HARRIS, Mich. (WFRV) – As the future of women’s golf prepares to make a mark on the LPGA, plenty go through the rigors of the Symetra Tour.
But make no mistake – Sweetgrass Golf Club plays like a major event.
As the Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass prepares for its 10th anniversary, 144 players from 30 countries are flocking to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with dreams of a tour card and a $30,000 top prize.
What awaits them, however, is one of the most unique challenges on the tour: a links-style gem with the UP’s unpredictable weather.
“The players that have won here go on to play on the LPGA Tour because this is a true test,” said Tim Kramer, Director of Tournament Business Affairs for the Symetra Tour. “This is the type of course they play on the LPGA Tour.”
In the past, the weekend has provided plenty of opportunities for emerging players and veterans alike, including Wisconsin native Casey Danielson.
“I actually got a sponsor invite here back in 2018 and I took fourth,” Danielson said. “That kind of got me my start on the Symetra Tour, so this event here at Sweetgrass means a lot to me, and so coming back is really special.”
“We’re all just really happy to be here.”
Among those happy to be at Island Resort again is defending champion Daniela Iacobelli, who held her title for a rare two years due to 2020’s coronavirus cancellation.
According to the Detroit native, she’s back home now.
“I mean it’s just fun to be back,” Iacobelli said. “I love all the people up here, I love the course, I love the environment, so I’m just happy to be home really.”
Whether it will be Danielson, Iacobelli, or any golfer in between, there’s no shortage of premier golfers at this year’s championship.
“I mean it’s crazy the type of talent that’s out here,” Kramer said. “People that come out, yeah you may not know their names right now, but you will in a year.
“You’ll be watching them on the Golf Channel or on network TV playing in an LPGA event.”