Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship – 5 Things You Need to Know
The Battle Creek Country Club comes alive again July 28th through the 30th for the fourth annual Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship. There are quite a few things you may or may not know about this year's events. Here are five things that you need to know heading into the weekend events.
Since the Symetra Tour has scheduled the Championship in 2014, Battle Creek Country Club has been the host every year. The area that the club is located on near Capital Avenue Southwest was secured in 1905 but the club itself was opened in 1919 according to BCCC. It took three years to complete the current 18-hole track, with the first nine being completed in 1920.
There will be 145 players in the Cereal City this weekend, but two have local ties to the area. Gabrielle and Sarah Shipley of Hastings will get to see action on the course thanks to a sponsor exemption.
Gabrielle turned pro last year and has played in a regional tour since, with four Symetra Tour starts. The Grand Valley State grad currently resides in Florida.
Sarah will be a sophomore at the University of Kentucky and was one of only two Wildcats that played all 11 events in her freshman season.
For the first three years of the Championship, four rounds were scheduled at BCCC. The first two tournaments were completed as scheduled, but last year's was cut short due to consistent rain showers from Friday on. Laura Gonzalez Escallon earned the title in the shortened tourney, shooting -15 in 36 holes.
The Firekeepers Casino Hotel Championship is also a part of the Potawatomi Cup, which partners with three other Symetra Tour tournaments for a chance of bonus prize money.
The winner is determined by performance at each of the other three tournaments involved - the Island Resort Championship in Harris, Michigan (won by Emma Talley), the Four Winds Invitational in South Bend, Indiana (won by Kendall Dye) and next week's PHC Classic in Milwaukee.
Escallon would also win the PHC Classic the week after the Championship last year to clinch the Potawatomi Cup.
There is always solid talent that comes to Battle Creek for the Championship, and this year is no different. Past champions - Escallon, Madeleine Sheils and Min Seo Kwak - moved on to the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) the year following their title wins.
With 145 competitors this year, nine out of the top 10 money winners so far are competing for the title. The lone player not competing is Nanna Koerstz Madsen, who currently leads the Symetra Tour following her second win of the season in Rochester, New York, last week.