LONGWOOD, FL. — The 144-player field for the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty has been finalized by the Epson Tour. The “Road to the LPGA” returns to the Sunshine State for the second time this year with the field now taking on Alaqua Country Club in Longwood, FL. The tournament will begin on May 19th and conclude on the 21st.
Individuals will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play format for $200,000 and a winner’s share of $30,000. A cut will be made to the low 60 and ties after 36 holes. Tournament admission is free throughout the week.
"We are proud to sponsor the 10th annual IOA Golf Classic presented LPT Realty this week in Longwood,” said John Ritenour, Co-Founder of the Insurance Office of America. “The athletes on the Epson Tour work extremely hard to achieve their dreams, and we are happy to be a part of their Road to the LPGA."
The five 2023 champions will compete in Longwood this week, including the Epson Tour’s most recent winner and first two-time winner in 2023, Gabriela Ruffels. To go along with her second Epson Tour victory, the Australian also has 10 career top-10 finishes on the Epson Tour. Ruffels has a top-10 finish this season with her two victories and currently sits at No. 1 on the 2023 Epson Tour Official Money List.
“I am feeling good coming off the second win and looking forward to the next couple of events in Florida,” said Ruffels. “I am definitely feeling confident after the second win and hopefully can continue this play for the rest of the season.”
Recent past champions, Allison Emrey and Grace Kim have both moved on to the LPGA Tour since winning the IOA Golf Classic presented by LPT Realty in 2021 and 2022 respectively. Kim found early success in her rookie season on the LPGA Tour, capturing the first LPGA Tour win this season at the LOTTE Championship presented by Hoakalei. Other notable competitors from the past two years that have moved on to the LPGA Tour include Hyo Joon Jang (T2 in 2022), Sofia Garcia (T8 in 2022), Amanda Doherty (T2 in 2021) and Samantha Wagner (T8, 2021).
Robyn Choi, who finished in a share of fourth place in 2022, will return to Longwood with unfinished business in 2023. Choi has had a great start to her season so far, making all six cuts.“It gives me a great confidence boost coming into this week as I’ve played well last year,” said Choi. “Knowing that this course suits my game, it also gives me reassurance that if I play the way I have been then the results will follow.”