MANATEE -- Last year's Handa Cup generated the largest attendance in event history.
So how could the annual golf tournament showcasing the LPGA Legends Tour improve in an encore at Palm-Aire Country Club next fall?
By adding an extra day of golf and contest every match over 18 holes instead of nine, which was announced in a press conference Tuesday at the club.
The tournament is scheduled for Nov. 1-6, with a pairings party on Tuesday, a pro-am on Wednesday, a practice round for players on Thursday and the competition slated for Friday-Sunday, Nov. 4-6.
It's a Solheim or Ryder Cup-styled event, pitting 12 players from the United States against 12 players on the World team.
Last year's tournament saw a frantic finish with Team USA edging the World team, 26-22, on the strength of Danielle Ammaccapane's hole-out for birdie from the 18th fairway on the final day.
Ammaccapane leaped for joy after the momentous shot, only to tear her anterior cruciate ligament.
"That's a shot she'll never forget (and) we'll never forget," LPGA Legends Tour chief executive officer Jane Blalock said. "... So we ended with a bang, to say the least."
Roughly 4,000 fans attended the two-day tournament last November, which Blalock said was the largest in the 10-year history of the tournament.
Yet, the event is getting tweaked, which is due to
the feedback players gave following last November's tourney.
"Nine-hole matches, if you're two-down then you're almost against the wall and don't have time to recover," Blalock said.
Both Nancy Lopez (Team USA) and Sally Little (World team) are slated to reprise their roles as captains.
To qualify, players receive consideration from various criteria such as being a Hall of Famer, the Legends Tour money list or getting chosen with a captain's pick.
There are nine total LPGA Legends Tour events this season, and the team rosters are scheduled for announcement at the conclusion of the tour's seventh tournament, which is in French Lick, Ind., at the end of August.
"It not only adds the intensity and the pressure to yourself, but you know your team is really pulling for you," said Barb Mucha, who played in her third Handa Cup for Team USA last year. "So there's more than just one person involved here."
One name that is now eligible to compete is Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam. The LPGA Legends Tour is for players aged 45-and-older.
Sorenstam turned 45 last October, but whether she'll play next November is an unknown at this point. Blalock said they're putting forth all their lobbying efforts to get Sorenstam to play.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed," Blalock said.
Palm-Aire president Ed Kornberger said the club has a great relationship with the Legends Tour to keep hosting the Handa Cup. This year's tournament will once again feature the Special Operations Warrior Foundation as the main charitable recipient.
"We are excited to be in a position to be the club in the area that's hosting this level of professional golf," Kornberger said.
Jason Dill, sports reporter, can be reached at 745-7017. Follow him on Twitter @Jason__Dill and like his Facebook page at Jason Dill Bradenton Herald.