World's Top LPGA Golfers Coming to Alabama in Six Weeks for the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic

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The inaugural 'Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic' is set for September 18-21 in Prattville, Alabama along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

PRATTVILLE, AL. – (August 7, 2014) – The top female golfers in the world have committed to compete in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, just six weeks away. America's Stacy Lewis, the top player in the world, comes back to Prattville as returning champion. Other former LPGA winners in Prattville competing this year include Lexi Thompson of the United States, Katherine Hull Kirk of Australia and Maria Hjorth McBride of Sweden.

The 2014 tournament – the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic – will be conducted September 18-21 on the Senator Course at Capitol Hill along the RTJ Golf Trail.

Players from 25 counties are competing in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. The field contains seven players in the Top 10 on the Rolex World Rankings of Women's Golf. Those players include: No. 1 Stacy Lewis of the USA, No. 4 Suzann Pettersen of Norway, No. 5 Lexi Thompson of the USA, No. 6 Michelle Wie of the USA, No. 7 Shanshan Feng of China, No. 9 So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and No. 10 Cristie Kerr of the USA. Other Top 25 players in the Rolex ranking include Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, Chella Choi and Hee Young Park of South Korea and America's Angela Stanford, Lizette Salas and Jessica Korda. Several players have collegiate ties to the state including Cydney Clanton from Auburn University and four former players from the University of Alabama: Kathleen Ekey, Jennifer Kirby, Brooke Pancake and Jenny Suh. Twelve of the 14 SEC universities have former players in the 2014 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. The current field is attached and is subject to change until Sept. 9.

"From Lorena Ochoa winning here twice to Lexi Thompson becoming the youngest winner in the LPGA at that time, golf history has been made in Prattville. We are delighted Yokohama is bringing this great tradition back and will make it better than ever," said John Cannon, president of the RTJ Golf Trail.

"This is an opportunity for Yokohama to get our brand in front of a new audience," said Andrew Briggs, Yokohama Tire Corporation's director, marketing and product planning. "The LPGA and RTJ Golf Trail are world-class organizations. We'll work directly with them to maximize our agreement, incorporating dealer and consumer activities throughout the year to further promote our full line of tires."

Briggs said the LPGA sponsorship fits into Yokohama's expanding sports marketing program, which includes partnerships with the National Basketball Association's Los Angeles Clippers; the National Football League's Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens; and Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees.

"We are honored and excited to welcome Yokohama to the LPGA family," said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. "The River Region and RTJ Trail are fantastic hosts, and now together with Yokohama, we're excited to bring the world's best female golfers back to Prattville."

Added Cannon: "With Yokohama as the new title sponsor, this tournament will be an even larger international event. Yokohama brings its global presence to showcase some of the premier women golfers from around the world. All eyes of the international golf community will be on America's original golf trail."

For more information on the tournament, tickets and volunteer opportunities, visit www.yokohamalpgaclassic.com.

About Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail
Funded by the Retirement Systems of Alabama, the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail was built to help expand tourism, recruit industry and attract retirees, thus strengthening the state's economy while adding to the quality of life for all Alabamians. The RTJ Golf Trail opened in 1992 and celebrated its 10 millionth round on Oct. 23, 2013. From Mobile Bay to the Tennessee River, the RTJ Golf Trail has 26 courses on 11 sites across Alabama. In 2012, the economic impact of both the LPGA events in Mobile and Prattville exceeded $30 million.

About LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world's leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 29 different countries. With a vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women's golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.

About Yokohama Tire Corporation

Yokohama Tire Corporation is the North American manufacturing and marketing arm of Tokyo, Japan-based The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd., a global manufacturing and sales company of premium tires since 1917. Servicing an extensive sales network throughout the U.S., Yokohama Tire Corporation is a leader in technology and innovation. The company's complete product line includes tires for high-performance, light truck, passenger car, commercial truck and bus, and off-the-road mining and construction applications. For more information on Yokohama's broad product line, visit www.yokohamatire.com.

Connect with Yokohama Tire Corporation:
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www.twitter.com/yokohamatc
www.youtube.com/user/yokohamamotorsports
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Yokohama is a strong supporter of the tire care and safety guidelines established by the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration. Details can be found at the "Tire Care & Safety" section at www.yokohamatire.com.

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