NORTH PORT, Fla. — The start to the 39th Symetra Tour season is right around the corner as the “Road to the LPGA” in 2019 begins with the inaugural SKYiGOLF Championship hosted by Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail from March 7-10.

“We worked tirelessly in the offseason to ensure this year featured more events, more prize money and a stronger breadth of title sponsors,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “Starting the year with the SKYiGOLF Championship and their groundbreaking purse definitely sets the tone for the 2019 season.”

Greeting the 132-player field in North Port, Fla. is a total purse of $250,000, the second highest on Tour this year. It also matches the 2016 Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women’s Health Classic in Greenwood, S.C. as the second richest in Symetra Tour history.

Individuals are set to compete in a 72-hole stroke play format with a cut to the low 60 players and ties after 36 holes.

“I’m a big proponent of supporting all golf, but am really excited in supporting these women and their chase of the LPGA Tour,” said Rich Smith, the Founder and CEO of SKYiGOLF. “We are striving for a great tournament to start the year, with a big purse and excellent course conditions welcoming the competitors. Hopefully they leave here with great optimism for the season and an affinity for Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club at Bobcat Trail.”

Furthermore, the tournament is particularly special for several competitors native to Florida, including AJ Newell (Tampa, Florida). The University of Tennessee alumna is eager to start the year just down the road from where she grew up. 

“Not only is it exciting to start the season near a place so familiar to me, but with an inaugural event supported by SKYiGOLF is very meaningful,” Newell said. “Competing on the Symetra Tour is a true stepping stone to what we can expect on the LPGA Tour—purses have increased, we are playing on championship golf courses and amazing organizations have recognized the importance of growing the women’s game. SKYiGOLF is one of the leaders in that regard.”

First and second round action gets underway at 7:15 a.m. ET off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Meanwhile, all groups will head off No. 1 tee in twosomes for the third and fourth rounds, starting at 8 a.m. and 8:15 a.m., respectively.