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Symetra "Road to the LPGA Tour" Event begins Friday at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel

25 August 2021

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Spectacularly talented women professional golfers from around the globe will tee off tomorrow in the Circling Raven Championship presented by KXLY News 4 Now, including the current No. 1 player in the Symetra Tour’s season-long pursuit for 2022 LPGA Tour membership. Two golfers with Idaho ties and a high school amateur who earned an exemption through winning a national junior championship are also in the field.

The inaugural event is the first in a three-year partnership with the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour, the top women’s professional golf tour worldwide. It will feature a field of 132 competitors battling for $200,000 in prize money ($30,000 for first prize), one of the highest purses on the Symetra Tour this year.


Spectator tickets can be purchased here or by visiting the Circling Raven Golf Shop. Single-day passes are just $5 and only $20 whole week. Two-day and three-day passes are also available.

Lilia Vu from Fountain Valley, Calif., headlines the field for the tournament that will be played on Circling Raven, a Gene Bates design that is the No. 1 ranked public course in golf-rich Idaho. She is currently at the top of the money earned list in what has been a hard-fought, exciting 2021 season. Named “Race for the Card,” the 10 players with the highest cumulative money won by season’s end earn their LPGA Tour membership for 2022.

Vu helped lead Team USA to victory at the 2018 Curtis Cup, was a member of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup and USA World Amateur Teams, and as a UCLA Bruin, was a 1st team All-American and All-Pac 12 performer. She has won twice on the Symetra Tour this season, as has Ruixin Liu from China and Casey Danielson from Wisconsin, both of whom join Vu in the Circling Raven Championship field.

Testament to the exceptional talent found on the Symetra Tour can be seen through its “graduates” who include Nelly Korda, Inbee Park, Patty Tavatanakit, Lorena Ochoa, and Madelene Sagstrom). Fourteen graduates competed in the recently completed Summer Olympics in Japan.

One player participating in the Circling Raven Championship (CRC) with an Idaho connection is Gabby Lemieux, a native of Caldwell, Idaho. A Native American from the Shoshone-Paiute tribe, Lemieux has a wonderful connection with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which owns and operates the casino resort and golf club. She played college golf at Texas Tech and is a three-time Idaho Golf Association Women’s Amateur Champion.

Sophie Hausmann will also compete in the CRC. A native of Germany who played college golf at University of Idaho, she was a two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Year. Hausmann has won on the Symetra Tour this season.

High-schooler Allyn Stephens from Houston, Texas – daughter of Joe Stephens, a former player for the Houston Rockets of the NBA – earned an exemption into the tournament by winning the girls 14-18 age group title in the NB3 National Junior Golf Championship last fall. Spearheaded by Notah Begay III, a Native American, erstwhile PGA TOUR member, and current broadcaster for NBC Universal and Golf Channel, the partnership between Begay and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe aligns well with their missions.

“We’re honored to have these women play in the Circling Raven Championship,” said Laura Penney, CEO, Coeur d'Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “Like Notah Begay, we support empowering women and girls through the game. Doing so was one of the objectives the Coeur d’Alene Tribe set when it decided to build Circling Raven Golf Club.”

For more details about this year’s tournament, contact Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel and Circling Raven at: 1.800.523.2464 or visit www.cdacasino.com.

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