New Tournament Director Brings PGA Lessons to Pelican Women’s Championship

BELLEAIR – Marci Doyle has spent the past 17 years making an impact on men’s golf before Dan Doyle knocked on his door.

Chief Operating Officer of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and Tournament Director since 2014, Marci was the first woman to hold such a position in the PGA, and the Doyle family (unrelated) wanted her as the head of her own LPGA tournament, the Pelican Women’s Championship. .

Marci was already intrigued by the opportunity to return to women’s football – where she made her golf debut after college – but it wasn’t until she heard the vision of the Doyle family (short and long term) for their newly renovated growing club and tournament that she knew it was the right move.

The Doyles don’t want the Pelican Golf Club and the Pelican Women’s Championship to be seen independently.

“They said, ‘This is for you,’” Marci recalled when they met eight months ago. “I feel very strongly that I have to believe and have a passion for what I am a part of. It’s not just a job for me, it’s a passion. And I just as much have to believe in what they do and that we align with what we do as a whole.

Marci’s responsibilities as Executive Director of the Pelican Tournament include nurturing relationships within the communities of Belleair and Tampa Bay as well as with sponsors and corporate partners. It was a welcome challenge as she left Orlando and started from scratch.

The past eight months have been a blur. She tries to keep some consistency with morning devotions, mindfulness, and creating her main to-do list, but doesn’t get put off if something else is added.

With the PGA, Marci liked the way the organization publicly defined what charity dollars were going to.

This year, the Pelican Women’s Championship is partnering with BayCare through “Birdies for Babies,” whose beneficiaries are the Morton Plant Mease Health Care Foundation and BayCare’s Morton Plant Hospital Women’s Services. Fifty dollars will be paid for each birdie scored over the four rounds this weekend. The money will help provide home blood pressure kits for pregnant women and new mothers who are at greatest risk of developing complications.

Marci also noted how the small details made a difference in the PGA and how the players weren’t just a scorecard on any given weekend – they had stories to share that brought them to life.

“The opportunity to come back to the LPGA was so exciting for me to be able to help in a positive and influential way because I have now seen and understood what is happening on the men’s side,” said Marci.

“And to see some of the inequalities that are happening and how we have to level them for these ladies, not only the athletes, which is super important, but also to level them from a business perspective and for these companies to show. the support they’re talking about, that it’s important to them.

Marci specifically noted the greater financial support in men’s football compared to women’s football, something she hopes to change.

Brittany Lincicome, a native of Seminole who made her touring debut in 2005, said it was “spectacular” to see Marci in her new role.

“I think it’s easier to talk to another woman like, ‘Hey, I think we have to do this, this and that,’” said Lincicome. “And I’m not going to hurt her and she will hopefully do it for us, which is really cool to have.” She has a lot to do and she is doing a fantastic job.

Lincicome immediately noticed how Marci wanted to involve him in promoting the tournament.

“She just wants to do whatever she can to make this event great for us, which is really cool,” said Lincicome. “I think she just spreading the word to the fans and spectators to come and support us was fantastic.”

When her first Pelican Women’s Championship comes to a close on Sunday, with groups arriving at hole 18, surrounded by fans and tournament staff, Marci will be asking two questions: Did the group put on a good show and have- do they make good people proud? If the answer is yes to both, she can take a deep breath and live in the moment.

“It feels good because you see the community really coming together,” Marci said, “and it’s the grand finale.”

LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship

When: Thursday-Sunday

Or: Pelican Golf Club, Belleair

Stock Exchange: $ 1.75 million

Story: Sei Young Kim won the inaugural tournament last year.

Players to watch: Nelly Korda, world number 1, Jin Young Ko (2), Sei Young Kim (4), Lydia Ko (5), Yuka Saso (6), Nasa Hataoka (8), Brooke Henderson (10), Danielle Kang (11) , Patty Tavatanakit (12), Lexi Thompson (13).

Blanket: Live, 10 a.m. Thursday to Friday, Golf Channel. Live broadcast, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday to Sunday, Recorded, 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Golf Channel.


Contact Mari Faiello at [email protected]. To follow @faiello_mari.

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