Symetra Classic 2021 at River Run
DAVIDSON, NC — The sixth stop on the 2021 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Symetra Tour to River Run Country Club in the Tarheel State for the tenth annual Symetra Classic, May 14-16.
“We can’t thank River Run Country Club enough for their flexibility last year in hosting the Symetra Tour Championship”, said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of LPGA Qualifying Tours. “Now we are excited to return with the Symetra Classic where Leona Maguire claimed her second win of 2019 on her way to the LPGA Tour. We can’t wait to see who will join her next as the ‘Road to the LGPA’ standings begin to take shape.”
Greeting the 144-player field in Davidson, NC is a total purse of $175,000. Players are set to compete in a 54-hole stroke-play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes. The winner’s share for the event is $26,250.
“Last year, hosting the Symetra Tour Championship, was a week we will never forget,” said Tom White, General Manager of River Run Country Club. “We are even more excited for the Symetra Classic to return to River Run. The future stars of the LPGA always impress us, and we are honored to be just one part of their big dream.”
Defending champion Peiyun Chien (Pingtung, Chinese Taipei) is among the competitors. The victory was one of her three top-25 results last season and her second career win on the Symetra Tour. Chien finished the 2021 season No. 9 in the “Race for the Card.”
“It was great to win for a second time on the Symetra Tour last year. While it was a different location last year, I am excited to return to the Symetra Classic and defend my title,” said Chien. “I also want to thank the Symetra team for all they continue to do for us on tour and the great events they put on throughout the year.”
First and second round action gets underway at 7:30 a.m. from No. 1 and No. 10 tees on Friday and Saturday. The final round players will all tee off from No. 1 on Sunday. Trophy presentation will take place on No. 18 green when the final group finishes their round.
COLLEGE TIES RUN DEEP AT SIXTH STOP
A total of seven North Carolina institutions for higher education are featured among competition teeing it up in the Symetra Classic with names to keep an eye on once the event starts on Friday.
North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina, Wilmington, and North Carolina A&T State University each have one representative in Brittany Marchand (Orangeville, Ontario, Canada), Tar Heel State native Lori Beth Adams (Burlington, North Carolina) and Symetra Tour MVP Invite Christyn Carr (Atlanta, Georgia), respectively.
East Carolina University and University of North Carolina each have two representatives this week in Carley Cox (China Grove, North Carolina) and Lisa Pettersson (Taby, Sweden), and former Tar Heel’s Leslie Cloots (Antwerp, Belgium) and Allie White (Lancaster, Ohio).
Meanwhile, Duke University has three Blue Devils competing in Laetitia Beck (Caesarea, Israel), Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) and Sandy Choi (Seoul, People’s Republic of Korea). Wake Forest University leads the way as four Demon Deacons have ventured to Davidson, N.C., including Sierra Sims (Tampa, Florida), Allison Emrey (Charlotte, North Carolina), Nannette Hill (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida) and Cheyenne Woods (Phoenix, Arizona).
COUNTRIES (AND STATES) OF THE SYMETRA CLASSIC
A total of 29 countries are represented this week at the Symetra Classic, led by the United States with 73 players and followed by Sweden having the next highest of nine competitors.
“Life on Tour is a journey and I’m so happy to have friends and fellow Swedes to travel and practice with,” said Linnea Johannson (Bastad, Sweden). “It is a privilege to represent my native country on the Symetra and LPGA Tours, the biggest stage in women’s professional golf. We always make sure to cheer each other on and this week will be no different.”
Individuals from 25 different states are also set to tee it up at River Run Country Club. Five players hail from the host state, while California has the most with thirteen.
“I am so excited to play close to home again this year. It means a lot to be able to stay at home and sleep in my own bed,” said Allison Emrey. “Being on the road competing for nearly half the year truly makes you cherish the time you have at home, so to have a tournament week in Charlotte makes it that much sweeter.”
ROOKIES TRAVEL TO THE EAST COAST
Numerous professionals in their first year on the Symetra Tour have made the trek to Mecklenburg County, as 21 rookies are in the field and eager for the sixth event of the Symetra Tour season.
Among them is Carley Cox who was a three-time Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American scholar. She also was named to the 2018 All-ACC Team as a junior while competing for the East Carolina University Pirates. This week is Cox’s fifth career start on the Symetra Tour.
“What a blessing it is to be able to play so close to home,” said Cox. “River Run Country Club is such an amazing course, and I am so appreciative of them allowing me the opportunity to compete this week. The local support from my friends and family will makes this event even more special.”
RACE FOR THE CARD UPDATE
The Symetra Tour annually awards LPGA Tour membership to the top players on the season-ending money list. With five tournaments in the books, the top-10 starts to take form following the Garden City Charity Classic. All 10 members from the group are in Davidson including current No. 7, Haylee Harford (Leavittsburg, Ohio).
“I am happy with the position I’m in after the first five weeks,” said Harford, who qualified for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open last week. “I’ve been enjoying myself, learning a lot, and I feel great about where my game is currently. I am looking forward to keeping the momentum going throughout our next swing of events on the east coast.”
From 1999-2002, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA handed out three cards. Then from 2003-2007, that number increased to five before 10 were distributed starting in 2008. Since the inaugural year, a total of 162 players have graduated to the big stage.