Schedule features largest total and average purse in 35-year history of Tour; Seven new events added for 2015
Daytona Beach, Fla., February 5, 2015 – The Symetra Tour, the Road to the LPGA, is excited to unveil its 2015 schedule. The top up-and-coming professionals from around the world will compete in 23 events, the most in the last 27 years. The schedule also features a total purse of $2.73 million, the largest in the history of the Tour.
Since 2013, the Tour schedule has grown from 15 events to 23 events and the total purse has jumped from $1.65 million to $2.73 million. A total of 16 new events have been added since 2012.
“I’m pleased to announce a schedule that affords our aspiring LPGA professionals an opportunity to play more times, for more money, on better courses with a better geographic flow,” said Chief Business Officer, Mike Nichols. “This year we took another big step forward in continuing to make the Symetra Tour a first-class proving ground to identify the next generation of LPGA stars.”
The 2015 season begins the week of Feb.16-22 with the Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona and runs through the Symetra Tour Championship the week of October 12-18.
Players will once again be competing for ten 2016 LPGA Tour cards determined through the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top ten money earners following the Symetra Tour Championship, the week of October 19-25, will earn LPGA Tour cards.
“The Symetra Tour is experiencing impressive growth, not only with events and purses, but also with the demand among top players wanting to be Tour members,” said LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan. “It’s exciting that players from the US and all over the world, now come to North America to play a full tour schedule, compete against strong fields on great venues, and have the ability to play their way onto the LPGA Tour.”
The 2015 schedule features seven brand new events. Five of the seven events have been announced and two more will be unveiled in the near future. The five announced events are the Tullymore Classic in Canadian Lakes, Michigan, the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Classic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the GreatLIFE Sioux Falls Challenge in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the Toyota Danielle Downey Classic in Rochester, New York and the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout in El Dorado, Arkansas.
There are 16 returning events including the Decatur Forsyth Classic, which enters its 31st year of play in Decatur, Illinois.
The schedule also includes the redesigned Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial, which will feature a Symetra Tour event played concurrently with a Legends Tour event, pairing young stars with LPGA Hall of Famers like Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley and Beth Daniel. The tournaments will take place in Fort Myers, Florida at Cypress Lake Country Club, the home of Patty Berg.
In an ongoing effort to closer replicate the LPGA Tour experience, there will be five 72-hole events in 2015, an increase from two in 2014. The Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial, Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic, Toyota Danielle Downey Classic, GreatLIFE Sioux Falls Challenge and the Symetra Tour Championship will all be four round events.
The Symetra Tour will once again have a strong presence in the state of Florida. The third event of the year is the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at Lake Wales Country Club. After a two-week break in the schedule, the Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial starts the week of April 13-19 in Fort Myers followed by the Guardian Retirement Championship at Sara Bay in Sarasota the week of April 20-26.
The state of Michigan has become a home for the Symetra Tour with three events in 2015. The FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship at Battle Creek Country Club returns for a second year the week of June 1-7. The Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris returns for a fifth year the week of June 22-28. The newest event in the state is the Tullymore Classic in Canadian Lakes the week of June 29-July 5.
The busiest part of the schedule starts with the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic in Greenwood the week of May 4-10. The Mission Health Wellness Classic at Country Club of Asheville is the following week and then the Symetra Classic in Charlotte rounds out a three-week stretch. After one week off, the Tour heads to the Midwest for five consecutive events. The Symetra Tour will play eight of nine weeks between early May and early June.
There are now five events sponsored by Potawatomi Nation tribes with the addition of the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Classic at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in Milwaukee. In 2015, the Potwatomi Cup will award a minimum incentive based bonus of $50,000 to players that perform best at the five Potawatomi events.
- The last time the Symetra Tour had more events on the schedule was 1988. The 2015 schedule is the first to feature over 20 events since 1989.
- 16 new tournaments have been added since the end of the 2012 season.
- Total tournament purses are up 72% over the last two years.
- There are five four round events, up from two in 2014.
- The Tour will visit a record 14 different states in 2015.
Media Contact: Bret Lasky, Coordinator, Symetra Tour Media,