Short Game: Lee-Bentham lands Galvin Green sponsorship
Rebecca Lee-Bentham will be looking fine on the fairways in 2013, her second season on the LPGA Tour.
The 20-year-old Canadian will wear clothes made by Galvin Green under a new sponsorship deal with the ubercool and high-end Swedish company.
Details of the deal are to be officially revealed next week, and Lee-Bentham will visit the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando at the end of the month with the company’s top executives to show off the 2013 line.
She’s expected to sport the clothes in competition for the first time when she makes her LPGA season debut in Australia in February.
Galvin Green may not be well known in Canada or North America, but it has made a mark in Europe for both its fashion sense and function. The company favours bold colours and athletic fit to its clothes, and an elegant but highly visible logo. Peter Hanson, a European Tour member from Sweden who has been increasingly playing (and popping up on leader boards) in North America, was among tour players wearing the gear in 2012.
The company is probably best known though for its superior rain wear. Even players not under sponsorship often use it.
Galvin Green is taking its time coming across the pond. Its North American beachhead is in Canada, run by Jonathan Wong of Toronto. The company’s goods are available mostly through pro shops at some of the country’s top-end private clubs.
The company is expected to roll into the U.S. market likely next year, again with its products available through top clubs.
Lee-Bentham of Toronto is believed to be Galvin Green’s first North American-based player under contract.
She is coming off a rookie season in which she made just four cuts in 14 starts. But her year took a nice turn toward the end when she won a tournament on the SunCoast Ladies Series mini-tour and then carried that momentum into the LPGA’s qualifying tournament, or Q-school. She tied for first place at Q-school to lock up her LPGA playing card for 2013.
This week, the affable and hard-working Lee-Bentham is in Tucson, Ariz., helping to coach some of Ontario’s top young amateurs. A Canadian Women’s Amateur and Canadian junior girls champion within the past couple of years, she is not far removed in age from her charges.