What do Lorena Ochoa and Inbee Park have in common?
A whole lot.
Each earned Rolex Player of the Year honors on the LPGA Tour. Each captured major championships. Each were World Number Ones for a time.
But more than that. Each earned their professional spurs on the Symetra Tour, the number one developmental tour for the LPGA.
Ochoa was a three-time winner on the 2002 Symetra Tour, while Park posted 11 top-10 finishes on the 2006 Symetra Tour. Each used that experience to vault them into LPGA Tour stardom.
Delaware Valley golf fans will get a great view of tomorrow's LPGA stars when the inaugural Valley Forge Invitational is played at Raven Claw Golf Club May 24-26 at the Pottstown club. The event will benefit local charities.
"This is a great event for the area and an opportunity for golf fans to see tomorrow's LPGA stars," explained Edward Harris, the Chief Marketing Officer for Valley Forge Tourism. "It is estimated the event will generate about a million dollars of economic development for the Philadelphia area."
"This is a great addition to the Symetra Tour calendar, and I'm very happy it will be held in my backyard," said Emily Gimpel, a Symetra Tour player who grew up playing Whitemarsh Valley among other area layouts. "I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of friends here at Raven's Claw."
"The Symetra Tour prepares players for the LPGA Tour, and its graduates make up a who's who list," added Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour.
The public layout has gained numerous accolades over the years. The Ed Shearan design promises to bedazzle competitors.
"We designed the course on a great piece of property, and we believe it will hold up well and challenge the Symetra Tour," said Shearon, who also designed New Jersey's Riverwinds and Vineyards courses and has done remodeling work on many top Philadelphia area courses. "The key will be placing the ball in the proper position on each hole, and the contours of the land may dictate which side of fairway should be favored. It's a true player's course."
The event will be preceded by practice rounds and a pro-am.
Details on sponsorships and the pro-am area available at www.montcogolf.com
The LPGA Tour's top developmental arm, the Symetra Tour, will visit the Greater Philadelphia area when will the Valley Forge Invitational is held in May.
Raven's Claw Golf Club will host the event for aspiring LPGA Tour professionals May 24-26, kicked off with a pro-am on May 23. Sponsorship and pro-am slots are available.
Further information can be obtained by visiting www.montcogolf.com
Great news for Delaware Valley professional golf fans. The ShopRite LPGA event, which brings to the area the top female professional golfers in the world, has secured financial stability with a new deal with Acer.
The ShopRite LPGA Classic Presented by Acer see the computer company acting as title sponsor for at least three more years. Acer has been a major sponsor of the event, and the new deal will keep that partnering intact.
Tournament Director Leela Narang loves that partnership, especially because it continues Acer's involvement in the event, held annually at the Stockton Seaview Resort in Galloway Township.
"Acer has been an important partner and we could not be more pleased the company will continue to help us bring world-class sports to South Jersey and the Delaware Valley," said Narang. "Our event makes a huge economic and charitable impact on the region as Acer, ShopRite and more than 400 other companies support the event."
In-Kyung Kim is expected to defend the crown she won last summer over Seaview's historic Bay Course, a Donald Ross design. The event annually attracts the top LPGA professionals, and recently two-time champion Anna Nordqvist remarked she never wants to miss the event, which will be played June 8-10.
This story describes Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto and her quest for an LPGA Tour card playing in the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament.
Nobody ever said five consecutive rounds of golf would be a vacation, and certainly not if it was under tournament conditions at the grueling LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament in Daytona Beach.
Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto, after missing nearly the entire 2017 season with injury, looked to retain LPGA playing privileges in the 90-hole event.
It wasn't to be.
Benvenuto carded a final round 74 to finish the event at 365, seven shots out of the top-20 which secured playing privileges.
DAY FOUR - The fourth day of LPGA Tour qualifying finals was good and bad for Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto. She scored a 1-over-par 73, with four birdies against five bogeys. Bad was the bogey on the 18th hole.
Benvenuto made the 72-hole cut, but she will have to go low in the final round. Predictions are a 68 will be needed to advance into the top 20 ladies who will earn their LPGA Tour playing privileges.
She's played consistent golf, with one par round and three one over par rounds. But to qualify she will need to get on the birdie train in round five.
DAYS TWO-THREE: Brittany Benvenuto Continued the quest for LPGA Tour playing privileges in Daytona Beach, Fla., playing strong enough to stay in contention for a top-20 finish which would generate a tour card.
Benvenuto opened with an even par 72 then backed that up with a one-over-par 73 on day two. Day three saw her post another 72.
The second round saw her continue to best the par-5 holes with two birdies. Unfortunately a double bogey on the par-4 fourth hole took those strokes away. Still, a consistent effort from the Langhorne native.
On day three of the five round marathon saw Benvenuto birdied the final hole and carded an even-par 72 to stand at 1-over-par 217 and in 33rd place. She's three shots away from a top-20 finish.
Georgia Hall, the European Tour stalwart who was a star in the Solheim Cup, rebounded from an opening round 77 to rounds of 69 and 66 to vault into the top 10. Multiple LPGA Tour winner Vicki Hurst continued her strong play as well.
DAY ONE____Langhorne's Brittany Benvenuto opened the first round of the 2018 LPGA Qualifying Tournament with an even par 72 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Benvenuto birdied three of the four par-5 holes, but bogeyed three par-4s. She's among 50 players at even-par or better.
Final qualifying is over 90 holes. There will be a cut after 72 holes to the low 70 players and ties. The top-20 players in the field earn LPGA privileges next season. Benvenuto will have some status on tour given her injured status for most of 2017.