Free admission for June's Four Winds Invitational at Blackthorn

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South Bend's Blackthorn Golf Course is one month away from welcoming back the Four Winds Invitational, one of the premiere stops on the Symetra Tour.

The Symetra Tour is the step below the LPGA and is known as the Road to the LPGA.

This year's Four Winds Invitational will be held June 17-19 at Blackthorn. Tournament officials announced on Wednesday at Media Day and incredible new perk for spectators--admission for all three rounds is free.

"I think it's awesome," Blackthorn General Manager and Four Winds Invitational Tournament Director Tim Firestone explains. "We've been trying to get the attendance up every year and we figured what better way to get attendance up than to let everyone in for free."

Firestone says they approached sponsor Fit Stop about being prepaying the tickets and being our main gate sponsor and they stepped up to fund the tickets with the proceeds going to charity.

Also on Wednesday, it was announced that South Bend St. Joe alum and Western Michigan junior golfer Anna Wilcoxson will receive a sponsors exemption for this year's Four Winds Invitational and will play with the pros next month. Wilcoxson has been watching the Four Winds Invitational as a spectator for the last several years. Now she gets the opportunity to play in it--in her hometown.

"It's amazing because you can have all my family and friends and people come out and watch," says Wilcoxson. "It's really an incredible honor and one step closer to reaching my dreams. This is the step you need to get to get onto the tour so without an open door nothing can happen.

"You know I've seen Anna grow up since she was very young playing golf here, hitting balls and practicing for hours and hours," says Firestone. "To be able to have her play in this event is really cool for us and it's always great to have a local connection to have fans come out and follow these young ladies around."

Firestone says they are still looking for 20-30 more volunteers to help out with the tournament. If you are interested, contact Blackthorn.