HARRIS — Expansion of the resort facility and a new title sponsor can make this year’s Island Resort Championship pro women’s golf tournament more exciting than ever starting next weekend.
The tourney, part of the LPGA developmental Epson Tour, has lowered the entry fee by $50 and increased the average prize fund size. This year’s Island Resort event, which runs next Friday through Sunday, June 26, includes $212,500 in its purse, including $31,875 for the winner.
And the Island Resort itself has been expanded in the past several years.
“We’re very excited for this, our 11th year of the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass,” Island Resort general manager Tony Mancilla said. “We just opened our new $30 million expansion at the end of 2021, so with more than 450 hotel rooms and expanded gaming and dining facilities, we’re in great shape to host.
“We love introducing golfers to Sweetgrass, one of our two championship golf courses, which earlier this year was named National Golf Course of the Year by the National Golf Course Owners Association. It also garnered the title of Michigan Golf Course of the Year in 2021.”
Seven of the 10 Island Resort champions have gone on to earn their LPGA card.
Tickets for spectators cost $10 and will be available at the gate or by calling toll-free at 877-ISL-SHOW (877-475-7469). More information is also available by visiting the website IslandResortGolf.com.
As host, the resort is allowed one or two exemptions — two this year — for participants. Exemptions are meant for non-pros hoping to one day join the rank of the Epson Tour.
This year’s exemptions went to Bobbi Stricker and Laura Hoskin.
Stricker is a former University of Wisconsin golfer and the daughter of 12-time PGA Tour winner Steve Stricker, who was also the captain of the 2021 winning US Ryder Cup team. As a senior for the Badgers, Bobbi Stricker was named a 2020-21 Big Ten Women Golfers to Watch with a best finish of seventh. She has been playing on the Women’s All Pro Tour, a feeder circuit for the Epson Tour.
Hoskin is from New Zealand and played at the University of Mississippi from 2015-18, turning pro in 2019 on the China LPGA. She has been working on the Epson and WAPT tours as she works for an LPGA card in the US
Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.