TUCSON, Ariz. — The third stop on the 2020 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Symetra Tour to Sewailo Golf Club in the Grand Canyon State for the inaugural Casino Del Sol Golf Classic, April 15-18.
A purse of $200,000 awaits the 120-player field set to compete in a 72-hole stroke play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. The winner’s share for this event is $30,000.
Action gets underway at 7:00 a.m. PDT all four days. A trophy presentation on No. 18 green is set to follow final round play.
SEVERAL COLLEGIATE TIES AT THIRD STOP
Eight players with collegiate ties to Arizona are in the field. Arizona State University has two representatives in Roberta Liti (Siena, Italy) and Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden). Meanwhile, the University of Arizona leads the way with six Wildcats in the field, including current team members Yu-Chiang Hou (Taipei, Chinses Taipei) and Yu-Sang Hou (Taipei, Chinses Taipei), as well as four alumnae in Brittany Benvenuto (Langhorne, Pennsylvania), Alejandra Llaneza (Mexico City, Mexico), Krystal Quihuis (Tucson, Arizona) and Gigi Stoll (Beaverton, Oregon).
“Playing in Arizona is always special because it’s my second home. On top of that, I played at Sewailo Golf Club in college, so it brings back great memories,” said Liti. “I am excited to see it up this week and bring on some Sun Devil pride.”
COUNTRIES (AND STATES) OF THE CASINO DEL SOL GOLF CLASSIC
A total of 30 countries are represented this week at the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic, led by the United States with 54 players then followed by the Sweden with seven.
“I am proud of how our country is helping and educating players to succeed. Whether it has been on the Symetra Tour, when I was younger or when I competed on the National Team, representing Sweden is something that has always been special to me,” said Michaela Finn (Brastad, Sweden). “It is fun to travel on the Symetra Tour and see so many players from our country play and compete.”
Individuals from 23 states are also set to tee it up at Sewailo Golf Club. California fields the most players with 10, while one player is from the host state.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to play in my hometown with friends and family to be able to come out and watch,” said Krystal Quihuis. “Having this prestigious tournament hosted at Sewailo Golf Club is great for the community and as a Pascua Yaqui Native it’s an honor to represent and be a role model for Native children to dream big.”
ROOKIES APLENTY IN THE GRAND CANYON STATE
Numerous professionals in their first year on the Symetra Tour have made the trek to Pima County, as 16 rookies are in the field and eager for the third event of the Symetra Tour season.
Among them is Julienne Soo (Melbourne, Australia). The alumna of Oklahoma University is coming back to the states this week to continue her rookie season. Soo was named twice to the All Big-12 teams and was named a Golfweek All-America Team honorable mention while competing for the Sooners.
“I am so excited to get back out on the Symetra Tour and continue my rookie season. I learned so much from last year’s season and have prepared for this year during my break back in Australia,” said Soo. “I am looking forward to playing and getting back into the swing of things.”
RACE FOR THE CARD UPDATE
The Symetra Tour annually awards LPGA Tour membership to the top players on the season-ending money list. The top five shuffled after the IOA Championship. All members from the group are in Tucson including Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China) protecting her spot at the top the of the list for a second week.
“I am looking forward to week-three as the current No. 1 on the money list. This is my first time playing this course, so I am definitely excited about the challenge,” said Liu. “I probably won’t think about the money list too much during the week since it’s still the beginning of the season and just want to go out there and have fun.”
From 1999-2002, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA handed out three cards. Then from 2003-2007, that number increased to five before 10 were distributed starting in 2008. Since the inaugural year, a total of 162 players have graduated to the big stage.