Over the next 12 days leading up to the new year, symetratour.com will count down the top-12 most memorable stories of the tour’s 2012 season. Coming in at No. 1 is playing the cards right.
Playing the Cards Right
Volvik announced as Race for the Card sponsor; Tour awards 10 exempt LPGA Tour cards for the first time in history,
The Symetra Tour- Road to the LPGA claimed its true title as the pipeline of talent to the LPGA Tour in 2012. Commissioner Mike Whan announced in February that the developmental tour would award 10 exempt LPGA Tour cards in 2012. The top-10 players on the season-ending money list will earn full status for the following season.
“We see the Symetra Tour as the best pathway for up-and-coming female professionals to earn their way to the LPGA Tour,” said Whan. “By offering 10 exempt spots, we are solidifying the Symetra Tour as the proving ground for the LPGA and creating what amounts to a year-long battle to see which 10 players will earn equal playing status on next year’s LPGA Tour.”
The 2012 season marked the 14th year in the 32-year-history of the Symetra Tour that players have been able to earn automatic exemptions onto the LPGA Tour and the ninth year that at least five LPGA memberships have been awarded. From 1999 to 2002, three exemptions were offered to top money winners. The 2012 season marked the fifth year that 10 LPGA memberships were awarded.
In addition to the 10 cards, the Symetra Tour brought on a new sponsor to highlight the season-long race for the top-10 spots. The Tour announced in March that Volvik, the Korean golf ball company, signed a three-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the Tour’s “Race for the Card.”
The Symetra Tour has consistently produced the future stars of women’s golf and has been awarding membership to the LPGA Tour since 1999. With more than 500 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 372 LPGA titles, including 40 major championships.
The top-10 players on the 2012 season-ending money list who earned exempt status for the 2013 LPGA season are as follows:
- Esther Choe 6. Mi Hyang Lee
- Paola Moreno 7. Jenny Gleason
- Victoria Elizabeth 8. Julia Boland
- Thidapa Suwanupura 9. Nicole Smith
- Daniela Iacobelli 10. Sara-Maude Juneau