BEAUMONT, Calif. —
Just after the 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic in early June, Reto noticed rashes appearing on her arms and back. Months passed and they persisted. Then in October she was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease, lupus.
“I had to go on a special diet to maintain a strong immune system,” said Reto. “I also have to wear long sleeves because the sun is not good for it. Very up and down, but I obviously try to look at the positives.”
Once that was figured out, she was in the clear until the Volunteers of America LPGA Texas Classic in May 2018. An ear infection was the cause of bouts with vertigo and didn’t get cured until the inaugural LPGA Q-Series last October.
She is now finally feeling healthy and that desire to compete has not faded one bit.
“The second round of the U.S. [Women’s] Open last year was the worst, hitting balls and was so dizzy,” said Reto, who represented her native country at the 2016 Summer Olympics and finished tied for 16th. “I visited the doctor a few times, they put me on a nasal spray then eardrops and finally it went away.The last few years I struggled with health, but my offseason was very productive. If you still have that fire in you, don’t give up.”
NOH NEARING SYMETRA TOUR DEBUT
She was supposed to make her Symetra Tour debut next week at the second edition of the Windsor Golf Classic, but sometimes plans change for the better like they did for Yealimi Noh (Concord, California).
In a Cactus Tour event hosted by Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in late February, she finished second behind Symetra Tour member Veronica Felibert (Caracas, Venezuela). Since the USC graduate was already in the field for the fourth annual IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, it allowed Noh to receive the exemption.
“I knew how important that Cactus Tour event was for me,” said the 17-year-old, who turned pro in January. “I have been looking for ways to play in Symetra Tour events and this played out as the perfect opportunity. My goal playing back-to-back tournaments is to do well enough to keep playing on the Symetra Tour for the rest of the season.”
IOA CHAMPIONSHIP WELCOMES WAPT SERIES I RACE EXEMPTIONS
This season marks the first in a partnership between the Symetra Tour and newly formed Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) where the top-two competitors in five tournament series earn exemption into select Symetra Tour events.
Karah Sanford (Escondido, California) and Valerie Tanguay (Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec) finished the Series I Race to the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa at No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. As she prepares for her first start on the Symetra Tour, Sanford recalled what it was like to compete on the LPGA Tour in the 2016 Volunteers of America Texas Shootout as a 14-year-old amateur.
“It was such a great experience and playing in that tournament has better prepared me for professional life,” said Sanford, who finished solo second at both events in Series I on the WAPT. “I was able to experience what it is like to compete with professionals at the highest level of women’s golf. I’ve been working so hard and playing this week shows I am even closer to my dreams and goals.”
Meanwhile, Tanguay used a tied for eighth result in the Coke Dr. Pepper Open and sudden-death playoff win at the Southwest Louisiana Open to snag the second spot for Series I.
“The opportunity provided by the Symetra Tour and WAPT is great for us to prove that we deserve a chance to play at a higher level,” Tanguay said. “It shows that just because you don’t play your best in Q-School, there is still a chance. I am super excited to see how the WAPT grows as it prepares players for the next level and beyond.”
NAVARROSA IN FIELD AS PART OF AJGA EXEMPTION
For a third consecutive year, the Symetra Tour and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) are partnering together to give three AJGA Invitational winners exemption into select Symetra Tour events and the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa is the second in 2019.
On February 18, (San Diego, California) walked away with a wire-to-wire, 12-stroke victory at the second annual Buick Shanshan Feng AJGA Girls Invitational. The performance sealed a spot in the 144-player field this week at Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.
“Being able to compete in my first Symetra Tour event due to this exemption is such an honor,” said Navarrosa, who is verbally committed to the University of Southern California and currently No. 220 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. “I can’t thank the AJGA and Symetra Tour enough for blessing me with the opportunity to be surrounded by so many great players and see some amazing golf in my first professional tournament.”