LPGA will bring top 20 to Torrey Pines in the fall

It’s been 26 years, but the Ladies Pro Golf Association will return to Torrey Pines this fall, bringing 20 of the world’s top players to the South Course.

The Samsung World Championship, to be played Sept. 16-20, will showcase a field that includes winners of the season’s four major LPGA tournaments, a press release issued Monday stated.

Last year, Paula Creamer topped Song-Hee Kim by one stroke at Half Moon Bay Golf Links to grab the title.

In remarks this morning at Torrey Pines, where the top women in the world last played in 1983, Mayor Jerry Sanders formally announced the event along with Torrey Gane from tournament operator IMG Golf and John Maddern, assistant deputy director for the city’s Parks & Recreation Department.

Noting that the LPGA last hosted a tournament at Torrey Pines in 1983 and in San Diego 15 years ago, Sanders talked about what the event means to the city’s economy.

He said the city expects to see about 15,000 visitors from outside the county “to stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, visit our attractions and shop in our stores.”

Under its agreement with the city, IMG has an option to host the event again in 2010 and will reimburse the city for lost green fees and staff overtime, a figure estimated at $200,000.

The winners of the Kraft-Nabisco Championship, McDonald’s LPGA Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open will play. The field also includes the previous Vare Trophy winner, the LPGA Tour’s money leader and the defending Samsung champion.