The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, is back in Milwaukee this week for the second annual PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park. First-round play begins on Friday, Aug. 19 and the final-round is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 21. There are just seven events remaining in the 2016 season so it is crunch time for players trying to earn LPGA Tour membership.
Play begins at 7:30 a.m. all three days of the tournament. There will be a cut to the low 60 and ties following second-round play. The final-round will be a single-tee start with an estimated finishing time of 5 p.m. Tickets are free for all three days.
The field of 129 professionals and one amateur will compete for a total tournament purse of $100,000. The winner will earn $15,000 and move up the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top 10 on the money list at the conclusion of the season will earn LPGA membership for the 2017 season. The season wraps up Oct. 13-16 with the Symetra Tour Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The PHC Classic is the lone event in the state of Wisconsin. It ends a short two-week stretch that started last week in Decatur, Illinois.
Last year at Brown Deer Park, Annie Park bested Lee Lopez in a playoff to earn her second Symetra Tour win at the PHC Classic. Park went onto to win three times and was the Symetra Player of the Year. She is having a strong first year on the LPGA with one top 10 finish and $121,990 in earnings over 19 starts. Park currently ranks 82nd on the LPGA money list and will likely retain her card for 2017. Lopez also graduated to the LPGA and currently ranks 67th on the LPGA money list with one top 10 finish.
The field for the PHC Classic is strong this week as nine of the top 10 on the current money list will compete. Of the top 20 on the money list, 18 will tee it up. The only two not in the field are No. 1 Madelene Sagstrom and No. 18 Therese O’Hara.
The field includes players from the United States and 22 countries around the globe. There are also 22 LPGA Tour members that will compete.
Brown Deer Park, which is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system, is famous for hosting Tiger Woods’ press conference announcing he was turning pro and then he made his PGA TOUR debut the following day on August 29, 1996 in round one of the Greater Milwaukee Open.
Brown Deer Park is a par-72 and will play 6,481 yards this week.
Edgerton's Allyssa Ferrell having strong year: Edgerton native Allyssa Ferrell has had a very strong season. She currently ranks 36th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with $18,369 earned and is in striking distance to get into the top 10 by years end.
Ferrell has one top 10 finish this season and seven top 25 results. Ferrell has finished inside the top 25 in six straight events including a T16 finish at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic last week.
Ferrell’s last six results are T5, T11, T15, T23, T11 and T16. She comes to Milwaukee after posting back-to-back 69’s in Decatur.
"When I think about my recent play and coming back to my home state, I just have so much excitement," said Ferrell, who will play in the Wednesday pro-am. "I get to stay at home for the week so that is exciting too. I’m still going to approach this tournament the same as every other week."
Ferrell’s rookie season on Tour was 2015 and she played in just seven events starting in July. She made the cut in six of the seven starts, but had just one top 20 result.
During her amateur career, she placed third at the 2009 Wisconsin Girls Division 2 State Championship. She was a four-time state qualifier and three-time first-team all-state selection at Edgerton High School. Ferrell left the state to play college golf at Michigan State.
Ferrell will look to improve on a T41 finish last year at the PHC Classic.
Ferrell’s sister, Brooke, recently completed a strong 4-year career at the University of Wisconsin and will head to California next week to begin Stage I of LPGA Qualifying Tournament.
Carthage College coach happy to be back on tour: Carly Werwie of Kenosha played on the Symetra Tour full-time from 2013 through 2015. This year, she decided to take a position as the graduate assistant women’s golf coach at Carthage College. She will compete in the PHC Classic on a sponsor’s exemption.
"I’m really excited for the opportunity to play so close to home and am thankful that Potawatomi is supportive of women’s golf," said Werwie. "I’m looking forward to enjoying the week."
Werwie played college golf at the University of Wisconsin.
"Being away from the weekly competitive golf scene makes this week even more special," said Werwie. "I’m looking forward to being back out with friends and competing, which I still love to do."
Werwie missed the cut last year at the inaugural PHC Classic.
Current Wisconsin Badgers golfer in field: Last year, current Badgers golfer Gabby Curtis received an exemption into the PHC Classic. This year, Rebecca Klongland (Jr.) from Stoughton is the field. Klongland most recently finished in a tie for ninth at the 2016 Big Ten Championship.
Klongland won the 2016 Wisconsin State Women’s Amateur Championship for a third-straight year.
Prior to attending Wisconsin, Rebecca (who goes by Becky) was the Wisconsin PGA Junior Girls Player of the year in 2011 and 2013. She led Stoughton High School to the Badger Conference Championship in 2012 and earned all-conference honors all four years.
Guce's incredible turnaround has her a two-time winner: On June 24, Clariss Guce (Artesia, Calif.) missed the cut at the Island Resort Championship. It was her fifth consecutive missed cut and she had a total $4,170 earned in nine starts. At that time, Guce ranked 88th on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
Fast forward six weeks and she now ranks seventh with a pair of wins including last week at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic. A spot in the final top 10 is certainly in sight now.
Guce has won two of the last four events and has three top 10 finishes during the span. She earned $51,797 over the last month.
Final Potawatomi Cup Event: The PHC Classic is the fourth and final Potawatomi Cup event of the year. The Potawatomi Cup was created three years ago by the tournaments sponsored by Potawatomi nation tribes to provide a bonus pool to the players based on performance at the four events.
There is $8,500 available at each event and a $6,000 bonus for the winner of the Potawatomi Cup. In total, $40,000 will be handed out through the Potawatomi Cup.
This week, the Forest County Potawatomi Community will have the privilege of crowning the winner of the overall Potawatomi Cup.
Jackie Stoelting leads the Potawatomi Cup with 758.83 points. The current top five in the Potawatomi Cup standings also includes Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (652.25), Ally McDonald (651.00), Laura Gonzalez Escallon (518.50) and Peiyun Chien (322.33).
The winner of the PHC Classic will earn 500 points.
Jackie Stoelting continues torrid pace since June: Jackie Stoelting (Vero Beach, Fla.) finished in a tie for second last week to move to second on the money list with $82,547 earned. She has finished either 1st or 2nd in 5 of her last 7 starts including last week in Decatur when she tied for second.
She has 25 career top 10 finishes on the Symetra Tour and four wins. Stoelting finished 3rd on the Symetra Tour money list in 2014 to earn LPGA membership. She played on the LPGA in 2015 and is trying to get back for 2017.
She has played six consecutive under-par rounds heading into this week.
- Former Wisconsin golfer Jessie Gerry is also in the field. Gerry is from Madison and played high school golf at Abundant Life Christian School.
- Seven different countries are now represented in the Volvik Race for the Card money list top 10 (Sweden, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Philippines, Germany and Belgium).