New professional will head right from Stage I of LPGA Qualifying Tournament to Symetra Tour event
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA, August 11, 2017 - The Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour for the LPGA, announced on Friday that the 2017 NCAA individual national champion, Monica Vaughn, has accepted a sponsors exemption to compete in the third annual Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge from August 31 through September 3 at Willow Run Golf Course in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Vaughn, who recently finished her collegiate career at Arizona State, joins an already impressive field of 144 professionals competing for the largest purse on Tour of $210,000 and a winner’s payout of $31,500. The top four finishers at the 2016 Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge all earned their LPGA Tour cards for this season.
“I am so excited to play in the GreatLIFE Challenge in Sioux Falls,” said Vaughn. “I have never been to South Dakota and it will be my first Symetra Tour event. I feel very honored that I was chosen as the sponsors exemption and I’m really looking forward to an awesome week in Sioux Falls getting to play the game I love and getting the feel for tour life.”
Vaughn won a litany of national awards in 2017. She was the Pac-12 Women’s Golfer of the Year, a WGCA First Team All-American and captured the Honda Award for Golf, given annually to the top player in the country. Vaughn notched nine top 10 finishes as senior and 25 over her stellar four year career.
Since graduating from Arizona State, Vaughn made her professional debut at the Marathon Classic on the LPGA Tour. She missed the cut by just a shot after a second-round 3-under, 69.
“Monica is a rising star in the game of women’s golf and one of our goal’s with the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge is to showcase the best up-and-comers in the game,” said Tournament Director Jason Sudenga. “Last year, Nelly Korda won our tournament is now a top 50 player on the LPGA. We think Monica has that type of potential and are excited to have the reigning NCAA national champ in our field in Sioux Falls.”
The week prior to the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, Vaughn will begin the process of attempting to earn LPGA Tour membership at Stage I of LPGA Qualifying Tournament in Rancho Mirage, California.
“I feel very confident since winning the national championship, but I haven’t let it slow me down,” explained Vaughn. “I know there is still plenty of work to do on my game and the more tournaments I play in as a professional, the more comfortable I get. I am at a whole new level now, with even more extremely talented players so I know that I will have to prove myself out here.”
The Reedsport, Oregon native was a two-time state champion in high school (2011, 2013) and was the 2010 Oregon Golf Association Golfer of the Year.
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.