Lilia Vu

Circling Raven Championship Presented by KXLY News 4 Now Features Top Women Professional Golfers

(Worley, Idaho; August 12, 2021) – Spectacularly talented women professional golfers from around the globe will soon tee it up in the Circling Raven Championship presented by KXLY News 4 Now, including the current No. 1 player in the Symetra Tour’s season-long pursuit for 2022 LPGA Tour membership. Two golfers with Idaho ties and a high school amateur who earned an exemption through winning a national junior championship are also in the field.

The inaugural event is scheduled for Aug. 23-29, 2021, the first in a three-year partnership with the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour, the top women’s professional golf tour worldwide. It will feature a field of 132 competitors battling for $200,000 in prize money, one of the highest purses on the Symetra Tour this year.

Spectator tickets can be purchased here or by visiting the Circling Raven Golf Shop. Single-day passes are just $5 and only $20 whole week. Two-day and three-day passes are also available. The competitive rounds will take place Friday-Sunday, Aug. 27-29, with earlier days dedicated to practice rounds, pro-ams, and more.

Lilia Vu from Fountain Valley, Calif., headlines the field for the tournament that will be played on Circling Raven, a Gene Bates design that is the No. 1 ranked public course in golf-rich Idaho. She is currently at the top of the money earned list in what has been a hard-fought, exciting 2021 season. Named “Race for the Card,” the 10 players with the highest cumulative money won by season’s end earn their LPGA Tour membership for 2022.  

Vu helped lead Team USA to victory at the 2018 Curtis Cup, was a member of the 2018 Arnold Palmer Cup and USA World Amateur Teams, and as a UCLA Bruin, was a 1st team All-American and All-Pac 12 performer. She has won twice on the Symetra Tour this season, as has Ruixin Liu from China and Casey Danielson from Wisconsin, both of whom join Vu in the Circling Raven Championship field.

Testament to the exceptional talent found on the Symetra Tour can be seen through its “graduates” who include Nelly Korda, Inbee Park, Patty Tavatanakit, Lorena Ochoa, and Madelene Sagstrom). Fourteen graduates competed in the recently completed Summer Olympics in Japan.

One player participating in the Circling Raven Championship (CRC) with an Idaho connection is Gabby Lemieux, a native of Caldwell, Idaho. A Native American from the Shoshone-Paiute tribe, Lemieux has a wonderful connection with the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which owns and operates the casino resort and golf club. She played college golf at Texas Tech and is a three-time Idaho Golf Association Women’s Amateur Champion.

Sophie Hausmann will also compete in the CRC. A native of Germany who played college golf at University of Idaho, she was a two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Year. Hausmann has won on the Symetra Tour this season.

High-schooler Allyn Stephens from Houston, Texas – daughter of Joe Stephens, a former player for the Houston Rockets of the NBA – earned an exemption into the tournament by winning the girls 14-18 age group title in the NB3 National Junior Golf Championship last fall. Spearheaded by Notah Begay III, a Native American, erstwhile PGA TOUR member, and current broadcaster for NBC Universal and Golf Channel, the partnership between Begay and the Coeur d’Alene Tribe aligns well with their missions.

“We’re honored to have these women play in the Circling Raven Championship,” said Laura Penney, CEO, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “Like Notah Begay, we support empowering women and girls through the game. Doing so was one of the objectives the Coeur d’Alene Tribe set when it decided to build Circling Raven Golf Club.”

For more details about this year’s tournament, contact Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel and Circling Raven at: 1.800.523.2464 or visit www.cdacasino.com.

About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel

Owned/operated by Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Circling Raven is in the scenic Idaho panhandle approximately 55 minutes from Spokane International Airport (GEG). Measuring 7,189 yards from the rear tees, the 18-hole layout sprawls magnificently through 620 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and Palouse grasses. Its gleaming white sand bunkers are large and strategically placed and its hole variety ingenious. Other Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel amenities and activities include the full-service Spa Ssakwa’q’n (pronounced Sock-wock-en); 300 hotel rooms; bars, restaurants, lounges, and eateries; cultural immersion options; and more. The casino just completed a $15 million renovation of its gaming floor and Events Center in 2019.  Circling Raven has garnered numerous best-in-kind honors since opening, including being rated a Top 100 Resort Course, Best in State, and a Top U.S. Casino Course. Its golf shop has won national and regional awards for its excellence and its variety of products, displays, and performance.

About Symetra Tour

The Symetra Tour is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA Tour and enters its 41st competitive season in 2021. With the support of its entitlement partner Symetra, the Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Since Symetra’s inaugural sponsorship year in 2012, the Symetra Tour has grown from 16 tournaments and $1.7 million in prize money to $4 million in prize money awarded over the course of nearly two dozen events. With more than 600 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won more than 400 LPGA titles. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/Road2LPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.

About Symetra

Symetra Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions and independent agents and advisors. Symetra began its partnership with the Road to the LPGA in 2010 as the title sponsor of the Symetra Classic. It secured naming rights for the Symetra Tour in November 2011. In addition to its title sponsorship of the Tour, which runs through 2021, Symetra sponsors two events on the tournament schedule—the Symetra Classic and the season-ending Symetra Tour Championship. For more information about Symetra, visit www.symetra.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Ali Palma, Tour Media Official, alison.palma@lpga.com, (386) 451-7485 

Yvette Matt, Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel Marketing Manager, ymatt@cdacasino.com, 208-500-9989

Dan Shepherd, Circling Raven Championship and Golf Club publicist, danshepherdpr@gmail.com, 703-403-5317