Daniela Iacobelli (Melbourne, Florida) is back to defend her title from the 2019 Island Resort Championship. Just two years ago Iacobelli defeated Cindy Ha in a sudden death one-hole playoff at Sweetgrass Golf Club.
“It took me getting out here to remember it. I guess I was in the zone. I remember being in the fairway about 200 yards out, I went for it and had about a four- or five-footer to make birdie. Cindy had about a 20-footer and missed hers and my nerves started shaking,” said Iacobelli. “I guess when it goes in your brain kind of shuts off and you don’t necessarily recognize what just happened. I didn’t maybe properly celebrate on 18-green but it felt good regardless.”
This win is one of three in Iacobelli’s career. The first came in 2012 at the Daytona Beach Invitational, but this victory was different for her. Her second year on Tour, she visited Island Resort and Casino for the first time. She said there was something different in the air and knew it was a course one day she could win on. Iacobelli also said how the local support in Harris has meant more to her than some may know.
“I just had vibes about this place,” said Iacobelli, who made friends with a course staff member the first year and was her caddie the week she won. “At the time this was arguably the best golf course the Epson Tour had ever seen. It was just so cool to be on such a great course and they treat us so well here.”
FIRST LEG OF POTAWATOMI CUP TAKES PLACE
In its eighth consecutive year of competition, the Potawatomi Cup series in 2021 starts with the tenth annual Island Resort Championship from June 11-13 at Sweetgrass Golf Club in Harris, Mich., the first of three Epson Tour events sponsored by Potawatomi nation tribes.
As well as the normal purse payout for each event, players receive “Potawatomi Points” with $30,000 in total bonus money to be distributed over the three events participating. The top players in the points standings receive a sum from the prize pool including $5,000 to the Potawatomi Cup winner who has competed in all three events at the conclusion of the Four Winds Invitational at South Bend Country Club in South Bend, Ind., from Aug. 13-15.
Defending champion Kim Kaufman (Clark, South Dakota) is among the competitors this year. She finished at No. 3 in the 2020 Race for the Card last year after winning the Four Winds Invitational.
Additional past champions include Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea), Annie Park (Levittown, N.Y.), Laura Gonzalez Escallon (La Hulpe, Belgium), Benyapa Niphatsophon (Bangkok, Thailand), Maia Schechter (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) and Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei) from 2014-2019, respectively.