MAINEVILLE, Ohio — As the 2018 calendar closes in on the inaugural Prasco Charity Championship, two sponsor exemptions local to the greater Cincinnati area are gearing up to test their skills against Symetra Tour professionals at TPC River’s Bend from June 29 through July 1.
Recently, Katie Hallinan (Loveland, Ohio) and Alexandra Swayne (Maineville, Ohio) both received a call from Prasco Laboratories corporate advisor Tom Jones to notify them of their selection into the event.
“For months I'd been waiting for a call that might never come and to get it was an indescribable experience,” said Hallinan, who is headed to the University of Illinois in the fall. “I was speechless. It was an honor to even be considered for an exemption, but to actually have received one is unbelievable. I've spent the last decade of my life preparing for a moment like this so to say it's a dream come true is a bit of an understatement.”
Meanwhile, for Swayne, the moment and emotions it brought was very similar to Hallinan.
“I was actually a little choked up because I know that my hard work is going to give me an opportunity to compete at the highest level of golf,” said Swayne, who is a member at TPC River’s Bend and has a personal best round of 64 on the course. “I’m always preparing every day of my life to be an LPGA Tour professional. Now that I am playing in this event, I will spend a lot more time playing the course from the distances for the tournament.”
The two individuals may be connected in the sense that they both received a sponsor exemption into the Prasco Charity Championship. However, it extends well beyond this opportunity.
Swayne and Hallinan met approximately seven years ago in what was Swayne’s first competitive golf tournament she ever played in. Since, their relationship has blossomed into unique bond.
“I feel lucky to be able to play on my home course, but I feel even luckier that my good friend Katie is playing in the event,” said Swayne, the No. 1 ranked junior female golfer in the state of Ohio. “To have both of us get this opportunity is beyond amazing.”
In addition, it will be the first professional event for both players.
“The golf community around Cincinnati is filled with the most supportive and kind people,” Hallinan said. “Excited doesn't even begin to cover it. To play my first professional event in a place that has shaped me into the player and person I am today is so special. My golf journey has taken me many places, but I'm so happy to enter the next stage of it in my hometown.”
On paper, Swayne and Hallinan may just be two members of the 144-player field competing, but their game and accomplishments speak to their potential.
“These ladies have proven themselves to be the best junior players in the state of Ohio and we are excited for them and their families,” said Tom Jones, a Corporate Advisor for Prasco Laboratories. “We encourage everyone in the area to come out and cheer for Katie and Alex as they compete in their first professional golf tournament.”