Circling Raven Golf Club will host a Symetra Tour event for three years, beginning with the inaugural Circling Raven Championship next August.
The Symetra Tour is the qualifying tour for the LPGA. The top 10 players on the Symetra money list annually earn membership on the LPGA Tour.
A full field of competitors is expected at the Worley, Idaho, course from Aug. 24-30, 2020. That puts the Circling Raven Championship (CRC) in the closing stages of the Symetra Tour tournament lineup. There are five Symetra events remaining in the 2019 season as players battle for a top-10 finish.
“We are big supporters of women’s golf and are proud to work with the LPGA in hosting the Symetra Tour’s Circling Raven Championship,” said Francis Sijohn, CEO of the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “We invest substantially in CdA Casino Resort Hotel and the golf club to ensure our guests and golfers are thrilled with their experiences. We’re confident that having many of the world’s best women golfers showcasing their games at our excellent resort and golf club is a winning strategy.”
The CRC field will compete for $200,000 in prize money, which would rank as one of the largest payouts on the Symetra Tour. The 2019 Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez is No. 1 with a $300,000 purse. Seven Symetra events this season offered $125,000 in prize money, including the IOA Championship in Beaumont, California.
The closest Symetra tournament to the Inland Northwest is the Windsor (California) Golf Classic, about 60 miles north of San Francisco.
Circling Raven, which opened in 2003, was No. 1 in Idaho in Golfweek’s “Best Courses You Can Play” 2019 rankings for each state and has been ranked in Golf Magazine’s top 100 courses you can play.
The scenic course, designed by Gene Bates, sprawls over 620 acres and can extend to 7,189 yards from the tips.
“We are excited to welcome Circling Raven and CdA Casino Resort Hotel to the Symetra Tour family and grateful for their partnership,” said Mike Nichols, the Symetra Tour’s chief business officer. “There’s no doubt that our Tour members will be thrilled to compete on a renowned course for the generous purse in the Circling Raven Championship. This will definitely give some lucky players a major boost in the Volvik Race for the (LPGA) Card.”
Former Washington State Cougar Kim Welch, who finished fifth in the 2003 NCAA Championships, has played on the Symetra Tour for more than a decade. She’s No. 93 on the money list with $9,500 in nine tournaments.
The Symetra Tour begins in March and concludes with the Symetra Tour Championship Oct. 3-6 in Daytona Beach, Florida.
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