GARDEN CITY, KS. — The 144-player field for the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes has been finalized by the Epson Tour. The "Road to the LPGA" returns to the Sunflower State for the ninth annual tournament at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course in Garden City, Kansas. The tournament will begin on May 5th and conclude on the 7th.
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 to all spectators throughout the week.
"The [Garden City] Charity classic is special for several reasons," said Tournament Director Roxanne Morgan. "First, it is the people that make this so special. Some of our Volunteers have worked all nine years of the tournament, and they love having the tour here. Second is our charity, the surrounding girls' golf teams at the high school level. This allows the 13 schools that have ladies' teams to be able to expand or enhance their programs and give girls more opportunity in golf."
All five 2023 champions will compete in Garden City this week, including the Epson Tour's most recent winner, Savannah Vilaubi. To go along with her first Epson Tour victory, the California native also has six career top-10 finishes on the Epson Tour. Vilaubi already has a top-10 finish this season to go along with her win and currently sits at No. 4 on the 2023 Epson Tour Official Money List.
"The win gives me tons of confidence, but more so belief in the process," said Vilaubi. "If I stick with it and be patient, good things will happen. It was probably the first week where I wasn't getting completely ahead of myself, and these were the results. I'm going to take that into Garden City, and it'll be an even better experience to really play without so much expectation or anticipation."
Recent past champions Lilia Vu (2021) and Gabby Then (2022) have moved on to the LPGA Tour since winning the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes. Vu found success on the LPGA Tour in 2023, winning the Honda LPGA Thailand early on and capturing the first LPGA Tour major of the season at the Chevron Championship in April. Other notable competitors from the past two years that have moved on to the LPGA Tour include Alexa Pano (2nd in 2022), Yan Liu (3rd in 2022), and Amanda Doherty (T4, 2021).
Athletes who have played well in the past at the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes and are returning in 2023 include Gabby Lemieux (T8, 2021), Fatima Fernandez Cano (T8, 2021), Haley Moore (T9, 2022) and Jillian Hollis (T4, 2022).
"I'm really looking forward to this week," said Hollis. "My mom doesn't get to come to many tournaments, but she always looks forward to watching me play. It will be a great week to spend with her like it was last year."