The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Four Winds® Casinos are pleased to announce the names of two players selected to be this year's sponsor exemptions for the Four Winds Invitational, which takes place Friday, June 9 through Sunday, June 11 at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend. The Four Winds Invitational is part of the Symetra® Tour – Road to the LPGA®.
Kelly Grassel from Chesterton, Indiana and Brooke Ferrell from Edgerton, Wisconsin earned a spot to play in this year's tournament. 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.
Grassel is a member of the University of Florida golf team and is a three-time U.S. Women's Amateur Qualifier and two-time Match Play Qualifier. In high school, she was a two-time Indiana State Champion and earned the USGA-AJGA Presidents Award. She currently has a +5.3 handicap (as of Dec. '16).
Ferrell is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin. While a member of the Badger golf team, she set records for both the lowest single season scoring average (72.25) and the lowest career scoring average (74.0). She also made First-Team All Big Ten in her junior and senior years. Her older sister Allyssa Ferrell has competed on the Symetra Tour since 2015.
"I was excited to learn I was granted a sponsor exemption into the Four Winds Invitational. The energy and enthusiasm around the tournament are very special," said Ferrell, who further goes on to say, "I'm so grateful for the opportunity and can't wait to compete at this amazing golf course!"
"The players selected to be this year's sponsor exemptions are outstanding examples of the caliber of skill spectators can expect to see at the Four Winds Invitational," said Tim Firestone, general manager of Blackthorn Golf Club. "These two golfers are driven, focused, and more than qualified to compete with the professionals who'll be here. I'm looking forward to watching them next week."
To learn more about the Four Winds Invitational tournament, contact Tim Firestone of Blackthorn Golf Club at (574) 232-4653, or visit fourwindsinvitational.com.
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 fourwindsinvitational.com.
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. It owns and operates a variety of business via Mno-Bmadsen, the tribe's non-gaming investment enterprise. It broke ground in December 2016 on Four Winds South Bend. More information is available at www.pokagonband-nsn.gov, www.fourwindscasino.com and www.mno-bmadsen.com.