MAINEVILLE, Ohio — Only two days away from the start of the inaugural Prasco Charity Championship, four featured groups highlight the 144-player field that will compete for a $100,000 purse from June 29-July 1 at TPC River’s Bend.
8:25 A.M. - No. 1 Tee - Maia Schechter, Ruixin Liu, Isi Gabsa
The last three Symetra Tour event winners head off No. 1 tee on Friday at 8:25 a.m. to each begin their quest of becoming the first two-time champion on Tour this season.
Maia Schechter (Chapel Hill, N.C.) started out the four-week June stretch on the road to the LPGA Tour by capturing the title at the 7th annual Four Winds Invitational, her first professional win. She has also finished tied for 29th on two occasions this season, including last week at the Island Resort Championship. The performances have Schechter ranked No. 10 in the Volvik Race for the Card.
Being the most recent Symetra Tour champion, Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) enters coming off her first victory in her second year on Tour. It propelled her into the Volvik Race for the Card top-10, where she now finds herself at No. 5. Liu also has one other top-five finish this season, as well as three additional top-25 results.
Last but not least, Isi Gabsa (Munich, Germany) was also a first-time winner this month when she brought home the Forsyth Classic trophy. Her best finish prior to that was a tied for third showing at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic. In total, Gabsa has four top-15 finishes in her third season on Tour, leading to her No. 4 position in the Volvik Race for the Card.
1:24 P.M. - No. 10 Tee - Morgane Metraux, Cheyenne Knight, Jillian Hollis
A few players with highly decorated collegiate careers that joined the Symetra Tour mid-season comprise Group 34 that will start on No. 10 tee at 1:24 p.m. in the first round.
Morgane Metraux (Lausanne, Switzerland) missed the cut in her Symetra Tour debut at the Four Winds Invitational, but has steadily improved ever since with a tied for 53rd finish and tied for 22nd result the last two weeks, respectively. A two-time All-American Honorable Mention by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) and two-time All-ACC selection, Metraux concluded her time at Florida State University as one of the top golfers in school history.
Next in the pairing is Cheyenne Knight (Aledo, Texas), a three-time WGCA First Team All-American. The former University of Alabama star opened her professional golf career at the Four Winds Invitational and has made the cut in all three of her starts, each time finishing inside the top-30. Also a three-time First Team All-SEC performer and the 2017 SEC Player of the Year, Knight looks to continue her rise with a strong performance at TPC River’s Bend.
Finally, an Ohio native in Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio) rounds out the group. In her first Symetra Tour event at the 34th annual Forsyth Classic, Hollis finished second after falling on the fourth hole of a sudden-death playoff. The three-time All-American and three-time All-SEC performer for the University of Georgia is already ranked No. 29 in the Volvik Race for the Card. She also shattered the Georgia stroke average record, concluding this season with a 71.04 mark.
1:57 P.M. - No. 1 Tee - Dottie Ardina, Elizabeth Szokol, Stephanie Meadow
Another pairing with three members of the Volvik Race for the Card top-10 (only this group features three of the top-six performers) open their bid for the inaugural Prasco Charity Championship prize at 1:57 p.m. off No. 1 tee.
Recently, Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines) decided to focus her attention on the remainder of the 2018 Symetra Tour schedule with the objective of finishing in the top-10 to obtain full LPGA Tour membership. A smart call by many standards, as it has only taken her five events to claim the No. 2 spot in the Volvik Race for the Card. Ardina had consecutive solo second finishes at the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic and Symetra Classic, with two top-25 results the last two weeks.
The next individual in this trio is Elizabeth Szokol (Winnetka, Illinois), who sits just behind Ardina in the Volvik Race for the Card at No. 3. Following her win at the IOA Invitational, she earned four straight top-30 results, including one top-five and two other top-20s. Szokol is coming off only her second missed cut of the season, both of which she ended at 7-over par.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Meadow (Jordanstown, Northern Ireland) checks in at No. 6 when it comes to the Volvik Race for the Card, but has one of the more impressive résumés. The former four-time First Team All-American for the University of Alabama has only missed one cut in 2018 and earned six top-10 finishes in nine total starts. Meadow concluded last week tied for 41st at Sweetgrass Golf Club and will look to continue her impressive production in Ohio.
1:57 P.M. - No. 10 Tee - Pavarisa Yoktuan, Madison Pressel, Lori Beth Adams
Our final featured pairing tees off No. 10 on Friday at 1:57 p.m. and includes three individuals that have had a surge of recent success.
Since her season debut at the IOA Invitational when she missed the cut, Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand) has turned in six straight weeks with a payday. During that span, she has five top-20 results with a season-best tied for third finish in Davidson, N.C., for the Symetra Classic. Last week, Yoktuan tied for ninth as she continues to climb the ladder on the road to the LPGA.
Another player that has developed some increased consistency is Madison Pressel (Boca Raton, Florida). A former champion on the Symetra Tour, Pressel has three top-30 finishes over her last four starts, including a tied for ninth result last week at the Island Resort Championship. The University of Texas alumna, who was an All-Big 12 performer and Big 12 Player of the Year for the Longhorns, will aim for a fifth career top-10 this week.
Lori Beth Adams (Burlington, N.C.) is the final piece to this puzzle. The former two-time First Team All-Colonial Athletic Association at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington has only missed one cut in seven starts this season. Of the six tournaments she has earned money, Adams has not finished worse than tied for 46th. Entering the inaugural Prasco Charity Championship, she is looking to build off a tied for second performance in Harris, Mich., last week.