Thursday, September 13, 2018
The 18th stop of the Symetra Tour season and third in the Million Dollar Drive takes the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour to the Natural State for the fourth annual Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout at Mystic Creek Golf Club from Sept. 14-16.
Greeting the 132-player field in El Dorado is a total purse of $150,000, tied for the eighth highest on Tour this season.
Individuals are set to compete in a 54-hole stroke play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.
“We’re getting down to crunch time and the race to earn LPGA Tour membership is tighter than it ever has been in recent memory,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “An immaculate venue awaits the competitors in El Dorado, as well as a sponsor in Murphy USA that has made a goal of helping grow women’s professional golf. It should be an all-around fantastic week.”
With only four tournaments now left on the “Road to the LPGA,” the Million Dollar Drive is the run of six consecutive events to end the season.
They have a cumulative purse of greater than $1 million, roughly one-third of the total prize money for 2018.
Defending champion Hannah Green is not among the competitors this week, as she was a 2017 Symetra Tour graduate.
All members of the current Volvik Race for the Card top 10 are set to tee it up in Arkansas, as well as 33 of the top 35 players on the money list.
In addition, 28 different countries and 23 states will be represented.
Meanwhile, the event is particularly special for University of Arkansas alumna Regina Plasencia.
One of two competitors with ties to the host state—the other being sponsor exemption Summar Roachell — she is eager to get back to an area she knows and loves.
“I am always excited to be in Arkansas because it feels like home here,” said Plasencia, currently No. 65 in the Volvik Race for the Card.
“I played for the University of Arkansas for four years and now I’m here playing as a professional, it’s unbelievable. I can’t wait to start the tournament and hear those ‘Go Hogs’ cheers again on the course like my college days.”
Furthermore, most recent Symetra Tour champion Allyssa Ferrell looks to become the first two-time winner this year following her victory at the Garden City Charity Classic.
“I have not made a cut here, so I hope since I have been playing better that I don’t look like an idiot again,” Ferrell said laughingly.
“The weird part is I love the course and it is so pretty, so unique and different, but every year it hates me. I look like I don’t know how to play golf when I come to El Dorado. I’m going to try to do the same thing I have been doing for the last month.”
Action gets underway at 7:15 a.m. for the first and second rounds on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Final round play is set for a 7:30 a.m. start and all three days, groups will begin off No. 1 and No. 10 tees in threesomes.
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