HURRICANE, UT — A total of 120 players will take on the challenge that Copper Rock Golf Course presents starting Thursday with round one of the inaugural Copper Rock Championship.
Three featured groups highlight the competition for the fourth event of the 2021 Epson Tour season.
Kendra Dalton, Rachel Rohanna, Gigi Stoll (No. 1 tee, 8:47 a.m.)
Arriving in Washington County is Brigham Young University alumna Kendra Dalton (Poughquag, New York). She is competing this week just a few hours south of where she was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018. The three-time All-WCC selection and three-time individual medalist for the Cougars made three cuts in three starts to start the 2021 season. Dalton’s career best finish on the Epson Tour is tied for sixth at the Prasco Charity Championship.
Ohio State University alumna Rachel Rohanna (Marianna, Pennsylvania) made nine cuts in her last twelve starts on the Epson Tour. The two-time champion on the “Road to the LPGA” claimed her last win in 2017 at the Epson Tour Championship. As an amateur, Rohanna shared medalist honors at the 2010 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship. Today, she balances her time between being a mom, working with her husband at their ERV Cattle Co., and competes on the Epson Tour.
After a third-place finish and collecting a check of $13,790 at the Casino Del Sol Golf Classic last week Gigi Stoll (Beaverton, Oregon) climbed from No. 30 to No. 8 on the money list in the Race for the Card. The third-year professional, Stoll, has claimed seven top-15 finishes including a tied for second place in 2019 at the Guardian Championship. The 2018 NCAA National champion is looking for her first win on the Epson Tour.
Ruixin Liu, Haylee Harford, Ana Belac (No. 1 tee, 10:04 a.m.)
After 54 holes last week, Ruixin Liu (Guangdong, People’s Republic of China) trailed by six strokes, but after making birdies on the last four holes Liu finish regulation at 15-under par and tie with Morgane Metraux (Lausanne, Switzerland). Following a two-hole playoff, Liu claimed her sixth career win on the Epson Tour. In 2018, Liu claimed six top-10 finishes leading her to both become Player of the Year and graduate onto the LPGA Tour.
Joining the group is Haylee Harford (Leavittsburg, Ohio). A four-time All-Southern Conference performer for Furman University, Harford finished tied for 62nd at the 2019 LPGA Q-Series to first earn Epson Tour membership. She was a member of Team USA in the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup and tied for seventh at the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Harford has a career-best result of runner-up in the 2020 IOA Golf Classic presented by HomeValue.com.
Thanks to zero missed cuts across nine starts including a win at the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Ana Belac (Portoroz, Slovenia) collected 2020 Epson Tour Player of the Year honors. She joined the Tour after her senior season at Duke University was cut short because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Belac led the Tour last season in birdies (111) and sub-par holes (113).
Sophie Hausmann, Katelyn Dambaugh, Haley Sturgeon (No. 1 tee, 12:05 p.m.)
The two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Year for the University of Idaho, Sophie Hausmann (Nottuln, Germany) closed the second round of the IOA Championship eagle-birdie-birdie to put her in a good position for the final round and went on to claim her first professional win. One more top-10 finish at the inaugural Carlisle Arizona Women’s Golf Classic helped Hausmann move up to No. 2 in the Race for the Card.
Last week, Katelyn Dambaugh (Charleston, South Carolina) made her first start of the season and tied for fourth at Sewailo Golf Club. The two-time All-SEC First Team and Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) First Team All-American was happy to see positive results to kick off the year. Dambaugh was a member toof the East Team at the 2011 Wyndham Cup and like her lefty idol Phil Mickelson, she does everything right-handed except golf.
Copper Rock Golf Course extended their sponsor exemption to Utah native Haley Sturgeon (Layton, Utah). The Layton High School and Dixie State graduate completes the final featured group in Hurricane, Utah. Sturgeon was the 2020 Utah PGA Omega Women’s Player of the Year and currently competes on the Cactus Tour.