DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — For a fourth consecutive year, the Symetra Tour and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) are aligning around select AJGA invitationals hosted by current and former LPGA Tour greats to provide champions with exemption into Symetra Tour events.
Winners of the 2020 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, Buick Shanshan Feng AJGA Girls Invitational and KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational qualify for a Symetra Tour exemption to various tournaments. It is the third straight year that three AJGA Invitational champions will compete in an event on the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, as the 2017 agreement awarded two exemptions.
“As we continue to grow the game of women’s golf, our working relationship with the AJGA gives more young women an opportunity to chase their dreams,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. “Several of the AJGA qualifiers across the last few seasons have found success in their respective Symetra Tour event. We look forward to having three elite amateurs compete against their preceding generation of fellow future LPGA Tour stars.”
From Jan. 18-20, the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex will be contested on the Slammer & Squire Course at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. The top finisher earns a spot in the 12th annual Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at the Country Club of Winter Haven in Winter Haven, Fla. from March 6-8.
“We’re excited to once again offer a Symetra Tour exemption to the winner of the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex,” said World Golf Hall of Famer and tournament host Annika Sorenstam. “It’s yet another element of our tournament that makes it such a coveted title.”
Meanwhile, the third edition of the Buick Shanshan Feng AJGA Girls Invitational runs from Feb. 15-17 in Stanford, Calif. at Stanford Golf Course. The reward for its victor is a place in the field for the Windsor Golf Classic in Windsor, Calif., from April 2-4.
The final AJGA event for the 2020 partnership is the KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational from June 30-July 2 in Johnson, Ark., at the Blessings Golf Club. This year, the champion receives an invitation to compete at the Garden City Charity Classic in Garden City, Kan. from Aug. 14-16 at Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
“The AJGA is excited to be able to offer Symetra Tour exemptions to some of our strongest all-female tournament fields,” said Jason Etzen, the Chief Business Officer for the AJGA. “We are proud to partner with the LPGA and Symetra Tour to help elevate these three invitationals to a new level and provide
increased exposure and experience for our top girls.”
In 2019, a total of 12 Symetra Tour champions were AJGA alumnae including graduates Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio), Leona Maguire (County Cavan, Ireland), Perrine Delacour (Paris, France), Patty Tavatanakit (Bangkok, Thailand), Robynn Ree (Redondo Beach, California) and Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei).
Of the eight AJGA Invitational champions in the first three years through the partnership, seven have utilized their Symetra Tour exemption with five making the cut at their respective event. Angelina Ye (Bradenton, Florida), now a freshman at Stanford University, owns the best finish from that group of tied for seventh in the 2017 Florida’s Natural Charity Classic.
ABOUT THE SYMETRA TOUR
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 40th competitive season in 2020. With the support of its entitlement partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7 million in prize money to $4.0 million in prize money awarded over the course of 22 events. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 445 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/Road2LPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA and Instagram @road2lpga.
Symetra Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisors. Symetra began its partnership with the Road to the LPGA in 2010 as the title sponsor of the Symetra Classic. It secured naming rights for the Symetra Tour in November 2011. In addition to its title sponsorship of the Tour, which runs through 2021, Symetra sponsors two events on the tournament schedule—the Symetra Classic and the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship. For more information about Symetra, visit www.symetra.com.