BEAUMONT, Calif. – The 120-player field for the 10th annual IOA Championship presented by Morongo Casino Resort & Spa from March 25-27 has been finalized by the Epson Tour, as the “Road to the LPGA” returns to Morongo Golf Club at Tukwet Canyon.
Individuals will compete in a 54-hole, stroke-play format for $200,000. A cut will be made to the top-60 competitors plus ties after 36 holes. Tournament admission is free.
IOA Championship defending champion Sophie Hausmann highlights the field. The 24-year-old German in her third season on the Epson Tour played the weekend 12 times across 20 starts last year. Hausmann was the overnight leader heading into the 2021 IOA Championship final round and she battled the winds to capture her first Epson Tour title.
“I’ve been eagerly anticipating this tournament for a while,” said Hausmann. “It’s something special in our sport to defend a title. Morongo Golf Club is a tough test of golf and stamina with the rolling Tukwet Canyon hills. I can’t wait to compete this week in an event that has such special meaning for my career.”
A total of 10 players call the Golden State home including UCLA alumna Beth Wu of Diamond Bar. She is one of three former Bruins, joined by Brianna Do and Louise Ridderstrom, while five former USC Trojans are also among the competitors.
“The more I travel, the more I appreciate coming back home, or to my home state in general,” said Wu. “I have so many connections to California with family, having gone to college at UCLA, and experiences are abundant. I’m lucky. To have the chance to tee it up on a Tour that brings me back to a part of the country that has helped me get to this point in my career.”
Two tournament sponsor exemptions round out the field in Jessica Welch and Brittany Fan. Welch is set to make her third Epson Tour start of the season, while Fan will compete in her first IOA Championship after a surprise from IOA.
“I’m so grateful that IOA considered me for a sponsor exemption into this championship,” said Fan. “I feel so prepared to compete in an Epson Tour event and showcase all the hard work I have put into my game through the Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT). I’m so thankful to be in Beaumont.”
ABOUT EPSON TOUR
The Epson Tour (formerly the Symetra Tour) is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 42nd competitive season in 2022. With the support of entitlement partner Seiko Epson Corporation, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best female professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. In the last decade, the Epson Tour has grown from 15 tournaments and $1.6 million in prize money to $4.41 million awarded across 20+ events in 2022. With more than 600 graduates and alumnae moving on to the LPGA Tour, former Epson Tour players have won 459 LPGA titles.
Follow the Epson Tour at www.epsontour.com, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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