HARRIS, Mich. — The 12th stop on the 2019 “Road to the LPGA” takes the Epson Tour to Sweetgrass Golf Club in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the ninth annual Island Resort Championship from June 21-23.
Starting this year, the Island Resort Championship has been designated as the official United States qualifier for The Evian Championship. It will be the fourth straight year that a Epson Tour event has provided players the opportunity to qualify for one of the five majors on the LPGA Tour schedule, with two spots up for grabs. The PHC Classic was the springboard in each of the last two seasons and in 2016 it was the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship.
“It made complete sense to align this event with such a prestigious major tournament,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Epson Tour. “Every year, the Island Resort Championship has continued to find ways to grow and branch out. This now adds to their already sterling reputation and further makes it a stop on the Epson Tour that all players will have circled on their calendars.”
Greeting the 156-player field in Harris, Mich. is a total purse of $200,000. 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 $30,000.
“We can’t wait to welcome the future stars of the LPGA Tour, as well as some current members in search of a spot in The Evian Championship field,” said Tony Mancilla, the General Manager for Island Resort & Casino. “As our event continues to evolve, we couldn’t be more thrilled to become the official United States qualifier for a major championship. The excitement of having such outstanding golf in Harris will always be spectacular, but this takes it to another level for years to come.”
Defending champion Ruixin Liu (Dalian, China) is not among the competitors, as she finished No. 1 in the 2018 Volvik Race for the Card to be named Epson Tour Player of the Year. The victory in the Great Lakes State was the first of three for Liu in her sophomore season on the “Road to the LPGA” and one of 12 top-25 finishes.
“Once I stepped into the winner’s circle, it really showed me that I had the ability to do something special,” Liu said. “The community of Harris was so welcoming, Island Resort & Casino is a first-class sponsor and I loved every minute of my time at this event. I wish the best of luck to all the competitors this year and hope to tee it up with the top-two at The Evian Championship come late July.”
Action gets underway at 7:30 a.m. ET all three days with play starting off No. 1 and No. 10 tees in the first and second round. Meanwhile, all groups will head off No. 1 tee in twosomes for the final round with a trophy presentation to follow on No. 18 green.