ROGERS, Ark. — The LPGA tournament has made its way back to Northwest Arkansas for the 15th year.
After having to make big changes last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, fans have returned and for the most part, things are back to normal.
The LPGA tournament is being held at the Pinnacle Hills golf course in Rogers and this year.
There are 144 professional golfers in town this week to compete and fans are back and ready to watch.
The competitors are hoping to take home the $2.3 million purse.
Jay Allen, tournament chairman, says there were more people on the course for opening day than in 2019.
"I think people are just excited to get out and get to a golf event, it's become very popular, they're excited to see something live," Allen said.
Competing this year is Arkansas' very own Brooke Matthews, who's a fifth-year senior at the University of Arkansas. She scored four under par after the first day, keeping up with the pros.
“Every time I get a chance to play for the professionals, I try to learn as much as I can, from their games and even the way they handle themselves," Matthews said.
There are seven former and current U of A players who qualified for the championship match.
Gates for the competition opened at 7 a.m. Friday, Sept. 24, this morning, and tee time was at 7:30 a.m. It’s $10 a day to come and watch and you can buy tickets at the entrance.
Event Director Annye Degrand says there is lot going on this weekend whether it’s Bite NWA, a food festival or other fun, free events for the whole family to enjoy.
“For us, the event is about more than golf it’s about bringing the community together and we like to think even if you’re not a golf fan there’s something for everyone out here and so we hope people will come out check out what we’ve got going on and then leave fans of the LPGA Tour,” Degrand said.
Anyone is welcome to attend the event but you must wear a mask in enclosed areas and try to social distance when possible.