Yani Tseng, Along With Sponsor Exemptions Jennifer Kirby and Brooke Henderson, Gear Up for the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic

WATERLOO, ON, June 27, 2013 /CNW/ - The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic has announced that Yani Tseng will be joined by sponsor exemptions, Canadians Jennifer Kirby and Brooke Henderson, at Grey Silo Golf Club, competing for the US$1.3 million purse.  Just weeks away, the tournament runs from July 10 to 14.

"Based on the quality of the field committed to this year's tournament, it's very clear that we can look forward to another year of world-class competition," says Marianne Harrison, President & CEO, Manulife Canada. "In addition to the top female golfers from around the world, like Yani Tseng, we've just added two of the top young players from Ontario and I'm sure our local spectators will enjoy watching their progress."

Yani Tseng is a force on the golf scene, having captured 15 LPGA career victories with five of those being major victories. She reigned as number one on the Women's Rolex Golf Rankings for 109 consecutive weeks, and currently sits in sixth spot. With her dominant style of play, Tseng excelled in 2012 and claimed 11 top-10 finishes and eight top-five finishes, including three victories. Following her second win of the 2012 season at the RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup, the 24-year-old became the fastest player in LPGA history to cross the $8 million mark in career earnings.

Through a player exemption, Jennifer Kirby returns to the field in Waterloo as one of Canada's brightest prospects. She finished two-under par to win her professional debut at the 2013 CN Canadian Women's Tour Quebec event. The native of Paris, Ontario is set to make her mark as she recently graduated from the University of Alabama where she was a member of the Crimson Tide's 2012 NCAA Division I championship golf team.

Canada's top-ranked amateur golfer, Brooke Henderson, has secured a spot in her second LPGA event in 2013 through a player exemption as well. The 15-year-old from Smith Falls, Ontario will compete at the U.S. Women's Open before she heads to Waterloo. She has had consecutive third place finishes with her top-three finish at the 2013 CN Canadian Women's Tour Quebec event. At 14, she became the youngest player to compete in the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open last summer in Vancouver.

"The talent of these young players is remarkable and it is great to have the opportunity to showcase some of Canada's rising stars," says Manulife Financial LPGA Classic tournament director Richard Kuypers. "Being just weeks away from the tournament, we eagerly await the return of the world's best female golfers to compete in Waterloo."

For more information, including ticket pricing, visit www.manulifeclassic.ca.

About the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
The Manulife Financial LPGA Classic is back for its second year on the LPGA Tour and will feature a standard eligibility field of 144 players, 72 holes of stroke play and a purse of $1.3 million. The tournament will take place July 10 - 14, 2013, at Grey Silo Golf Club in Waterloo, Ontario, home of Manulife Financial's Canadian Division. For more information please visit:  www.manulifeclassic.ca. Follow us on Twitter:  @ManulifeClassic.

About Manulife Financial
Manulife Financial is a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Clients look to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Our international network of employees, agents and distribution partners offers financial protection and wealth management products and services to millions of clients. We also provide asset management services to institutional customers. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were C$555 billion (US$$547 billion) as at March 31, 2013. The Company operates as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia and primarily as John Hancock in the United States.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at manulife.com.

About St. Mary's General Hospital
Located in the heart of Kitchener, Ontario, St. Mary's - the official charity partner of the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic - is an adult-acute-care hospital and Regional Cardiac Care Centre. Serving Waterloo Region, Wellington County and beyond, St. Mary's has an established reputation for providing quality, compassionate and innovative care. The hospital's cardiac team provides more than 3,400 cardiac catheterizations, 1,050 coronary angioplasties, 750 cardiac surgeries and 275 pacemaker insertions every year.

St. Mary's patient-centered approach to care is augmented by a strong and dedicated team of more than 500 volunteers who contribute nearly 40,000 hours of service a year in 100 unique roles and programs. www.smgh.ca

About Sports Properties International
Sports Properties International was created to provide an environment where communities and spectacular sporting events can come together, connected by a common interest. To find out more about Sports Properties International, visit www.sportspropertiesinternational.com.

About Bruno Event Team
Bruno Event Team (BET) is a Birmingham, Alabama-based sports marketing and event management company formed in 1996 by Ronald Bruno and Gene Hallman. Bruno Event Team is experienced in all facets of event management, employing a year-round staff of 70+ employees in thirteen offices around the United States and Canada. Bruno Event Team Services each client with expertise in strategic planning, marketing, advertising, public and media relations, ticket and merchandise sales, sponsor relations, hospitality consulting, event operations, event financial planning/accounting, and volunteer coordination. Visit www.brunoeventteam.com for additional information.

SOURCE: Manulife Financial Corporation

For further information:

Media Contacts: 

Becky Kolberg
Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
519-884-5742 ext. 207

Brooke Tucker-Reid
Media Relations Consultant
Manulife Financial


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