McLeod Health and the City of Florence have once again partnered to raise awareness of breast cancer and physical activity through the McLeod for Health Florence Open benefitting Susan G. Komen South Carolina. Now in its sixth year, Florence’s only professional tennis tournament is being held this week through October 22, at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Tennis Center.
The Florence Open tournament formed an alliance in 2014 with McLeod Health and Susan G. Komen South Carolina to help support the fight against breast cancer in the region. McLeod Health, the tournament’s presenting sponsor, is deeply committed to the early identification and treatment of breast cancer, and Susan G. Komen South Carolina has provided significant funding to regional programs, including grants totaling more than $400,000 dollars to support breast cancer programs and patients at McLeod Health. Among other things, these grants have been used for mammograms, follow-up diagnostic procedures, patient navigation services, and survivor support services, including transportation.
In May of 2017, representatives with the McLeod for Health Florence Open presented its 2016 profits — a total of $12,704.09 — to Susan G. Komen South Carolina to help fight breast cancer in the northeastern region of South Carolina. Over the last three years, the McLeod for Health Florence Open has raised more than $27,000 for Komen South Carolina.
Florence, one of the smallest cities on the circuit, was selected to host an event because of its world-class courts, its strong volunteer base, and the generosity of its sponsors. This nine-day tournament puts Florence on the world tennis map and generates significant tourism revenues for our community.
The McLeod for Health Florence Open will draw some of the best young professional players from around the world to compete for $25,000 in prize money and higher rankings. Net profits from the event will again go to Komen South Carolina, which covers 12 of the South Carolina counties served by McLeod Health.
The Florence Open will feature a 64-draw qualifying round, a 32-draw main round and a pro-am event. There will be feature matches at noon on Monday through Friday. The singles semifinals and the doubles finals are scheduled for Saturday the 21st and the singles finals will be held on Sunday the 22nd.
Community Day on Sunday the 22nd will feature a cookout, an exhibition match by the Francis Marion University tennis teams, a Junior and Adult “Hit and Get” for players of all skill levels with prizes provided by Wilson Sporting Goods, Junior Play Day and a reunion of the Adult Tennis Apprentice Alumni. Community Day activities will kick off at noon, the singles final will begin at 1:00 p.m., and the other activities will be going on all day.
With more than 90 tournaments held annually throughout the country, the United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit is the pathway to the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, it draws more than 1,000 men and women each year from more than 70 countries to compete in cities nationwide. Virtually all of the best known pros began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit, and so did some of the sport’s top new players like Americans Grace Min, CiCi Bellis and Taylor Townsend.
“The goals are to bring world class tennis to Florence, to create a genuine community event that emphasizes health, fitness, and breast cancer awareness, and to raise funds that will enable us to make a significant donation to an excellent cause. This will be great tennis for a great cause,” added Tournament Director Rob Hill.
Admission during the tournament is free, but attendees will be offered the opportunity to donate directly to Komen South Carolina.