From September 25–27, the Symetra Tour stops in Longwood, FL, for the IOA Classic presented by HomeValue.com. The second IOA-sponsored event on the “Road to the LPGA,” this three-day competition is one the agency’s co-founder, John Ritenour, holds close to heart. Here’s everything you need to know about the tournament before it tees off at the end of the month.
The Scenic Route
The IOA Golf Classic has now been on the Symetra Tour for eight years. Each year it’s held at the Alaqua Country Club, which Ritenour is a principle owner of. At the end of this September, players will compete in a 54-hole format for a $175,000 purse on the club’s intuitive course. Designed by Gary Player, the private 18-hole course boasts 55-foot elevated tees and scenic greenery.
Upping the Stakes
A little over a month before the 2019 IOA Classic, Ritenour announced a last-minute purse increase — from $150,000 to $175,000. With $25,000 dollars more on the line, Marta Sanz Barrio capped a 2-under par 69 final round and claimed her second career win on the Symetra Tour. Sanz Barrio returns to defend the title this year, and John Ritenour had nothing but praise following her victory last year.
“So happy for Marta Sanz Barrio, who is the winner of the IOA Golf Classic and now a two-time winner in the Symetra Tour’s Road to the LPGA,” said Ritenour. “Congratulations, Marta!”
Next but Not Last
In August, Fatima Fernandez Cano took home the IOA Championship trophy in Beaumont, CA. Now, players are eager to head across the coast to continue the competition in Florida. Although the IOA Classic is next up on the roster, it isn’t the last players will see of IOA this year. Recently, the Symetra Tour added another stop to the 2020 tour: the Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship presented by IOA. The Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship presented by IOA will take place this October in Howey-In-The-Hills, Florida.
“To be part of helping the world’s best young women professional golfers prepare for the LPGA is thrilling,” said Ritenour. “As always, we’re grateful for another opportunity to hop on the Symetra Tour!”