Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass Features Rising Stars, Michigan Players Striving for LPGA

(HARRIS, MICHIGAN) – Entering the 2016 Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass June 24-26 – the event’s sixth year – the Symetra Tour “Road to the LPGA” tournament has become the Upper Peninsula’s premier golf event, showcasing rising women stars, an acclaimed course at a top entertainment property and talented players with Michigan ties.

“Sweetgrass is one of my favorite courses that we play,” says Christine Meier, a Michigan State grad from Rochester Hills. “I enjoy the links style that it has, and it offers a lot of excitement with the island green par 3 and the reachable par-5 18th. But my favorite part of the tournament is the hospitality that we receive. I have a fantastic host family that I've stayed with for the past couple years who, believe it or not, are University of Michigan fans! But we put the Spartan/Wolverine rivalry aside for the week.”

Meier, who made her professional debut in 2015, was in the Top 100 on the Symetra Tour’s official money list through the first seven events she played this season.  Top finishers on the money list earn their LPGA Tour card at season end. While pushing herself to reach the next level, Meier takes time to appreciate the journey.

“The casino and hotel pull out all the stops to make us feel welcome,” she says. “The Island Resort Championship is a really fun atmosphere, especially being a Michigan native, as well as a Michigan State alum. It’s fantastic that the Symetra Tour and the LPGA have embraced the amazing golf courses that we have here. It really helps grow the game in the state of Michigan and it's never a bad thing to have tons of Spartans out at our events.”

Other players with state ties scheduled to participate in the Island Resort Championship are Laura Kueny of Whitehall, MI, who has won $79,176 in prize earnings thus far in her professional career, and Liz Nagel of DeWitt, a rookie last year who has earned $23,912 on tour thus far.

Three-time college All-American Emily Tubert, a contestant on Golf Channel’s “Big Break Myrtle Beach,” is scheduled to compete at Sweetgrass later this month, and area star Brooke Ferrell, a University of Wisconsin All-Big Ten member will play on a sponsor’s exemption.

Voted by Golfweek raters to the “America’s Best Courses You Can Play” by state list, Sweetgrass will host a field of 144 players competing for a $125,000 purse. The Island Resort Championship is also part of the Potawatomi Cup, a series of tournaments involving courses with Native American Indian or Potawatomi tribal ties, with the top finishers in those events earning additional prize money.

Former Symetra Tour players have won hundreds of LPGA titles, including dozens of major championships. Dani Holmqvist won the 2015 Island Resort Championship with a 10-under-par total.  Her performance contributed to her gaining full LPGA Tour playing privileges in 2016 with her season-long performance.

Three-day grounds passes to the 54-hole event are $10 and include entry into daily prize drawings. Children 17 years old and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Tickets are available at Island Resort & Casino and at local organizations such as the Delta County Junior Golf Association and the NCA Guarantee Scholarship Fund. For a complete list of outlets visit

All proceeds to local non-profit organizations. For more information visit, or call 877-ISL-GREEN.

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