Top college golfers from five Michigan schools, along with six Symetra Tour standouts with Big 10 connections will have a chance to compete for the sponsor’s exemption in the 2017 Volvik LPGA Championship. The Great Lakes Shootout takes place on May 16 at Travis Pointe Country Club. The Volvik Championship will run May 25-28.
“The exemption is always of interest to golfers looking for the opportunity to play on a professional tour, and this shootout will be an exciting way for a player to earn that slot,” said Keith Karbo, Tournament Director of the LPGA Volvik Championship. “Our idea to was to have local universities who have been supporting our tournament along with the best of the Symetra Tour competing to gain that coveted spot in the main event.”
The Great Lakes Shootout will begin with nine holes of stroke play. Immediately following, the top four of the eleven players will move on to the shootout. Taking place over holes 16, 17 and 18, the shootout will eliminate the player on each hole with the lowest score. The surviving player receives the Volvik sponsor’s exemption.
Michigan colleges participating are The University of Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Wayne State and Detroit Mercy.
Currently eleven Symetra Tour players are in contention for the remaining six spots. In money list order, they are:
- Rachel Rohanna (Ohio State)
- Elizabeth Tong (Indiana)
- Emma Jandel (Ohio State)
- Allyssa Ferrell (Michigan State)
- Liz Nagel (Michigan State)
- Lindsay McPherson (Michigan State)
- Christine Meier (Michigan State)
- Maddie Shiels (Nebraska)
- Amy Ihm (Iowa)
- Laura Kueny (Michigan State)
- Kaitlin Park (Northwestern)
If a player in the top six cannot compete, then the next one on the list will be entered.
Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour said that players were excited about the opportunity.
“There are so many talented players from the Big Ten that play the Symetra Tour each year and this is a great way to give them a chance to compete for a spot in a LPGA event,” Nichols said. “Volvik is a major sponsor of the Symetra Tour and the LPGA Volvik Championship, so it made sense to connect the tours.”
Nichols noted that Volvik’s relationship with the LPGA actually began with the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s developmental tour. Each year, ten LPGA Tour cards are awarded to the top finishing players on the Symetra Tour. Volvik is the official golf ball of the Symetra Tour and the sponsor for the Volvik Race for the Card.
“The players call the Volvik balls on the driving range their ‘Easter Eggs’,” Nichols joked, referring to Volvik’s brightly colored balls.