SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The 2018 Potawatomi Cup kicks off with the 7th annual Four Winds Invitational from June 8-10 at Blackthorn Golf Club, the first of four Symetra Tour events sponsored by Potawatomi nation tribes.
“We are thrilled to host the Four Winds Invitational for a seventh year and to be able to start the fifth edition of the Potawatomi Cup is an honor,” said Tim Firestone, the Four Winds Invitational tournament director and owner of Blackthorn Golf Club. “Our vision of providing women golf professionals the opportunity to chase their dreams is not only fulfilled with the Four Winds Invitational, but taken to another level thanks to our partnership with the other Potawatomi nation tribes.”
The other three tournaments on the schedule that are part of the Potawatomi Cup include the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., from June 22-24; PHC Classic at Brown Deer Golf Course in Milwaukee, Wis., from Aug. 10-12; and the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich., from Aug. 17-19.
In addition to the normal purse payout for each event, a total of $40,000 in bonus money is available to players based on performance, including $6,000 to the winner of the Potawatomi Cup. First through fifth place in each of the four tournaments receives an added incentive on top of their share. The winner will take home an additional $3,000 and second place collects $2,500. Furthermore, third place earns $1,500, with amounts from there for the final two spots decreasing in increments of $500.
“This is a really fun, but highly competitive component to the Symetra Tour schedule that keeps our summer stretch fresh and even more intriguing,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. “We’ve had very deserving champions of the Potawatomi Cup over the years and look forward to another future star of the LPGA continue to make a name for herself with the help of the Potawatomi nation tribes.”
Last year, Benyapa Niphatsophon (Bangkok, Thailand) captured the Potawatomi Cup thanks to a tied for fourth finish at the Four Winds Invitational, tied for second result at the Island Resort Championship and going solo second at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. She earned a total of $14,250 in bonus money, edging out Erynne Lee (Silverdale, Washington), who came in a close second.
The inaugural Potawatomi Cup was won by Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea) in 2014, with Annie Park (Levittown, N.Y.) coming out the victor in 2015 and Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium) in 2016. Kwak is in the field for the Four Winds Invitational, as she begins the quest of trying to become the first two-time Potawatomi Cup winner in Symetra Tour history.