Kelsie Passolt and Teresa Toscano receive exemptions into upcoming event at Willow Run
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, August 26, 2017 - The Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour for the LPGA, announced on Saturday that KDLT television anchor Kelsie Passolt and current South Dakota State University golfer Teresa Toscano have received sponsor exemptions into the third annual Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, which begins Thursday, August 31 at Willow Run Golf Course. The 72-hole event will conclude on Sunday, September 3.
Passolt and Toscano join a field of 144 professionals from the United States and around the world competing for a total purse of $210,000, the largest on the Symetra Tour. The winner will receive $31,500. Both Passolt and Toscano are playing in the professional tournament as amateurs.
Passolt, who was hired to anchor weeknights on KDLT in 2016, played Division I college golf from 2008-2012 at Northern Illinois. This will be her first professional golf tournament.
“I’m honored and so excited to have the rare opportunity to play golf alongside the amazingly talented women on the Symetra Tour,” said Passolt, who was born in the Minnesota suburb of Chaska and lived on Hazeltine Golf Course, site of the 2016 Ryder Cup. “I’ve learned more about my game getting ready for this event than I have in a long time. It’s been an amazing preparation process and I look forward to doing my best and having a blast at the tournament.”
While she never pursued professional golf, Passolt has stayed close to golf while climbing the ranks in the television industry. She currently gives golf lessons and donates all the money earned to the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Pink Powerhouse Pull fundraiser locally in Sioux Falls. Her program is called “Golf Lessons for Kelsie’s Cause” and the $50 an hour she charges goes straight to fight breast cancer.
“The American Cancer Society approached me with the idea that they wanted to reinvigorate their fundraising process by coming up with a new idea for the Sioux Falls area, the Pink Powerhouse Pull,” explained Passolt. “I turned to one of the few skills I have, golf, and thought that, perhaps, someone could glean knowledge from me based on my years of experience. Breast cancer, unfortunately, touches everyone’s life in one way or another. My grandmother has battled breast cancer and my aunt on my mom’s side has taken preventative measures to stave off the disease because it runs in her family. They are strong women and a huge inspiration to me.”
Toscano, a sophomore at South Dakota State University, was named Second Team All-Summit League following a strong freshman campaign in 2016-17. She finished second on the team and fourth in the league in stroke average (74.77). Her scoring average was second all-time in a single-season at SDSU. She posted one individual win and six top five finishes. Prior to SDSU, she won the Andalucía International Championship U25 title and placed third at the Valencia Championship in 2016.
“I am very excited to play in the GreatLIFE Symetra Tour professional tournament,” said Toscano, who hails from Huelva, Spain. “My dream is to one day play professionally and I am very grateful I get this opportunity to test my game against the pros. I can’t wait for next week.”
For more information about the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, visit http://greatlifechallenge.com. The tournament is still searching for more volunteers to help run the event. To volunteer, please contact Cheryl Dodd by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.