road to ladies professional golf goes through Pinehurst

Thousands of elite women athletes from around the world dream that someday they will play at the highest level of professional golf.

This week, that dream will be closer to reality as they play in the Carolina Golf Classic on Pinehurst No. 9. The event is part of the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour.

The Pinehurst tour stop will be the next to last tournament on a 10 event schedule that began in March. Players earn prize money depending on where they finish each week. The purse this week will be $200,000, the largest of the season. The winner’s share for the event is $30,000. 

The top-five players at the end of the year will earn their LPGA Tour cards for the 2021 season. Also, they will all be awarded entry by the USGA into the 2020 U.S. Women’s Open at Champions Golf Club in December.

Entering the week, Anna Redding from Concord, North Carolina is in 4th place with $35,354. A rookie this year, Anna is a University of Virginia alumni. She is no stranger to playing in Pinehurst, having played exceptionally well in the North & South Amatur Championships over the past few years. 

The last event for the year will be next week in Davison, North Carolina at River Run Country Club.

“We are excited to conclude the 40th Symetra Tour season with back-to-back events in North Carolina,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “We are particularly grateful to organizations like BlueCross BlueShield North Carolina, who has joined our efforts this year to support our mission of empowering our female athletes to pursue their dreams of playing on the LPGA Tour.”

A total of nine individuals with ties to four different North Carolina institutions for higher education are featured among the competition in the Tar Heel State, according to Tour Media Official Ali Palma. 

The University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and North Carolina State are represented by one individual each in Lori Beth Adams (Burlington, NC) and Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario). Duke University is represented by two Blue Devils in this week’s field in Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) and Laetitia Beck (Caesarea, Israel).

Meanwhile, five Demon Deacons from Wake Forest are in Pinehurst including Emilia Migliaccio (Cary, North Carolina), Cheyenne Woods (Phoenix, Arizona), Nannette Hill (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida), Allison Emrey (Charlotte, North Carolina), and Sierra Sims (Tampa, Florida).

“It’s always nice playing in North Carolina representing UNCW. I love coming back to Pinehurst, feels like a second home to me,” said Adams. “I have family in Pinehurst so it’s always a good time staying with them. Thank you to both Symetra and Blue Cross NC for putting this event on.”

Play begins on Wednesday morning and concludes on Saturday. Spectators will be admitted for free but will be asked to walk as no golf carts will be available. Temperature checks will be required for everyone as they enter the grounds.

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 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.

Photo by Melissa Schaub.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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