LPGA Symetra Tour Coming to South Dakota for First Time
Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge will feature top professional golfers from all over world
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., September 3, 2014 – The Symetra Tour, the Road to the LPGA, is excited to the announce the formation of the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge from September 3-6, 2015 at Willow Run Golf Course in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge will be the first Symetra Tour event in the state of South Dakota in the 35-year history of the Tour.
The idea for the event was born when The Sioux Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) first made contact with LPGA representatives in 2013, and again in 2014, at the National Association of Sports Commission (NASC) Trade Show. The CVB flew the leadership in to Sioux Falls for a site visit in June of this year as part of the bureau’s “SeeForFree” marketing program to secure new business to Sioux Falls.
“Our team at GreatLIFE is thrilled and honored to host the first ever LPGA Symetra Tour event in our home town of Sioux Falls,” said Tom Walsh Sr., President of GreatLIFE. “We are also delighted that our local LPGA rising star Kim Kaufman is here to help kick-off the 2015 Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge.”
The tournament will feature a 72-hole stroke play format with a cut after second-round play on Friday. The final-round will be contested on Sunday, September 6. The Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge is one of just four 72-hole events currently scheduled for 2015.
The top 144 professionals on Tour will compete for a minimum purse of $150,000, which awards $22,500 to the winner.
“We’re excited to bring our talented professional golfers to the state of South Dakota for the very first time,” said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “Through the vision of Tom and his team at GreatLIFE as well as the staff at the CVB, I am confident that this event will be one of the most successful on our Tour in year one.”
The Symetra Tour serves as a proving ground for professional golfers to reach the LPGA Tour. The top-10 on the year-end Volvik Race for the Card money list earn their LPGA Tour cards. This year, Tour graduate Mo Martin, who played on the Symetra Tour from 2006-2011, won the RICOH Women’s British Open, the 45th LPGA major won by a Symetra Tour graduate.
South Dakota native Kim Kaufman, who was a four-time All State selection at Clark High School, is a two-time winner on the Symetra Tour including the 2014 Volvik Championship. Kaufman graduated from the Symetra Tour to the LPGA Tour in the middle of 2014 after a tie for fourth finish at the North Texas LPGA Shootout. She currently ranks 50h on the LPGA Tour official money list.
“As a proud South Dakota native and someone that grew up playing junior golf in the state, I am ecstatic that the Symetra Tour is coming to Willow Run for the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge,” said the 6-time South Dakota Golf Association Junior Champion. “The Symetra Tour was a great training ground for me to prepare for the LPGA Tour and I think the Sioux Falls community will thoroughly enjoy watching my talented peers play.”
The Symetra Tour will come to Sioux Falls with great momentum. The Tour’s schedule expanded from 15 events in 2013 to 20 this year. The 2015 schedule, which includes the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge, is expected to feature the most events in 27 years.
This year, the Tour includes prominent names such as Cheyenne Woods, the niece of 79-time PGA TOUR winner Tiger Woods, Golf Channel’s Big Break Florida champion Jackie Stoelting and three-time winner Marissa Steen.
Some of the top players on the current Rolex World Rankings first competed on the Symetra Tour including No. 2 Inbee Park, who claimed her fifth LPGA major at the Wegmans Championship, No. 13 Lizette Sales, who won the 2014 Kingsmill Championship as well as former world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa.
For more information on the Sioux Falls GreatLIFE Challenge including sponsorship, volunteering and pro-am opportunities, visit www.GreatLIFEChallenge.com or contact Rod Garrison at 605-530-5274.
About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour, the official Road to the LPGA, is entering its 34th competitive season in 2014. With the support of its umbrella sponsor, Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. The top-10 money winners each season earn memberships on the LPGA Tour for the following season. With more than 500 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 382 LPGA titles, including 45 major championships. Symetra Tour events have contributed more than $5 million to charitable organizations throughout the nation since 1989. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.
About Great Life
GreatLIFE Malaska Golf & Fitness Club, established in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 2013, brings together golf, fitness and healthy lifestyles to enrich the lives of families in the upper Midwest. With unlimited access for members, the company is committed to offering the best in value, convenience and hospitality throughout the region. Members enjoy unlimited access to multiple golf courses and fitness centers as well as additional benefits from affiliates.
Learn more at www.joingreatlife.com.