Golf

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WINTER HAVEN — The start to the 40th anniversary season for the Symetra Tour is right around the corner, as the 2020 “Road to the LPGA” begins with the 12th Annual Florida’s Natural Charity Classic at the Country Club of Winter Haven from March 6-8.

“This year will be a real celebration of the Symetra Tour and there’s no better sponsor to lead us into a historic campaign than Florida’s Natural,” said Mike Nichols, the Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. “They have not only been devoted to helping grow women’s professional golf, but their charitable efforts have transformed central Florida communities. It is going to be a special week.”

Greeting the 132-player field in Polk County is a $125,000 total purse. 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. The winner’s share for the event is $18,750.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Symetra Tour and bring this sports championship to the greater Winter Haven area,” said Nikki Hayde, the President of the Florida’s Natural Growers Foundation. “Through support of Florida’s Natural Charity Classic, our organization has awarded over $2 million in grants to support Central Florida charities. This event is always circled on the calendar and one we look forward to growing every year.”

Defending champion Kelly Tan (Batu Pahat, Malaysia) is not among the competitors, as she finished tied for 20th at the second annual LPGA Q-Series to earn Priority List Category 14 status for the 2020 season. Tan won the 11th edition of Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in 2019 thanks to a birdie on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff against Demi Runas after setting the tournament scoring record 13-under par.

First- and second-round action gets underway at 7 a.m., off the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Meanwhile, the final round will start at 8:15 a.m., with all groups heading out from No. 1 tee in twosomes.