a memorable first KNC for Kristy McPherson, who tied with Ms. Kerr for second.
Today those three dynamic Americans are getting ready for a new battle. Along with an international field of top players, they'll be teeing off at the Corona Championship in the charming colonial town of Morelia in Michoacan, Mexico. Local girl Lorena Ochoa is the defending champion.
In a perfect world there'd be tons of TV coverage and live streaming video from Tres Maria's Golf Course, pictured above. ~ As it is coverage in the US will be...quite limited.
I'll checking in regularly with LPGA bloggers like Mostly Harmless, Hound Dog LPGA they aggregate news updates and tie them together with their own original analysis, often multiple times a day. For live reporting ... in 140 characters or less... I'll be following the @LPGA Twitter feed. When well executed, 140 character "tweets" can really tell a story so I was glad to hear (via Twitter) that @LPGA will have a Twitter team on the ground in Morelia.
News came today that due to poor economic conditions, the 31 year old Corning Classic, will come to an end after a last tournament in May. This brings home, once again, the reality of dwindling sponsorship dollars and the importance of raising the tour's visibility and building fan relationships, so as to appeal to the new cast of companies that will (hopefully) step forth to sponsor sporting events.
The LPGA is acutely aware of this... and they've responded. They've restructured their executive staff with an emphasis on sales and communications, and they're expanding their reach with non-traditional media by credentialing independent bloggers, engaging with fans on Facebook and embracing the art of the Tweet.
As the season progresses, we'll surely be seeing more players, in more places than ever before. The appealing, ultra-talented players are the LPGA Tour's best asset. Potential sponsors, one hopes, will take notice.