SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The 10th stop on the 2019 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Epson Tour to Blackthorn Golf Club in the Hoosier State for the eighth annual Four Winds Invitational from June 7-9.
“Everything about this tournament makes it feel like home,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Epson Tour. “From the Daddy-Daughter Pro-Am event early in the week and visiting patients within the Beacon Health System, to the opening ceremony conducted by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, the tournament staff has done an outstanding job of involving our players in the community and making them feel as connected as possible.”
Greeting the 144-player field in South Bend, Ind. is a total purse of $150,000. Individuals 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 $22,500.
In addition to the normal payout and new in 2019 is the Michelob Ultra Long Drive Challenge. It will take place at Blackthorn Topgolf Swing Suite on Wednesday evening of tournament week and give players the chance to compete for $1,750 in bonus money. First place earns $1,000, with $500 going to second place and the final $250 to third.
“We are very excited to host the Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club this year for the eighth time,” said Tim Firestone, the Owner and General Manager of Blackthorn Golf Club. “It has been an incredible experience for the club and local area. The countdown is on as we put together some final preparations to welcome the next wave of LPGA Tour superstars to northern Indiana.”
Defending champion Maia Schechter (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) is among the competitors and the win was the first of her Epson Tour career. It helped propel the University of North Carolina alumna to finish at No. 26 in the final Volvik Race for the Card standings for 2018 and earn a spot in the inaugural LPGA Q-Series last October.
"I could not have picked a better place to claim my first Epson Tour title than at the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend," Schechter said. "They truly make it an experience to remember for all the players and really welcome us with open arms. I cherish every moment as a professional golfer, but winning last year is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. It will be great to return and try to defend the crown."
First and second round action gets underway at 7:30 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, the final round will start at 9:00 a.m. with play beginning from No. 1 and No. 10 tees all three days.