Symetra moves to Sweetgrass

Ladies pro tournament tees off Friday

HARRIS — The 12th stop on the 2019 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Symetra Tour to Sweetgrass Golf Club for this weekend’s ninth annual Island Resort Championship.

Greeting the 156-player field is a total purse of $200,000. Individuals are set to compete Friday through Sunday 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 $30,000.

Defending champion Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) is not among the competitors, as she finished No. 1 in the 2018 Volvik Race for the Card to be named Symetra Tour Player of the Year. The victory was the first of three for Liu in her sophomore season on the “Road to the LPGA” and one of 12 top-25 finishes.

Action gets underway at 6:30 a.m. (Central time) all three days with play starting off No. 1 and No. 10 tees in the first and second round. Meanwhile, all groups will head off No. 1 tee in twosomes for the final round with a trophy presentation to follow on No. 18 green.

COUPLE COLLEGIATE TIES — Three individuals with ties to Michigan institutions for higher education are featured among the competition and are names to keep an eye on once the event starts Friday.

The green and white of Michigan State University will be donned by amateur and tournament sponsor exemption Yurika Tanida (Yokohama, Japan), who just completed her sophomore campaign in East Lansing, as well as Allyssa Ferrell (Edgerton, Wis.).

Meanwhile, Grand Valley State University has one lone representative in Sarah Hoffman (Saline).

“Being a Spartan means bleeding green forever and that’s what I feel competing in Michigan,” said Ferrell. “I love to show off my green and white in every state I go to because I’m so proud of being an alumna. This event is also close to home which I love since I get to spend some extra bonus time with my puppy Breslyn.”

COUNTRIES (AND STATES) — A total of 36 countries are represented this week at the Island Resort Championship, led by the United States with 79 players then followed by Canada having the next highest of eight competitors.

Individuals from 27 different states are also set to tee it up at Sweetgrass Golf Club. Two players hail from the host state, while California boasts the most with 16.

ROOKIES APLENTY — Numerous professionals in their first year on the Symetra Tour have made the trek to Menominee County, as 44 rookies are in the field and eager for the 12th event of the Symetra Tour season.

Among them is Katie Yoo (Orlando, Fla.), who has played the weekend six times in the first 11 starts of her Symetra Tour career. The 18-year-old is fresh off a season-best tied for 16th performance at The Forsyth Classic.