The Symetra Tour, the official qualifying Tour for the LPGA, recently wrapped up the fourth annual Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club. The field of 144 players from the United States and 30 countries around the globe competed for a $100,000 tournament purse. The top 10 on the final money list at the end of the season earn LPGA Tour membership.
This was the third event of the 2017 Symetra Tour season. The Tour plays 22 times in 14 different states. The Symetra Tour has grown tremendously over the last five years from a 15-event schedule to a 22-event schedule. Purses have also doubled in the last four years.
The Symetra Tour is billed as the home for the future stars of the LPGA. You may not know many of the players that competed in this year’s Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club, but many will become household names. Names like Inbee Park, Mo Martin, Lorena Ochoa, Gerina Piller, Cheyenne Woods, Brooke Henderson and Nelly Korda all came through the Tour at one point. Former Symetra Tour players have captured 422 LPGA Tour titles.
The 2015 championship was special at Longbow Golf Club. Local Chandler native Hannah O’Sullivan got into the event on a sponsors exemption and made history by becoming the youngest player ever to win a Symetra Tour. She was only 16 years old. Many believe that Hannah has a chance to become a star on the LPGA one day.
The Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club is much more than a professional golf tournament. On Tuesday of tournament week, the Symetra Tour and the First Tee of Phoenix hosted the largest junior clinic of the season at Longbow Golf Club. Over 300 students from Mesa Public Schools came out to learn about golf, the golf swing and more. The kids even had a chance to ask the professional golfers questions following the clinic. On Wednesday, local members of the Mesa business community had the chance to play in the pro-am with Symetra Tour professionals.
The tournament started on Thursday, March 30 and concluded on Saturday, April 1. This was the fourth year that the Symetra Tour has come to Mesa.
Note: Tournament had not been completed prior to press time for Arizona Golfer.