HARRIS, Mich. (WFRV) – After a two-year hiatus, women’s professional golf is back in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
The Island Resort Championship at Sweetgrass teed off Friday morning with 144 golfers vying for their share of a $200,000 purse, including a $30,000 top prize.
With a calm breeze for the first tee times at 7:30 a.m., morning scores went low as players took advantage of the soft ground. But, as is standard for the Island Resort Championship, the course is expected to get more and more challenging as the weekend goes on.
The mix of competitors creates a unique event for organizers.
“They’re from all over the world – South America, Europe, Far East,” said Tony Mancilla, General Manager of Island Resort and Casino. “Where else can you do that? And it’s happening right here in Harris, Michigan.”
As players shoot for their LPGA tour cards and an extra cash prize with the Potawatomi Cup, Sweetgrass provides a unique challenge, especially as the winds pick up.
Even so, the most experienced players know when to take their chances against the course – and when to dial back and embrace a par.
As putting becomes a determining factor throughout the weekend, the greens will undoubtedly dry out and roll faster, making touch and control major keys to victory.
But regardless of who finishes on top, most in the field will see their game grow due to the unique challenge of Sweetgrass.
“The level of play is tremendous, and we’ve had major champions come through here,” Mancilla said. “They’ve all been here, so level of play is really high.”