NEW BUFFALO, Mich. – February 1, 2012 – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, owners of Four Winds Casinos — the premier gaming destinations in the Midwest, and the LPGA, the world’s leading women’s professional golf organization, announced today that Four Winds will sponsor the Four Winds Invitational, a new tournament on the 2012 Symetra Tour — Road to the LPGA. It will be held from Friday, August 10 through Sunday, August 12, at the Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, Ind. The Four Winds Invitational will feature a field of professional women golfers from around the world competing for a total prize of $150,000, making it the largest purse on the 2012 Symetra Tour.
“We are thrilled to partner with the LPGA and bring this exciting tournament to the city of South Bend,” said Matt Wesaw, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “With our two casinos nearby in New Buffalo Mich. and Hartford, Mich., we feel that this is a great way to promote our brand while also having a positive economic impact on the South Bend area. We are also pleased to announce that all proceeds from the tournament will go to local charities.”
“We are also very excited to partner with Four Winds and Blackthorn Golf Club to bring the rising stars of the LPGA to Northern Indiana. These ladies have high expectations for themselves and goals to achieve. The addition of this new event provides one more key playing opportunity to help them achieve their dreams of playing on the LPGA,” said Zayra Calderon, CEO of the Symetra Tour — Road to the LPGA. “As the Symetra Tour grows as the ‘Official Road to the LPGA,’ we’re looking for partners who understand the importance of showcasing new talent. South Bend’s familiarity with big-time collegiate sports and fantastic competition should be a perfect match.”
The tournament will be held at Blackthorn Golf Club, located at 6100 Nimtz Parkway, South Bend, Ind. Blackthorn opened in August, 1994, and sits on a heavily wooded 226-acre site. The par 72, 7,136-yard layout features broad fairways that are framed by 94 bunkers, wetlands, ponds, and native prairie grasses that lead to subtly contoured and swept-up-tiered bentgrass greens. Blackthorn Golf Club is owned by the city of South Bend and is managed by Kitson & Partners. More information is available at: www.blackthorngolf.com.
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg added, “We are very excited that the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its Four Winds Casinos were able to work with the Symetra Tour to bring this tournament to Blackthorn Golf Club, which we feel will have a significant economic benefit to area businesses.”
The Symetra Tour – Road to the LPGA is the world's largest international women's development tour and is committed to developing LPGA stars of tomorrow while creating viable role models for the youth today. Every year, the top 10 Symetra Tour players earn automatic membership to play on the LPGA Tour.
About Four Winds New Buffalo and Four Winds Hartford
Four Winds New Buffalo, located at 11111 Wilson Road in New Buffalo, Mich., and Four Winds Hartford, located at 68600 Red Arrow Highway in Hartford, Mich., are owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. Four Winds New Buffalo offers 135,000 square feet of gaming with approximately 3,000 slot machines, a large selection of table games including poker, four restaurants, entertainment bars and retail venues, and a 165-room hotel, making it the premier gaming resort in the Midwest. Four Winds Hartford features 500 slot machines, nine table games, a 100-seat restaurant and a 15-seat bar. Please play responsibly. You must be 21 years of age to gamble. For more information on Four Winds New Buffalo or Four Winds Hartford, please call 1-866-4WINDS1 (866-494-6371) or visit www.fourwindscasino.com. Additionally, be sure to like Four Winds Casino on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fourwindscasino and follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fourwindscasino.
About the Symetra Tour
The Symetra Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA, enters its 32nd competitive season in 2012. With the support of its new umbrella sponsor, Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. The top 10 money winners each season earn memberships on the LPGA Tour for the following season. With more than 500 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 362 LPGA titles, including 39 major championships. Symetra Tour events have contributed more than $5 million to charitable organizations throughout the nation since 1989. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.
About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 1,700 members representing 29 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga.official, www.twitter.com/lpga, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.
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Joshua Taustein, for Four Winds, (312)780-7219, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ali Kicklighter, for the LPGA, (386)274-6278, email@example.com
Tim Firestone, for Blackthorn, (574)232-4653 firstname.lastname@example.org