(FRENCH LICK) – Women’s professional golf returns to the historic French Lick Resort this week as future stars of the LPGA Tour compete in the Symetra Tour’s third annual Donald Ross Classic July 11-13.
The acclaimed Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort will host 144 of the top rising talents in women’s golf as they compete for a share of the 54-hole stroke-play tournament’s $225,000 prize purse (The winner’s share is $33,750). After 36 holes of championship play, the top 60 players and ties will compete for a share of the third-highest purse on the 2019 Symetra Tour schedule.
The three-round tournament is the signature event of a week-long celebration of women’s golf hosted by Resort Charities, the charitable foundation of French Lick Resort, with proceeds from the festivities benefiting the Orange County Habitat for Humanity. The week kicks off with a pairings party Tuesday, July 10 followed by the popular Symetra Tour Pro-Am on Wednesday July 11.
Headlining the field are the top-two leading money winners on the Symetra Tour’s Volvik Race for the Card. Perrine Delacour of France has already collected two Symetra Tour victories and eight top-10 finishes this season. Second-year pro Jillian Hollis, an Ohio native and former three-time All-American at the University of Georgia, is also a two-time winner this season with six top-ten finishes. Both players appear bound for the LPGA in 2020.
Two young players with local ties received special exemptions into the Donald Ross Classic field. Evansville native and second-year professional Taylor Howerton, a standout player at Indiana University and the University of Southern Indiana received a special exemption into the event along with Elizabeth Tong, a three-time winner at Indiana University (from 2011 to 2015).
“It’s really cool to be back competing in Indiana. To received an exemption into this field and to be received warmly by this community re-confirms to me that Indiana really is my second home,” Tong, a Thornhill, Ontario, Canada native said. “The Ross Course is very strategic. If you know where to place shots, you can hit it close and score. If you don’t, it can really go the other way.”
Greenwood, Indiana’s Erica Shepherd, a heralded local amateur and Duke University commit, was scheduled to be in the field, but accepted an exemption to participate in this week’s LPGA Marathon Classic in Toledo, OH. While defending champion Stephanie Kono (Honolulu, Hawaii) will also not be in this year’s field (having earned Priority List Category 14 status for this LPGA Tour season),
“We will miss having Erica and Stephanie compete this week, but it is very exciting to see both of them pursuing their dreams to compete on the LPGA Tour. Opportunities like this is exactly what the Symetra Tour likes to see, and further solidifies the talent of the young women who will be competing here this week,” says French Lick’s director of golf Dave Harner. “We are very excited to have all of these women from the Symetra Tour here this week, continuing the rich legacy of women’s golf which began with the LPGA’s 1958 French Lick Open.”
The Orange County Habitat for Humanity provides a major impact on the French Lick community and the surrounding region by providing home ownership opportunities to low income families through the building of new single-family dwellings using donated materials and labor. Since 1992, the organization has developed and constructed 27 new homes for Orange County residents.
“To be able to celebrate women’s golf and support an outstanding organization like Habitat for Humanity that will impact so many families in our region is a huge honor for our staff and all involved,” continued Harner.
Come out and join Indiana’s premier resort destination for an exciting event that will have a major impact on the community. Below is the schedule of events.
- Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Symetra Tour Pro-Am Pairings Party
- Tuesday, July 9, 2019 – Donald Ross Classic Youth Clinic – Valley Links Course
- Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Symetra Tour Pro-Am – Donald Ross Course
- Thursday, July 11, 2019 – Championship Round 1 – Symetra Tour Donald Ross Classic
- Friday, July 12, 2019 – Championship Round 2 – Symetra Tour Donald Ross Classic
- Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Championship Final Round – Symetra Tour Donald Ross Classic