Four Winds Invitational underway at South Bend Country Club
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Four Winds Invitational began Friday at 7:30 a.m. as 128 golfers took the course at South Bend Country Club.
The tournament is part of the Epson Tour—a qualifier for the LPGA Tour. In its 42-year history, more than 600 former players have moved up to the LPGA and have won 459 LPGA titles.
This weekend marks the 11th edition of the Four Winds Invitational and the second year it’s been at South Bend Country Club.
Matt Clark, Epson Tour’s manager of business affairs, told our 16 Sports team how exciting it is to get this event started, and why South Bend continues to be a place the tour makes a stop at.
“The weather feels great, actually is what really feels great, but it’s been good lead up to the week,” Clark says. “A bit busy week. A lot of events, three pro-ams and junior clinic, and now it’s competition time for the players. So, I think they’re all excited to be out there.
“South Bend is a community that’s really embraced our tour,” he added. “We’ve been in this community; this is the eleventh year for the event and last year was the first year here at South Bend Country Club. The course is in amazing shape, amazing condition. It’s a championship test of golf, and it’s really a great fit for this tour and the level of play on this tour.”
In the last decade, the Epson Tour has grown from 15 tournaments and around $1.6 million in prize money to 22 events and $4.4 million in prize money.
Clark touched on that growth, and how he wants to see the tour continue to grow.
“Number one is to keep elevating the prize money for these players,” he says. “It’s at the highest it’s ever been, but it’s still not enough. That’s always our number one goal as the Epson Tour staff continues to elevate purses and prize money and opportunities for these players. Secondarily, I think we want to continue to play at high level championship caliber golf courses, and South Bend Country Club is certainly one of those.”
After day one, your leader is Yan Liu of China at eight under par. She has a three stroke leader over two golfers tied for second heading into Saturday’s round.
The final round takes place Sunday. To follow live scoring updates, click here.
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