DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., – The Symetra Tour has released the 2021 “Road to the LPGA” schedule, featuring 20 tournaments and $3.8 million in total purses. Since 2013, average purses have increased by 76% and total purses are up 135%. At an average purse size of $190,000 in 2021, players will compete for more money on a weekly basis than ever before in the 41-year history of the Tour.
“We are proud to unveil a schedule that includes six new title sponsors, six new venues and three existing tournaments that have increased their purse,” said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer of LPGA Qualifying Tours. “Each year, our two stated goals for the schedule are to improve the quality of the venues for both new and existing tournaments, and to increase the amount of money for which our athletes are competing for each week. We are grateful to our new host venues for welcoming us, as well as our new and familiar title partners who have demonstrated commitment to financially supporting these players who are chasing their LPGA Tour dreams.”
2021 FEATURES SIX NEW TITLE PARTNERS AND SIX NEW VENUES
Last week, the Tour announced two new Arizona-based partners — Carlisle Companies Inc. and Casino Del Sol Resort — that will be part of the West Coast swing to open the season. The Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic kicks off the 2021 campaign from March 18-21 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, while the Women’s Golf Classic at Casino Del Sol heads to Sewailo Golf Club in Tucson from April 15-18.
Between the two Arizona stops is the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, as players will return to Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in Beaumont, Calif., from March 26-28 for its typical spring date. Meanwhile, the extended Western run concludes with new host and title sponsor Copper Rock Golf Course in Hurricane, Utah, holding the inaugural Copper Rock Championship from April 22-24.
Twin Bridges joins the LPGA Tour family in 2021 as a first-time sponsor of the long-running Symetra Tour event in Albany, N.Y., relocating the tournament to Pinehaven Country Club for the Twin Bridges Championship from July 23-25. Another new tournament venue will be introduced by a familiar sponsor Four Winds Casinos as South Bend Country Club is set to host the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Ind., from Aug. 13-15.
Finally, Circling Raven Golf Club and the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel in Worley, Idaho, which was originally scheduled to join the Tour schedule in 2020, will welcome the inaugural Circling Raven Championship from Aug. 27-29. Two additional title sponsors and one new venue will be announced in the weeks to come.
PURSE INCREASES LEAD TO HIGHEST AVERAGE IN TOUR HISTORY
In 2013, when average purses totaled $108,000, the highest weekly prize on the 15-event schedule was a single tournament at $150,000. This year, increases by both the Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship in Howey-In-The-Hills, Fla., from May 28-30, and the Four Winds Invitational leads to half of the events on the 2021 schedule featuring purses of $200,000 or more. The four new tournaments on the schedule sponsored by Carlisle Companies Inc., Casino Del Sol Resort, Copper Rock Golf Course and Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel (Circling Raven Golf Club) all debut with a $200,000 purse, helping contribute to the highest average purse in Symetra Tour history.
SYMETRA TOUR ENTERS 41ST SEASON OF COMPETITION
More than 300 players from at least 40 countries hold Symetra Tour Membership in 2021. Just last year, seven different countries were represented among the 10 champions during the 2020 season (Chinese Taipei, Finland, People’s Republic of China, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United States).
Tour entitlement partner Symetra is set to host two events once again. The first is the 10th edition of the Symetra Classic to be contested in Davidson, N.C., from May 14-16 at River Run Country Club. The Symetra Tour Championship from October 7-10 will conclude the season at LPGA International in Daytona Beach.
The Potawatomi Cup also returns to the Symetra Tour calendar for a ninth straight year. The contest highlights the contributions of three member tribes from the Potawatomi Nation that host tournaments throughout the Midwest. Symetra Tour Members will compete for a $30,000 prize pool with the opening event of the three-tournament series, the Island Resort Championship, at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., from June 11-13. It will be followed by the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship from Aug. 6-8 at Battle Creek Country Club in Battle Creek, Mich., before the Four Winds Invitational wraps up the Potawatomi Cup from Aug. 13-15.
Seven other tournaments return to the Symetra Tour schedule in 2021: the Garden City Charity Classic in Garden City, Kan. (Buffalo Dunes Golf Club from April 30-May 2); the IOA Golf Classic in Longwood, Fla. (Alaqua Country Club from May 21-23); the Prasco City Championship in Maineville, Ohio (TPC River’s Bend from June 25-27); the Donald Ross Classic in French Lick, Ind. (French Lick Resort from July 8-10); the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic in Rochester, N.Y. (Brook Lea Country Club from July 15-18); the Guardian Championship in Prattville, Ala. (Capitol Hill Golf Club on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail from Sept. 18-20); and the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout in El Dorado, Ark. at the newly renovated Mystic Creek Golf Club from Sept. 24-26.
The Symetra Tour will once again partner with the Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) in 2021, with the top two finishers in each of the WAPT’s eleven tournaments through July earning a place in a subsequent Symetra Tour event. Additionally, the Top 5 players and ties on the WAPT Player of the Year Points List prior to the first stage of the LPGA Tour Q-School will earn an exemption into the second stage.
At the end of the season, the top 10 players on the official Race for the Card money list will graduate to the LPGA Tour for the 2022 season. Every year from 2008-2019, the top 10 players have been awarded LPGA Tour Membership. That will happen once again in 2021 as players look to join the 162 graduates before them who made the leap to the LPGA Tour. Those who finish from Nos. 11-35 on the official Race for the Card money list will advance to LPGA Q-Series.