In Sports Commentary

Giulia Molinaro is the leading money winner on the Symetra golf tour. (PHOTO: symetratour.com)

Brown Deer hosts young golfers on the road to the LPGA

Being a sports fan presents a whole bunch of opportunities to watch the best in the world do what they do.

But one of the most enjoyable things you will ever be able to watch is young athletes competing to try and make it to the big leagues.

Watching a minor league baseball game, like in Appleton or Beloit, is an evening of fun and joy.

Now, coming to Milwaukee this month, is a chance to watch the young golfers who are trying to make it to the LPGA tour.

The Symetra Tour, the Road to the LPGA, is bringing the PHC Classic presented by the Forest County Potawatomi Nation to Brown Deer Park Golf Course. The tournament will be held the week of July 27 through Aug. 2.

As an added bonus, admission is free.

Brown Deer, the former site of a men's PGA event, is in gorgeous shape waiting for the onslaught of the best young women golfers in the world. This is a chance to watch the intense battle for 10 of these women to make it to the big tour. The top 10 money winners on the Symetra leaderboard earn

The 54-hole stroke play format will begin on Friday, July 31 with final-round play scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 2. The field will consist of 144 up-and-coming professional golfers, who will compete for their share of the $100,000 tournament purse. The winner will take home $15,000 and potentially move inside the top 10 on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.

The PGA tour at Brown Deer ended in 2009 when U. S. Bank withdrew as the title sponsor and organizers were unable to find a company to take it's place. But with the addition of the Symetra event, professional golf is coming back to the Milwaukee area.

Wisconsin is rapidly becoming a world famous destination for golf, with major events being held in Kohler and at Erin Hills. The addition of the Symetra event may well be a step in the direction of bringing an LPGA event to Milwaukee. There has been talk of bringing an LPGA event to Milwaukee ever since the PGA event folded and the event sponsored by the Potawatomi will be an indication as to whether Milwaukee golf fans will turn out for a women's event.

Brown Deer is a perfect course for the women professionals. It doesn't have back breaking length but it demands accuracy off the tee. Keeping the ball in the fairway has always been a premium at Brown Deer.

"We're excited to showcase the next wave of great women golfers in Milwaukee at Brown Deer Park Golf Course," said Mike Nichols, chief business officer of the Symetra Tour. "We are proud to return professional golf to Milwaukee and are grateful to the Forest County Potawatomi Nation and the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino for hosting the future of the LPGA Tour."

"Bringing professional golf back to Milwaukee serves as one more example of the Forest County Potawatomi and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino's commitment to southeastern Wisconsin," said Mike Goodrich, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino general manager.

The PHC Classic is the fifth event sponsored by Potawatomi nations. The other four events are the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship, the Four Winds Invitational, the Island Resort Championship and the Prairie Band Casino & Resort Charity Classic.

"We could not be more excited to bring professional golf back to Milwaukee County and to add this family friendly event to our County Parks," County Executive Chris Abele said.

"We are honored that the LPGA's Symetra Tour has chosen Brown Deer to play host. We look forward to having women from all over the world compete for the championship as they try to ascend to the LPGA Tour."

The Symetra Tour last hosted a tournament in the state of Wisconsin in 2008. The Aurora Health Care Championship was played at Geneva National in Lake Geneva. Information on the tour is available here.


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