FireKeepers to bring Symetra Tour back to Battle Creek
(Battle Creek, MI.) April 26, 2016 –The future stars of women’s golf will battle it out for a $100,000 purse as the 3rd Annual FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship will be held Friday, July 22, through Sunday, July 24, at Battle Creek Country Club. FireKeepers Casino Hotel owned and operated by the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi (NHBP) presents the event in partnership with the 2016 Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA. The event will feature professional women golfers from around the world competing for a chance to win the top prize of $15,000 plus points in the chase for the Potawatomi Cup and a bonus prize pool of $40,000.
A first time Symetra Tour prize adds an awesome special reward for the 2016 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Golf Tournament top finishers. New this year, the Symetra Tour-Road to the LPGA, in conjunction with The Evian Championship will send the FireKeepers’ winner and runner-up to play in The Evian Championship, the fifth and final major on the LPGA schedule located in France. This is the first time in history that players will earn spots in an LPGA major tournament based off a finish at a Symetra Tour event.
Defending champion Madeline Sheils will be playing in the tournament again this year. Sheils birdied two of her final four holes and carded a 4-under 68 on the final day for the come from behind victory in the 2015 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship.
The Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA is the most established development tour in the world. Every year, the top 10 Symetra Tour players earn automatic membership to play on the LPGA Tour. The mission of the tour is to develop the skills and dreams of women professional golfers. In 2014, Min Seo Kwak won the title at the first annual FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship and a spot on the LPGA Tour.
“In addition to $100,000 in prize money, the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship offers two players an opportunity to play in an LPGA major, so we anticipate hosting an outstanding field of women golfers,” states Brian Decorah, CEO of FireKeepers Casino Hotel. “This is one of my favorite weeks of the entire year and the staff is putting together a tournament that is bigger and better than ever!”
The Evian Championship, which became the fifth LPGA major in 2013, will be contested the week of September 15-18 at Evian Resort Golf Club in France. The total purse for the event is $3.25 million and the winner will earn $487,500. Last year, Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No. 1 Lydia Ko won the Evian Championship, becoming the youngest player ever to win an LPGA major championship.
FireKeepers Casino Hotel will donate all proceeds earned from the event to S.A.F.E. Place Women’s Shelter. S.A.F.E. Place is committed to helping victims of domestic violence and their families in Barry, Eaton, and Calhoun Counties. They provide shelter, court advocacy, referrals and comprehensive counseling programs for women and children who have been physically, verbally, or emotionally abused. Tickets for the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship will be available for donation at the main entrance.
The week leading up to the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship also encompasses several community outreach programs including Outside the Ropes and a Kids Clinic. Outside the Ropes sends professional golfers around Battle Creek to give back to the community. In 2015, professional golfers visited the South Central Humane Society and several other local charitable organizations. The 2016 Kids Clinic will bring children from a local school to the Battle Creek Country Club for a day of fun, learning and enjoyment with the professional golfers.
“The community involvement in the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Golf Championship is the key to making this event a success,” states Vice President of Hotel Operations and Tournament Director Kathy George. “We have had amazing sponsors and volunteers the past two years and we are looking forward to adding many more this year. We are looking forward to welcoming all spectators to cheer on the future stars of the LPGA! ”
The Battle Creek Country Club, designed by Willie Park Jr., opened in 1919 and is located at 318 Country Club Dr. in Battle Creek, Michigan. This private members only course features 6,744 yards of golf and a beautiful club house overlooking Goguac Lake.