New Title Sponsors and a New Season-Ending Format for the Next Wave of LPGA Stars
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, February 12, 2013 – The Road to the LPGA is once again open for business and by season’s end, 10 players will be in the fast lane to LPGA membership. On the cusp of a successful 2012 season where the top-10 players on the money list earned fully-exempt LPGA Tour cards for the first time, the Symetra Tour continues its upward momentum in 2013. Four inaugural events, three new title sponsors for existing tournaments, a new format for the season-ending event, and a renewed Volvik Race for the Card highlight the storylines on the Road to the LPGA as the Tour in 2013. Just who the next Lorena Ochoa, Karrie Webb or Vicky Hurst might be is up for grabs.
The 2013 Symetra Tour schedule features 15 events including new stops at the season-opening $100,000 VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club, to be played February 22 to 24 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., and the $100,000 Friends of Mission Charity Classic, to be played May 17-19 at the Country Club of Asheville in Asheville, N.C.
In addition, the Symetra Tour will make two new stops in the Sunshine State at Salamander Hotels and Resorts courses, part of the Grand Golf Resorts of Florida. Those stops include the $100,000 IOA Golf Classic to be played August 9-11 on the Island Course at Innisbrook Golf Resort in Palm Harbor, Fla., and the $100,000 Volvik Championship, to be played September 20-22 on the Palmer Course at Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Fla.
“The Symetra Tour continues to serve as the best pipeline for players to reach the dream of playing on the LPGA,” said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “As the Road to the LPGA grows, our main focus is to provide our players with great golf courses on which to compete every week while delivering corporate America the best value in professional sports.”
As the Road to the LPGA embarks on its 33rd season, the addition of three new multi-year title partners for existing tournaments speaks volumes to the Symetra Tour’s growth and attractiveness to corporate sponsors. Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company has signed-on to sponsor the Guardian Retirement Championship set to take place April 26-28 at Sara Bay Country Club in Sarasota Fla.; two neighboring towns in Illinois have come together to title-sponsor longstanding Decatur-Forsyth Classic Presented by Tate and Lyle, to be played June 14-16 at Hickory Point Golf Club in Decatur, IL.; and Symetra has added an additional facet to its umbrella partnership of the LPGA’s developmental tour, agreeing to title-sponsor the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship.
Last season, LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan presented the top-10 money winners in the Volvik Race for the Card with fully exempt membership on the 2013 LPGA Tour at a ceremony following the final event of the season in Daytona Beach. This year, the Symetra Tour Championship marks the culminating event on this year’s schedule and has increased from a 54-hole tournament to a 72-hole event finale. The Symetra Tour Championship serves as the only four-day event on the 2013 schedule and will feature a 120-player field vying for a $125,000 total purse.
Continuing the trend of positive momentum for the Symetra Tour, this year marks the second year in the Tour’s 33-year history that the top-10 Symetra Tour players on the season-ending Volvik Race for the Card standings will earn fully-exempt LPGA Tour status for the following year.
Several stars of the LPGA Tour got their start on the Symetra Tour including 27-time LPGA Tour winner, Lorena Ochoa, 2011 U.S. Solheim Cup Team member, Vicky Hurst, and 2012 Vare Trophy winner, Inbee Park.
About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA, is the official developmental tour of the LPGA and enters its 33rd competitive season in 2013. With the support of its umbrella partner, Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. 2013 marks the second season that the top-10 money winners will receive full, equal status for the following season on the LPGA Tour. With more than 500 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 371 LPGA titles, including 40 major championships. Symetra Tour events have contributed more than $5 million to charitable organizations throughout the nation since 1989. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.
Topics: News Release