Symetra Tour opens season at Longbow GC

Longbow Golf Club, site of the inaugural Gateway Classic. (Ken Easley)


The Symetra Tour’s Road to the LPGA will begin this year at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona, with the inaugural Gateway Classic. Set to take place February 18-24, admission to the Gateway Classic is free on behalf of tournament sponsor, Visit Mesa.

“We are excited about partnering with Visit Mesa to bring the Symetra Tour back out to the West Coast,” said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “Arizona’s passionate LPGA fans now have a great opportunity to see some of the best up-and-coming professional women golfers at no cost right in their backyard.”

The inaugural Gateway Classic, which features an elite field of professional golfers vying for a total purse of $100,000, marks the first time since the 2006 Tucson Duramed FUTURES Golf Classic that the Symetra Tour will stop in Arizona.

The Symetra Tour: Road to the LPGA is the world’s largest international women’s developmental tour and is committed to preparing the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Several Symetra Tour members call Arizona home including last year’s Player of the Year and current LPGA Tour rookie Esther Choe who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz.

“We are honored to be the title sponsor for the Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA’s first tournament on the 2013 calendar,” said Marc Garcia, President & CEO of Visit Mesa. “This event affords us the opportunity to support the LPGA’s future stars while elevating Mesa’s brand during a period in which hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world come to Arizona to play in the sun.  We are hopeful that the Gateway Classic is so successful that it eventually becomes a mainstay for the LPGA here in Mesa.”

This season marks the second time in the Tour’s 33-year history that the top-10 Symetra Tour players on the season-ending Volvik Race for the Card standings will earn fully-exempt LPGA Tour status for the following year.

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