Patel is expected to crown the winner of the $1.75 million prize money event, which concludes at Seaview on Sunday.
World’s top women golfers are taking part in the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic, currently under way at the historic Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway, NJ, owned by prominent Indian American entrepreneur Dr. Kiran Patel.
The 144-player field, competing over three rounds for a $1.75 million purse, includes defending champion Annie Park and former champions Anna Nordqvist, Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb.
After round 1, Thai Pornanong Phatlum was leading the pack. Americans Kristen Gillman and Lexi Thompson, and China’s Muni He were tied for second. The tournament is being televised live on Golf Channel.
Park is tied for 33rd after Round 1.
The event concludes on Sunday afternoon. Patel, a golf aficionado, is expected to hand over the trophy to the winner.
The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer, which was launched in 1986, was initially known as the Atlantic City LPGA Classic.
It is perhaps for the first time that a PGA or LPGA tour event is being held at an Indian American-owned course. The event has been continuously held at Seaview since 1998.
Seaview, established in 1914, was purchased by Patel’s KDG Capital LLC last year. The 296-room Seaview Hotel, which has hosted Presidents Warren G. Harding and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and celebrities such as The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Grace Kelly, has been renovated since then.
Tampa-based Patel, who has built and sold two billion-dollar companies in the past two decades, owns a number of landmark hotels, including Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach in Florida, Dolce Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado and Westward Look Resort and Spa, located in Tucson, Arizona.
The Zambia-born Patel is also among the best-known Indian American philanthropists in the country.
In September 2017, the physician and his wife, Dr. Pallavi Patel, announced a $200 million gift to the Florida Northeastern University, the largest philanthropic commitment by an Indian American.
A $20 million charter school named after him is scheduled to begin operation this summer.