Four Winds Invitational June 21-13 at BlackthornPublished 8:37pm Wednesday, May 22, 2013
SOUTH BEND — The richest purse on the LPGA Symetra Tour is less than a month away from being claimed.
The Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn Golf Club has moved from August to June this year. The event will be held June 21-23.
Tickets for the Four Winds Invitational went on sale Wednesday. They are available at area Martin’s locations, including Niles.
Tickets are $10 for adults per round. Proceeds from the Four Winds Invitational, which is presented by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, owners of Four Winds Casinos, will once again go to Memorial Children’s Hospital in South Bend.
Those proceeds will be used to purchase a neonatal incubator transport unit.
Matt Wesaw, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, said that last year, not only was the Four Winds Invitational the largest purse ($150,000) on the Symetra Tour, but the event also raised a significant amount of money, which was donated to a pair of organizations.
“Along with our other sponsors, we made donations of $53,000 to the Memorial Children’s Hospital and $10,000 to the Ronald McDonald Family Room,” he said. “Additionally, throughout the week of the tournament, golfers volunteered at Memorial Hospital and the Food Bank of Northern Indiana.”
Tim Firestone, the general manager of Blackthorn, pointed out that for the first year of hosting the tournament, the Four Winds Invitational made some waves on the Symetra Tour.
“Our first year was obviously a big undertaking,” Firestone said at the Media Day. “We weren’t quite sure how things were going to turn out. At the end of the day, I was very pleased we broke several records for a first year event on the Symetra Tour. We broke attendance records all three days. We broke the charitable contributions record for a first year event. It was very easy to see the way the South Bend Michiana community rallied around this event and made it so successful.”
Laura Martin, who played collegiate golf at the University of Indiana, was on hand for the second straight Media Day.
She played in last year’s event and said that knowing the course should be an advantage next month.
“It is always nice to come back to a familiar area,” Martin, who was disqualified last year after the second round, said, “not only just the golf course but the surround location. You know where to stay, where to eat and the people are familiar. The staff here is very friendly and its nice to come back to a very comfortable atmosphere so I’m excited to come back and play well again this year.”
Martin joined the Symetra Tour in 2011. She has career earnings of $18,316.00. While she has no career victories, she has finished in the top 10 twice.