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Four Winds Invitational begins Friday at Blackthorn

Published 5:23pm Thursday, June 20, 2013

SOUTH BEND — The Four Winds Invitational will feature 144 of the top female professional golfers competing at Blackthorn Golf Club for the highest first-place prize on this year’s Symetra Tour, $22,500.

Highlighting this year’s list of players scheduled to compete is Sue Kim, who currently holds the No. 1 ranking in the Volvik Race for the Card standings. Kim won last week’s Decatur Forsyth Classic Presented by Tate & Lyle and Decatur Parks District in dramatic fashion as she fired a 9-under 63 in regulation then defeated Laura Kueny in a one hole playoff.

The top-10 players in the Volvik Race for the Card at season’s end will earn membership on the 2014 LPGA Tour.

Along with Kim, other 2013 Symetra Tour winners scheduled to compete in Indiana include Jaclyn Sweeney (VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic at Longbow Golf Club), Melissa Eaton (Florida’s Natural Charity Classic), Christine Song (Guardian Retirement Championship), Laura Kueny (Symetra Clasic), and Giulia Molinaro (Friends of Mission Charity Classic).

Also scheduled to compete in South Bend are a trio of current cast members on Golf Channel’s highly acclaimed realty series, Big Break. Taylor Collins, Stefanie Kenoyer, and Emily Talley are currently starring on Big Break Mexico, which airs Monday night at 9 p.m. on Golf Channel.

Kari Bellville of Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind. and Geandra Almeida of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Ind. were the recipients of this year’s sponsor invitations allowing them to compete alongside Symetra Tour professionals. Bellville, who has verbally committed to attend the University of Notre Dame, competed in last year’s Four Winds Invitational but missed the cut by two strokes.

A native of Brazil, Almeida attended Lee University prior to transferring to Bethel College in 2012. During her time at Lee University, Almeida led her team to their first-ever National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Golf National Championships. Last year, Almeida led Bethel College to an impressive nine tournament victories.

During its inaugural year, the Four Winds Invitational donated $63,000 to charities with $53,000 going to Memorial Children’s Hospital and $10,000 to the Ronald McDonald Family Room.

The charitable contributions of the Four Winds Invitational will continue in 2013 with Memorial Children’s Hospital serving as this year’s beneficiary.

Play begins Friday at 7:30 a.m. and continues through Sunday.

 

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