DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2018 Symetra Tour schedule is set, with the official qualifying tour of the LPGA playing 21 events in 16 states and awarding greater than $3 million in prize money for a third consecutive season.
Entering its 38th year of competition, the Tour begins play March 16-18 at the Country Club of Winter Haven in Winter Haven, Fla., for the 10th annual Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.
After a two-week break, it’s the spring run, including a pair of events hosted by key title sponsor, Insurance Office of America (IOA). From April 6-8, the Symetra Tour returns to Beaumont, Calif., for the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa. Then May 4-6, Atlanta National Golf Club in Milton, Ga., will host the IOA Invitational.
The stretch continues on the East Coast with the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic making its way back to Greenwood, S.C., from May 10-13. Following that is the Symetra Classic, returning to the greater Charlotte, N.C., area, as the tournament will be contested at River Run Country Club in Davidson. To conclude the spring slate, the inaugural Valley Forge Invitational at Raven’s Claw Golf Club in Pottstown, Pa., will take place over Memorial Day weekend, May 24-26.
Once June hits, the Midwest takes center stage. The month starts in South Bend, Ind., with the Four Winds Invitational from June 8-10 at Blackthorn Golf Club. It is the first of four events that comprise the Potawatomi Cup. A short jog over to Illinois for the Decatur-Forsyth Classic follows from June 15-17.
Then the Tour heads north to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where the Island Resort Championship will be played June 22-24 at Sweetgrass Golf Club. Finally, the Symetra Tour makes history when the Prasco Charity Championship tees up June 29-July 1 at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio, a suburb just outside of Cincinnati. It will be the first-ever women’s professional golf event played at a course owned and operated by the PGA TOUR.
With a week off for the Fourth of July, action picks up back in the Midwest, specifically Indiana. The Donald Ross Classic at the French Lick Resort from July 12-14 features a Saturday finish. Then it’s back to the East Coast for consecutive weeks in the Empire State. From July 19-22, the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic returns to Rochester, while Albany hosts the Fuccillo Kia Classic from July 27-29.
The dawg days of summer roll on August 10-12 with the PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in Milwaukee. This event will serve as the official United States qualifier for The Evian Championship for a second straight year. Meanwhile, the last stop before the final stretch comes in Battle Creek, Mich., with the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship from August 17-19.
Just like that, the Symetra Tour concludes the 2018 season with what is being called the “Million Dollar Mile,” a stretch of six consecutive events that will award more than one-third of the prize money for the entire season.
To begin the final sprint, players will compete over Labor Day weekend in the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge at Willow Run Golf Club from August 30 through September 2. That is followed by a trip to Garden City, Kan., from September 7-9 for the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes Golf Club.
Then it’s a trip to the heart of the south. The Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Ark., from September 14-16, will test player’s willpower as the six-week sprint meets its halfway point. After Arkansas, it’s a swing over to Alabama for the Guardian Championship in Prattville from September 21-23.
As the end draws near, the second to last tournament will be the third event of the year hosted by IOA, as Alaqua County Club in Longwood, Fla., welcomes the IOA Golf Classic from September 28-30.
Finally, once again in 2018, the season comes to a conclusion on No. 18 of the Jones Course at LPGA International with the Symetra Tour Championship from October 4-7. Following the tournament, the top-10 players on the season-long Race for the Card money list will earn their LPGA Tour card for the 2019 campaign.