Support the Symetra Tour by celebrating women in golf



Two years ago, I scoured the net, acquainting myself with the professional golfers of the Symetra Tour coming to play in Albany.

One player stood out. Patty Tavatanakit was voted American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year in 2016. She finished fifth at the 2018 US Women’s Open, earning low amateur honors.

In 2019, she left UCLA to go pro. When she arrived at Albany that year, she was winning back-to-back wins – including one in Rochester – and had secured her LPGA card.

I made it a point to follow her as she played Capital Hills. We spoke at the end of his tour. She was personable and enthusiastic about competing professionally. The native of Thailand knew she had what it took to compete at the highest level.

Symetra Tour player Patty Tavatanakit, who won the Danielle Downey Credit Union Classic on Sunday July 21, 2019 in Rochester. (Zach Sepanik / Symetra Tower)

This year, she won the PGA Women’s Championship, one of the five major tournaments on the LPGA Tour.

The Twin Bridges Championship will be held Friday through Sunday in Pinehaven after a 17-year race at Capital Hills in Albany. Golf fans and sportswomen alike should make a point of seeing the future of women’s golf. Daily tickets are just $ 10 per person, and children under 16 are admitted free. Tickets can only be purchased on tournament day and at the front door.

There is no better opportunity to look at the future of women’s golf than to support Kennedy Swedick of Albany Academy, who lives in Altamont. Swedick, 14, has just had a terrific race at the US Junior Girls’ Championship at Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md.

Playing with Rose Zhang, the eventual tournament winner and the world’s No.1 amateur, Swedick rolled a 69-less-than-par Tuesday on day two of stroke play to clinch a No.26 seed. won her opener Wednesday against 18-year-old Lacey Uchida of Hilo, Hawaii, with a brace. She lost Thursday in the second round of match play to Katie Li of Basking Ridge, NJ. She plays the Symetra on a sponsor’s exemption.

But Albany would do well to look more like Rochester when it comes to the Symetra Tour. The Danielle Downey Classic in Rochester reflects a celebration of women in sport, including a women’s forum and networking event – “one of the key events of the tournament week”. Rochester’s Future of Women’s Golf Pro-Am pairs local high school female golfers with Symetra Tour professionals, providing players with a unique experience to socialize, learn and celebrate golf with a mentor.

For the 37th time in 38 years, the Symetra Tour has included a stop in the Albany area on its schedule, and tournament director Jim Miller has done an incredible job with the Albany Symetra event. The country music concert – nicknamed the “Concert on the Course” – is a welcome addition. This year, Michael Ray is playing Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with special guest Tenille Arts.

But where is the involvement of the Albany chapter of the LPGA Amateur Golf Association, formerly the Executive Women’s Golf Association? Why is no local women’s golf association involved? Where are the events celebrating women in sport or advancing the game with young people?

The Albany event is currently the longest leg of what used to be known as the Futures Tour. We can do better.

The tour – formerly known as Futures – was founded by Eloise Trainor from New Lebanon in Columbia County.

Trainor was honored during a touring 40th anniversary celebration at Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in Winter Haven in early March 2020, just before the sports shutdown by COVID-19. A video of this ceremony can be viewed on YouTube, and a book compiled by Trainor on the history of the tour is now available.

“There might not even be a Symetra Tour if it weren’t for Eloise,” tour sales director Mike Nichols told Golfweek. “Fifteen to 20 years ago I’m not sure the LPGA Tour had the resources or the initiative to say we have to go do it. These players could potentially be in the same place today as there are. was 40 when Eloise realized the need to have this tour. “

Doesn’t the Eloise Trainor Twin Bridges Championship sound good?

Yes. And female golfers need to push for it and support, rally, get involved and start contributing to this wonderful championship.

[email protected] • @ joyceb10bassett •


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