The LPGA Navistar Classic kicks off today - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

The LPGA Navistar Classic kicks off today

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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -

The RTJ Capitol Hill Golf Course is Prattville is preparing for a big week of golf as the Navistar LPGA Classic kicks off later today.  The best female golfers in the world are either on their way or will soon be in Prattville to take part in the tournament.

It will be a busy week on the Senator course. The tournament itself starts on Thursday, but today there is a qualifying round for the final two spots in the tournament.  Practice rounds begin tomorrow, with the Pro-am tournament set for Wednesday.

17-year-old Lexi Thompson, the defending champion will be back.  Her victory at last year's Navistar LPGA made her the youngest winner in LPGA tour history. She'll be up against Yani Tseng of Taiwan, number one in the world, and Stacy Lewis of the U.S., second in the world.

Bill Lang, RTJ Director of Public Relation says, "we have the top two in the world coming who have been battling it out all year for the number one spot.  Plus we have Lexi Thompson who made history last year as a 16-year-old, the youngest to ever win.  Locally, Karlin Beck of Montgomery will play her first professional tournament at the course with the LPGA, so we're hoping she does really well."

Navistar is providing free admission and free parking to the tournament and those who attend are invited to make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project, the benefactor of the event.  This charity helps wounded service members adjust back to normal life, empowering and honoring them at the same time.

The LPGA Navistar Classic is a family-friendly event.  The golfers take the time to talk with fans and sign autographs, especially during the practice rounds early in the week.

In addition to the serious golf fans, there will be a lot of school groups out there and kids who come with their parents hoping to get an autograph from every golfer.

Lang explains that "the LPGA has come up with a slogan of, It's different out there, and it is.  These are people who are professional athletes who are amazing, but they are fun and they're interactive.  It's a great, low-key, not a snobby, hush-hush atmosphere.  We want big crowds and fun crowds.  Players, when they hit a good shot  love to be cheered, so come and be loud at the right time.  If they're putting, we'll be quiet."

It's a great opportunity for folks to take advantage of a world class golf tournament coming to the area.

Fans can follow the LPGA and the golfers on twitter.  Each player will have her twitter name on the back of her caddy's bib.  And WSFA 12 News will be live at the tournament, following the action all week.

Copyright 2012 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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