MILWAUKEE, Wis. — For a second straight year, the PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in northwest Milwaukee will serve as the official United States qualifier for The Evian Championship.
As the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour, the Symetra Tour continues to live up to its name. It will be the third straight year that a Symetra Tour event has provided players the opportunity to qualify for the fifth and final major on the LPGA Tour schedule, with two spots up for grabs. In 2016, the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship was the springboard.
The fourth annual PHC Classic runs from Aug. 10-12, with The Evian Championship to follow a month later from Sept. 13-16 in Evian-les-Bains, France.
“For the second year in a row we are delighted to partner up with the Symetra Tour’s PHC Classic which will serve as the U.S. qualifier for The Evian Championship,” said Franck Riboud, chairman of The Evian Championship. “Young players need a chance to live the experience of a major as this is part of their learning process and we are pleased to guide them along this path. This initiative is totally in line with our desire to aid the promotion and growth of women's golf.”
In 2017, the field at the PHC Classic increased to 156 players to accommodate 12 additional LPGA Tour members vying for the final two spots in The Evian Championship.
Meanwhile, in addition to hosting the PHC Classic, Brown Deer Park Golf Course was home to the PGA TOUR’s U.S Bank Championship from 1994 to 2009.
“To see the world’s best up-and-coming players compete for the opportunity to play in one of the biggest LPGA events of the season is a remarkable platform for the Symetra Tour,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. “We couldn’t be happier with the strong partnership between the two events.”
Ally McDonald (Fulton, Mississippi) and Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium) finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship to qualify in 2016. Each went on to make the cut at The Evian Championship that year, with McDonald finishing tied for 30th at 1-under par and Gonzalez Escallon ending tied for 55th at 5-over par.
“As a Symetra Tour member, I was very excited for the opportunity to try and qualify for a LPGA major,” McDonald said. “Qualifying for The Evian Championship gave me the chance to compete against the best in the world before having full status on the LPGA, helping me gain experience. As a course that once hosted a PGA TOUR event, it creates a great challenge for players to qualify for the final major of the year and play with the best.”
Last year, Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario) and Marion Ricordeau (Laon, France) were the top two finishers at the PHC Classic, although both failed to make the cut in The Evian Championship.