Blumenherst pitches Fort Wayne for LPGA event

Amanda Blumenherst during the first round of the 2011 Kia Classic.

Amanda Blumenherst during the first round of the 2011 Kia Classic.

Amanda Blumenherst played 18 holes for charity last month with Bruce Dye, chief executive officer of Heritage Food Service Equipment, and had a meeting immediately after the round about getting the LPGA to Fort Wayne, Ind. Dye, a huge fan of the women’s game, wants to bring an official event to Blumenherst’s hometown in the next couple of years.

Blumenherst’s father, Dave, worked to bring an unofficial event to Sycamore Hills Golf Club as early as September. Amanda, a second-year LPGA player, told Golfweek that she already had a solid lineup of a dozen or so players extremely interested in a two-day event for a purse of about $400,000. Morgan Pressel, Christina Kim and Beatriz Recari were among those who told Blumenherst that they likely would play in the Hoosier State next month.

Dave Blumenherst said Sycamore Hills officials decided the event was too close to the Junior PGA, held there three weeks ago, and they’d need more time to get the course prepped and the event promoted. They’re now looking at a several dates in May.

Five generations of Blumenhersts have lived in Fort Wayne. Amanda grew up on the seventh tee at Sycamore.

“The name Blumenherst in that town is pretty solid,” Dave said.

Though it’s Dye’s financial backing that would make a small unofficial event a reality in Fort Wayne, the hope is that once other investors see the LPGA product on display, enough interest would be generated to bring another full-fledged domestic event to the 2013 schedule. Heritage FSE was presenting sponsor of the Junior PGA.

“(Sycamore’s) goal is to host a U.S. Women’s Open one year,” Amanda said.

One step at a time.

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