LPGA Tour to Come to Irving

Tournament is first in North Texas in more than 20 years

The Ladies Professional Golf Association is coming back to North Texas for the first time in more than 20 years.

The North Texas LPGA Shootout will be held next month at the Las Colinas Country Club.

North Texas golfers on the LPGA Tour say they are happy to have a tournament at home.

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"I've been on tour 13 years, and I always wanted to play at home because I do know the people here and I know they love golf and I can't wait to play in front of them," said Angela Stanford, a North Texas native.

Gerina Piller, who lives in North Texas, said playing on a local gold course has its advantages.

"Being here in town, you can play as much as you want and try to get that extra experience," she said. "This week, we'll probably come out a few more times before we get back on the road."

The tournament will feature 144 players over four days of competition.

The LPGA says it has experienced a surge of support from fans.

"Our ratings are up 70 percent over the past two years in our North American and domestic events. That says a lot," LPGA spokesman Kraig Kann said. "A few years back, we were about 40 percent tape-delayed coverage, and now we're 90 percent live on the scheduled domestic events and North American events and 100 percent live on the weekends."

As the North Texas pros continue their busy tournament schedule around the world, they said they'll be looking forward to their upcoming stop in their hometown.

"I get to stay at home, and I don't have to get on another airplane, and I kind of get a couple of days to regroup. It's cool. I haven't had that opportunity yet, so I'm excited," Stanford said.

The North Texas LPGA Shootout takes place April 25-28.

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