A total of 108 players will take on the challenge that the Jones Course at LPGA International will present starting Thursday with the first round of the 15th annual Epson Tour Championship.
Three featured groups highlight the competition for the final event of the 2022 season.
Polly Mack, Bailey Tardy, Sophie Hausmann
No. 1 tee, 8:44 a.m.
Although she made her first start in mid-June this year, the Epson Tour rookie Polly Mack has taken advantage of every opportunity. She has four top-16 finishes in ten events played. Mack has made seven cuts for total season earnings of $42,366, which puts her 31st on the Official Money list and, with a win, could move her into the top 10 in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings.
Bailey Tardy, the current No. 18 with $59,395, has had an impressive couple of weeks with a runner-up finish at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout and a solo fourth-place result at the Tuscaloosa Toyota Classic. The University of Georgia alum has strung together five top-30 finishes in her last five starts to climb up the money list. She is in the driver's seat, and with another strong finish, she can find herself headed to the LPGA Tour.
Sophie Hausmann is coming off a missed cut but hoping for a solid performance this week that would allow her to go straight to Q-Series and compete for her LPGA Tour card. The second-year pro sits 29th in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings and has earned $45,092 in 18 starts this season.
Robyn Choi, Daniela Iacobelli, Dottie Ardina
No. 1 tee, 1:03 p.m.
This trio features the current Nos. 15, 16, and 17 in the Ascensus Race for the Card, starting with Robyn Choi. She has amassed six top 10s, including a runner-up result at the Circling Raven Championship in August. Choi is looking to better her T18 finish at the 2020 Epson Tour Championship to have a chance at finishing inside the top 10.
Will history repeat itself for Florida native Daniela Iacobelli? In 2012, she won the Epson Tour Championship to jump from 22nd to 5th in the Ascensus Race for the Card standings punching her ticket for the LPGA Tour. Iacobelli has put together a solid season with three top 10s, including a win at the Wildhorse Ladies Golf Classic. She has earned $64,539 collected across 13 cuts made in 19 starts.
Rounding out the trio is Dottie Ardina. Just outside the Ascensus Race for the Card top-10 at No. 17, Ardina has made the cut 14 times in 15 starts, including her first professional win in April at the Copper Rock Championship presented by KSLSPORTS.COM. Ardina has split time between the LPGA Tour and Epson Tour but would love nothing more to earn her LPGA Card and improve her status for the 2023 season.
Kiira Riihijarvi, Alexa Pano, Yan Liu
No. 10 tee, 1:03 p.m.
The last featured group pits Nos. 8, 9, and 10 in the Ascensus Race for the Card, led by Kiira Riihijarvi. The Finn has played the weekend 13 times across 18 starts this season with five top 10s, including a victory at the Ann Arbor's Road to the LPGA powered by the A2 Sports Commission in June, earning $80,208 along the way.
Alexa Pano adds to the talent in this featured group. The rookie has five top 10s this year, including two runner-up finishes at the Carolina Golf Classic presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes. She's having a solid season with $75,278 in earnings and sits second in Greens in Regulation and fourth in Driving Accuracy.
Yan Liu rounds out this grouping. A rookie in 2020, Liu has collected $76,667 across 20 starts, highlighted by her first win at the Four Winds Invitational, one of four top-10 performances in 2022.