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Alexa Pano Accepts Second Sponsor Exemption Spot For Four Winds Invitational Golf Tournament

June 1st, 2018

The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds® Casinos are pleased to announce the second sponsor exemption for the upcoming Four Winds Invitational will be Alexa Pano, the 13-year-old golfing phenom from Lake Worth, Florida. Pano will play at the tournament which takes place Friday, June 8 through Sunday, June 10 at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend. The Four Winds Invitational is part of the Symetra® Tour – Road to the LPGA®.

Pano joins Cailey Rooker, a 17-year-old junior from St. Joseph Michigan in the lineup of players. Sponsor exemptions are used to give amateurs and up-and-coming players the opportunity to play in tournaments and compete against professionals. To qualify for consideration, players must have a 4 handicap or better.

An elite junior golfer, Alexa competes in premier AJGA Invitational and Opens and is currently ranked #20 in the world. In 2017 she was a member of both the victorious Wyndham Cup East Team and Team USA for the Evian Junior Cup in France. Pano has also qualified for 5 USGA Championships, including the US Women’s Amateur at ages 11 and 12, and in 2017 became only the third 12-year-old to make the cut into match play in 117 years. In addition, yearly she competes in major college and women’s Open’s and holds one win and two other top five finishes. In 2016, she became the youngest competitor ever (age 11) in LPGA Japan, competing in the Yonex Ladies Open in Nagaoka. She is star of a 2013 film The Short Game co-produced by Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake which highlights Pano and seven other junior golfers, age 7-8. “For anyone into golf, to have someone like Alexa join our field of players is something not to miss. She’s not only a fierce competitor, she’s a great ambassador for the sport,” said Tim Firestone, general manager of Blackthorn Golf Club. “We know Alexa is looking forward to playing with the professional golfers on the Symetra Tour. The spectators have a lot to look forward to.”

To learn more about Alexa Pano, visit

To learn more about the Four Winds Invitational tournament, contact Firestone of Blackthorn Golf Club at (574) 232-4653, or visit

About the Four Winds Invitational
The Four Winds® Invitational was established in 2012 as part of the Symetra® Tour - Road to the LPGA®, and is sponsored by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds® Casinos. It is held at Blackthorn Golf Club, located at 6100 Nimtz Parkway, South Bend, Ind. The tournament features a field of professional women golfers from around the world. More information is available at

About The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians’ sovereignty was reaffirmed under legislation signed into law by President Clinton in September of 1994. The Pokagon Band is dedicated to providing community development initiatives such as housing, education, family services, medical care and cultural preservation for its approximately 5,000 citizens. The Pokagon Band’s ten-county service area includes four counties in Southwestern Michigan and six in Northern Indiana. Its main administrative offices are located in Dowagiac, Mich., with a satellite office in South Bend, Ind. In 2007, it opened Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo, Mich., followed by Four Winds Hartford in 2011 and Four Winds Dowagiac in 2013. Four Winds South Bend opened January 16, 2018. It owns and operates a variety of business via Mno-Bmadsen, the tribe’s non-gaming investment enterprise. More information is available at, and
Media Contacts:
Melinda Pierce, Big Idea Company, (574) 257-4332,
Jill Klinedinst, Big Idea Company, (574) 257-4332,

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