BRASELTON, Ga. – The American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) has renewed its partnership with the Symetra Tour to provide select AJGA Invitational champions with exemptions into Symetra Tour events.
The 2018 champions of the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex, Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational and KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational will qualify for a Symetra Tour exemption.
"The Symetra Tour is privileged to give these promising young golfers the opportunity to play alongside the next generation of LPGA Tour stars," said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer for the Symetra Tour. "Our partnership with AJGA transcends sports boundaries by giving young amateurs a chance to compete against top professional talent. It's exciting to think that one of these players might follow in the footsteps of past Rolex Junior Players of the Year like Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel."
The winner of the 10th annual ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex will be invited to compete at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, March 16-18, at the Country Club of Winter Haven in Winter Haven, Florida. Hosted by World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, the tournament runs Jan. 12-15 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida. The 2017 ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex champion Brooke Seay of Rancho Santa Fe, California, competed at the 2017 Symetra Tour event, finishing T29.
“Having Brooke represent the ANNIKA Invitational USA presented by Rolex at the 2017 Florida’s Natural Charity Classic was fantastic,” Sorenstam said. “The invitation to our winner is something our competitors get excited about and it aligns well with my Foundation’s mission to provide opportunities to girls and young women at all levels of golf.”
The KPMG Stacy Lewis Junior All-Star Invitational champion will receive an invitation to compete at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout, Sept. 14-16, at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado, Arkansas. The AJGA event, specifically designed for players ages 12 to 15, features a unique format where players compete in mixed pairings to determine an overall boys versus girls team champion, as well as Boys and Girls Division individual champions. Zoe Campos of Valencia, California, won the 2017 tournament and finished T27 at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout.
“My AJGA tournament has always been very special to me and it’s been great to watch so many players achieve success in other AJGA events, amateur events and now the Symetra Tour,” Lewis said. “Zoe’s performance at the 2017 Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout is a testament to the AJGA’s dedication to competitive junior golf and I am excited to provide more opportunity for juniors to compete at the highest level.”
The Buick Shanshan Feng Girls Invitational Girls is the newest Invitational to the AJGA schedule. Feng has supported the AJGA since 2015, expanding her support to the Invitational level in 2018. The inaugural champion will receive an exemption into the IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa at Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon in Beaumont, California.
“Having a Symetra Tour exemption on the line at my first AJGA Invitational is very special,” Feng said. “I’m looking forward to the event and seeing the champion compete with the Symetra Tour.”
In 2017, eight Symetra Tour champions were AJGA alumnae, including Erynne Lee, Celine Boutier and Lindsey Weaver.
About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 38th competitive season in 2018. With the support of its umbrella 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 $1.7M in prize money to $3M in prize money awarded over the course of 22 tournaments. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 427 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.