BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — After a four-month hiatus from competition, the 2020 “Road to the LPGA” resumes with the second stop taking the Symetra Tour to Battle Creek Country Club in the Great Lakes State for the seventh annual FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship from July 24-26.
“We are excited and grateful to get back on the road,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “With support from sponsors like FireKeepers Casino Hotel—partnering with us now for seven years—we are able to start back up and provide opportunities for our members to continue to play in 2020.”
Greeting the 144-player field in Battle Creek is a total purse of $175,000. Individuals are set to compete in a 54-hole stroke play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. The winner’s share for the event is $26,250.
“FireKeepers Casino Hotel and the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi are honored to be the first stop back for the Symetra Tour,” said Tournament Director and FireKeepers Casino Hotel CEO Kathy George. “We are thrilled to have been in partnership for seven years now and look forward to having a great week of professional golf here in southwest Michigan.”
Defending champion Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) is not among the competitors, as she finished at No. 4 in the 2019 Volvik Race for the Card to secure LPGA Tour membership. The win was the first of her professional career and one of seven top-10 results in her sophomore season on the “Road to the LPGA.”
“Winning the 2019 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship is one of the top highlights for my career,” Cheng said. “It was my first victory as a professional, helped me to also win the Potawatomi Cup and is a big reason why I am back competing on the LPGA Tour this year. I’m so thankful for all that FireKeepers provides to make a difference in the community and women’s game, and help our dreams come true.”
The FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship also marks the first of two events in this year’s Potawatomi Cup series. As well as the normal purse payout for each event, players receive “Potawatomi Points” with $20,000 in bonus money to be distributed at the conclusion of the Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, Ind., from Sept. 4-6. The top five players in the points standings receive a sum from the prize pool including $10,000 to the Potawatomi Cup winner and $5,000 to the runner-up.
Action gets underway at 7:30 a.m. EDT all three days with play starting off No. 1 and No. 10 tees in each round. A trophy presentation on No. 18 green is set to follow final round play.
ABOUT THE SYMETRA TOUR
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 40th competitive season in 2020. With the support of entitlement partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7 million in prize money to a record $4.0 million in prize money awarded in 2019. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 445 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, as well as Facebook.com/Road2LPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA and Instagram @road2lpga.
Symetra Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisors. Symetra began its partnership with the Road to the LPGA in 2010 as the title sponsor of the Symetra Classic. It secured naming rights for the Symetra Tour in November 2011. In addition to its title sponsorship of the Tour, which runs through 2021, Symetra sponsors two events on the tournament schedule—the Symetra Classic and the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship. For more information about Symetra, visit www.symetra.com.