There will be a home town feel for a handful of golfers when the Symetra Tour comes to the Lake Course at Grand National in Opelika in three weeks.
Three former Auburn University golfers – Cydney Clanton from Concord N.C., and sisters Marta Sanz Barrio and Patricia Sanz Barrio from Madrid, Span – will join the field of 137 competitors in the Zimmer Biomet Championship hosted by Nancy Lopez at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail course on May 23-26.
"We are grateful to Zimmer Biomet for embracing the Symetra Tour," said Mike Nichols, the chief business officer of the Symetra Tour. "The inclusion of Nancy Lopez as the hostess for this inaugural event makes for a special week for our players, sponsors and fans."
In addition to the three former Tigers, the University of Alabama will be represented by two former student-athletes as Janie Jackson and Lakaraber Abe will compete. Jackson, who is from Huntsville, is the only competitor from Alabama listed in the field.
Additionally, three University of Georgia golfers that include Jillian Hollis, Harang Lee, Jean Reynolds and Bailey Tardy will join the fray.
Players will compete for a $300,000 purse, the highest ever on the Symetra Tour, according to a press release from the RTJ Golf Trail. The purse breaks the previous record of $250,000 set in 2016.
A Pro-Am and other community events will be held earlier in the week.
This tournament marks the sixth professional golf tournament played at Grand National since it opened in 1992. Grand National is the second addition to the Symetra Tour along the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. Senator Course at RTJ Capitol Hill in Prattville enters its third year as a venue for the tour and will host the Guardian Championship from Sept. 20-22.
"Representing a company that has a product that has changed my life is pretty exciting, and to be the spokesperson for Zimmer Biomet and to talk about it is fantastic," said Lopez, a 48-time winner on the LPGA Tour, in a release by the RTJ Golf Trail. "It's going to be a lot of fun to reach out to people that pretty much are afraid to do anything with knee replacements."
Clanton enters the tournament on the heels of a three-hole playoff with Julieta Granada of Paraguay, who is also a registered competitor in the Zimmer Biomet Championship, in the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout last week in Arkansas. Clanton earned the victory for her second career win on the Symetra Tour.
The Auburn University alum enters this tournament sixth on the tour’s money list for 2019. The top 10 on the money list at the end of the year earn LPGA Tour cards.
Admission and volunteers
Alabama is one of only six states that will host multiple events on the “Road to the LPGA” in 2019 through the Symetra Tour. The tour will feature 24 tournaments in whole, and boasts a total $4 million in purses.
Admission to the Zimmer Biomet Championship is free. To get the most out of this unique opportunity, consider volunteering for the event. Information about the tournament and how to volunteer is online at www.rtjgolf.com.