Local Family Hosts LPGA Competitor

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Some of the world's top women golfers travel to Northwest Arkansas each year to compete in the LPGA's Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G and each year, those women need a place to live.

That's where host families come into play.

This is Karen Gommel and her husband Matthew's fourth year to host and they say they plan to keep hosting for years to come.

This year, the Gommels welcomed Katy Harris into their home in Rogers.

Harris, who lives in Houston, is just one of many women who participated in Monday's qualifying rounds.

She hasn't been in town long, but Gommel has already learned a lot about her.

"She's a rookie, she's trying to qualify, she's married and has two children and her coach lives in Little Rock,” said Gommel. “They're a lot of fun and it's been fun to have them here and get to know them and it's good for our son. She's really sweet."

Gommel and her family form a special bond with each woman who stays in their home, and while it's tough to see the golfers leave, they always stay in touch.

She says her son, Cooper, has learned a lot from these professional athletes.

"He loves to watch them and to talk to them and they will usually hang out with him for a little bit and I think it's a great chance for him to get to see professional athletes and women and learn a new game," she said.

Gommel says being a host family is almost like taking in a second child for the week.

"I'm nervous for her,” she said. "We are getting ready to head out right after this and go watch. It's like your child almost. You're watching and you just want them to do so well."

The LPGA Tournament kicks off Friday, June 29th at the Pinnacle Country Club.

For more on the NWA Championship, click here.