GARDEN CITY, Kan. – The 144-player field for the eighth annual Garden City Charity classic from April 29-May 1 has been finalized by the Epson Tour, as the “Road to the LPGA” returns to Buffalo Dunes Golf Course.
Individuals will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play format for $200,000 and a winner’s share of $30,000. A cut will be made to the top-60 competitors plus ties after 36 holes. Tournament admission is free.
Six of the current top-10 players in the Race For the Card highlight the action in Finney County. Among the group is 2022 tournament champions Kum-Kang Park and Dottie Ardina, the newest winner on Tour at last week’s Copper Rock Championship.
“A victory early in the season can really set the tone for the rest of the year and I hope to continue good momentum,” said Ardina, who jumped 27 spots to No. 4 in the rankings after her win. “I’ve luckily never missed a cut in five starts at the Garden City Charity Classic. Buffalo Dunes is a fantastic course that sets up well to my strengths. It will be exciting to compete there coming off a win.”
Topeka native and Wichita State University alumna Rachel Stous will make the trip to western Kansas for her first Epson Tour start in her home state as a professional. The Epson Tour rookie finished in a tie for 14th on Saturday at Copper Rock Golf Course in southwest Utah.
“It’s kind of crazy that my third event in my rookie season is in my home state of Kansas,” said Stous, the 2021 Kansas Women’s Amateur champion. “I’m really looking forward to competing this week. It will be extra special to have the dream I’m chasing intersect with my roots, a place that means so much to me and shaped me into who I am today. Friday can’t come soon enough.”
Three tournament sponsor exemptions in 2018 Garden City Charity Classic champion Allyssa Ferrell, Anna Redding and Kathleen Scavo, and Women’s All Pro Tour exemption Kaeli Jones round out the field. Jones won the WAPT’s Wichita Falls Championship to punch her ticket to Garden City.
“The WAPT has done a phenomenal job to prepare all the women for the Epson Tour and beyond,” said Jones, who last competed on the Epson Tour at the 2020 FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship. “My game is in a good spot and I feel confident thanks to how I have played on the WAPT. I think it will take a lot of hard work still, but really eager to get out there and get better every day.”
ABOUT EPSON TOUR
The Epson Tour (formerly the Symetra Tour) is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 42nd competitive season in 2022. With the support of entitlement partner Seiko Epson Corporation, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best female professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. In the last decade, the Epson Tour has grown from 15 tournaments and $1.6 million in prize money to $4.41 million awarded across 20+ events in 2022. With more than 600 graduates and alumnae moving on to the LPGA Tour, former Epson Tour players have won 459 LPGA titles.
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