The LPGAs Nashville roots run even deeper than the Electrolux USA Championship Hosted by Vince Gill and Amy Grant, which was played in Franklin from 2000-02, as the Nashville-based Sara Lee Classic was a mainstay on the LPGA schedule from 1988-99.
The 144-player field is highlighted by 2004 tournament champions Jennifer Rosales and Karen Stupples, as well as 2003 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Lorena Ochoa and 2004s leading rookie, Aree Song.
LPGA stars Laura Davies, Natalie Gulbis, Lorie Kane, Mi Hyun Kim and Karrie Webb are also teeing it up in the 72-hole event.
Three-time LPGA champion Pat Hurst is returning to a course she loves, as she won the 2000 Electrolux USA Championship Hosted by Vince Gill and Amy Grant, finished tied for seventh in 2001 and was the runner-up to Annika Sorenstam in 2002. Her win in 2000 came on Mothers Day, a special day for the mother of two.
Sorenstam wont be making the trip to Franklin, Tenn., this year, but LPGA veteran Colleen Walker will.
The nine-time champion is making her first LPGA appearance since being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003 and should be a fan-favorite during the week.
In addition, veteran Meg Mallon is returning to the Nashville area for this weeks event. She no doubt enjoys competing in the Music City, where she won the 1993, 1996 and 1999 Sara Lee Classic.
Vanderbilt University senior Sara Jacobs received a sponsors exemption to play in the event, and the tournament will offer the remaining sponsors exemption to the player that finishes third in the 18-hole Monday qualifier.
The top-two finishers from the Monday qualifier receive automatic spots in the field, and the third-place finisher will now also gain entrance into the event.
In the 2002 Electrolux USA Championship, Sorenstam fired a final-round 64 to top Hursts closing 66 and win by a single stroke after Hursts approach shot on the final hole found the water fronting the right side of the green. The win was one of Sorenstams 11 wins in 2002.