WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The tournament field for the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic is set, as of Tuesday, March 6, with 132 players ready to battle for a purse of $125,000.
Olivia Jordan-Higgins (St. Helier, Jersey), the 2017 champion, looks to successfully defend her crown when play begins on Friday, March 16, at the Country Club of Winter Haven.
“We are excited for this 10th anniversary of the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic and happy to be a part of the first stop on the Symetra Tour this year,” said Nikki Hayde, President of the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. “Florida's Natural Charity Classic has an impressive list of ladies playing next week and we are thrilled for them to be in Winter Haven. The event is our primary fundraiser for the Foundation and we look forward to a great turnout.”
First and second round action gets underway at 8:15 a.m. on March 16 and 17, respectively. After 36 holes, the field will be cut to the low 60 players and ties. The final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, March 18.
A total of 28 countries will be represented, as well as 20 total states. In addition, 22 rookies will make their Symetra Tour debut, including the youngest non-amateur in the field, 17-year-old Youngin Chun (Gainesville, Florida).
“Our players have worked diligently in preparation for the 2018 season. We are thrilled to welcome them to the 10th annual Florida’s Natural Charity Classic,” said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. “The Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation and Country Club of Winter Haven has established what is sure to be an outstanding week of golf, including the ushering in of the next generation of future LPGA stars.”
Two amateurs also find themselves in the field, including Angelina Ye (Bradenton, Florida), the youngest competitor at 16 years old. In January, Ye won the Annika Invitational USA presented by Rolex to earn the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) exemption into this event.
As the first of 21 tournaments on the 2018 Symetra Tour schedule, Florida’s Natural Charity Classic begins the season-long Race for the Card. The top-10 players on the money list at the end of the year will earn a LPGA Tour card for 2019.