SYRACUSE Nearly two decades old, the Symetra Tour’s Credit Union Classic has turned into a late-summer fixture on the Central New York golf calendar.
And once again, the future stars of women’s golf are heading to Drumlins Country Club’s East course this weekend, battling for $100,000 in prize money and improving their odds of being one of the 10 players that, at season’s end, will earn an LPGA Tour card.
Once known as the Futures Tour, its first stop in Syracuse came in 1996, and for its first 13 years the event was played at the Links at Erie Village. Then it moved to Drumlins in 2009 and picked up the sponsorship of several area credit unions, with Wegmans serving as a presenting sponsor.
A full week of activities are planned again, from Monday’s Pro-Junior Challenge featuring high school teams paired up with Futures pros to clinics to a pair of pro-ams, plus a junior clinic set for Thursday at 10 a.m. on the 18th fairway at Drumlins’ West course.
Tournament play in the 54-hole event gets underway on Friday morning, with the first wave of groups teeing off at 7:30 a.m. and the second wave at 12:30 p.m. The same times apply on Saturday, and after the cut is made, the remaining players tee off at 7:50 a.m. Sunday until the champion is crowned.
Last July, the Credit Union Classic had a dramatic – and fortuitous – ending. Olivia Jordan-Higgins, from Great Britain, sank a par putt on the final hole to finish at six-under-par 207 and beat P.K. Kongkraphan by one shot, just minutes before a vicious rainstorm soaked Drumlins that likely would have sent a playoff between Jordan-Higgins and Kongkraphan to Monday morning.
Even those who didn’t win this tournament in the past can find glory. Mo Martin, a professional rom Texas, spent six years on the Symetra Tour and played in this event several times before making it to the LPGA in 2012. A month ago, her eagle on the 72nd hole produced an upset victory in the Women’s British Open at Royal Birkdale in England.