Local organizers of the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open, which took place at Bella Vista Village – Highlands Golf Course in Bella Vista, Ark., July 2-5, have earned the Newcomer of the Year Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The Newcomer of the Year Award honors a first-year tournament that displays the complete tournament experience in its inaugural year.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, charitable giving, volunteer base and hospitality. The AJGA also recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.
"It's obvious from our large number of volunteers that we are delighted to have an AJGA event here in Northwest Arkansas,” said Ron Stratton, Tournament Chairman. “It's particularly fun to have our own Stacy Lewis as the host."
Kicking off the inaugural event, Stacy Lewis hosted a question-and-answer session for invited guests following the final round of the LPGA’s Northwest Arkansas Walmart Championship. Lewis fielded questions, signed autographs and provided the juniors with advice on golf and life as a professional athlete. Throughout the tournament, more than 250 volunteers allowed for spotters on the golf course, live scoring on every hole, marshals to control noise and hospitality volunteers to enhance the tournament experience.
With the support of local sponsors Bentonville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Bella Vista Village Property Owners Association, the City of Bella Vista and Walmart, the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior Open was the AJGA’s first tournament in Bella Vista, Ark., in the Association’s 35-year history.
With the tournament being played over the Fourth of July weekend, participants, families and military personnel enjoyed a tournament cookout to celebrate the holiday. During the tournament round on the Fourth, an Honor Guard tended the American flag that served as a flagstick to the par-3 ninth hole.
“We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with AJGA and Stacy Lewis,” said Kalene Griffith, President/CEO of the Bentonville Conventions & Visitors Bureau. “The event was hugely successful and the thanks go to the numerous northwest Arkansas businesses that partnered with the tournament as well as the tremendous volunteer support.”
Complete list of 2012 Tournament Awards.