The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, begins first-round play of the W.B. Mason Championship at Thorny Lea Golf Club on Friday, August 14 at 7:30 a.m. The event marks the first time the Symetra Tour has played in the state of Massachusetts since 1993 (Lady Michelob FUTURES Charity Golf Classic at Shaker Farms Country Club in Westfield).
There are now five Massachusetts natives in the field after Sharon rising star Isabel Southard won the WGAM Amateur Championship to earn a spot. The other Massachusetts natives are Megan Khang (Rockland), Jacquelyn Eleey (Quincy), Brittany Altomare (Schrewsbury) and Kaitlin Coons (Wilbraham).
The W.B. Mason Championship is the 17th event of the season as players jockey for position on the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top up-and-coming professionals, two local amateurs and the winner of the WGAM Amateur Championship will compete for a $110,000 total tournament purse. The winner will earn $16,500 and take a significant step up the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top 10 on the year-end money list earn LPGA Tour membership for 2016.
The W.B. Mason Championship is offering complimentary grounds passes on Friday and Saturday courtesy of Champion Lincoln and Evans Machines. Sunday grounds tickets are $10 and the proceeds go towards the Brockton Boys & Girls Club, the Brockton YMCA and the Brockton High School Athletic Department.Complimentary parking is available at the Brockton High School west entrance (700 Belmont Street) with shuttle service to the main gate at Thorny Lea Golf Club.
ISABEL SOUTHARD OF SHARON WINS WGAM AGAIN AND EARNS SPOT IN TOURNAMENT: Isabel Southard (Sharon, Mass.) won the WGAM Amateur Championship 3 & 2 over Shannon Johnson to earn a spot in the Symetra Tour’s W.B. Mason Championship. It will be her second career Symetra Tour event. In 2013, she earned a spot through an amateur qualifier into the Northeast Delta Dental International in Concord, N.H. She missed the cut (76-79).
“It was nice today to be able to win two close matches, I think it shows I can bring my game when I need to,” said 20-year-old Southard. “It is really cool to win and be able to defend my title.”
Southard, who lives just 15 minutes away, has never played Thorny Lea until this week. She was very impressed with what she saw and now has plenty of course knowledge for the weekend.
“I loved the course, I thought it was awesome,” said Southard. “I’m not sick of it and I’m excited to play it three more days hopefully. The greens are in really good shape and really the whole course is in good shape.”
Southard will celebrate her 21st birthday next Thursday and already has an early birthday present.
“This has been a lot of golf so the celebration will be worth while,” said Southard. “I have the Connecticut Open next week just before my birthday and after the Symetra Tour event.”
Southard will tee off in the first-round of the W.B. Mason Championship at 10:37 a.m. on Friday.
“To be able to play in a tournament like this and sleep in my own bed is awesome,” said Southard. “I try to play in the most competitive tournaments I can in the summer and this is the obviously the best.”
Southard admitted that she was watching Symetra Tour players during their practice rounds and will keep a close eye on them during the tournament.
“There are some really big names out here,” said Southard. “It will be fun to pick their brains because eventually I want to play professionally too.”
Southard is a rising senior at the University of Denver.
PROS VISIT W.B. MASON TRADE SHOW AT FENWAY: Seven Symetra Tour professionals visited Fenway Park on Thursday to take part in the W.B. Mason Trade Show. The professionals helped customers improve their golf swings in the simulator. They were also taken on a Tour of the ballpark that included the Green Monster, the outfield automated scoreboard, the world series trophies and the dugouts.