Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — THOMPSONVILLE — The Michigan PGA Women’s Open Championship will have a wide-ranging field when play begins today at Crystal Mountain Resort.
Golfers from 20 states, including Hawaii and Alaska, and four countries, including Australia, will play for the $40,000 purse today through Wednesday on Mountain Ridge course.
Defending champion Katie Burnett of South Carolina, now on the Symetra Tour, has decided not to defend her championship, but there are 87 players going for the state title, including 48 professionals, 39 amateurs and 41 Michigan residents.
Among the Michigan contingent is 2011 champion Laura Kueny of Whitehall, who is finding great success this year on the LPGA’s Symetra Tour. Powered by a victory on tour in May in Charlotte, N.C., and a recent second in Decatur, Ill. (lost in a playoff), she is currently second on the money list and chasing the LPGA Tour playing privileges available to the top players on the Symetra Tour at the end of the season.
Other notables in the field include former LPGA standouts Elaine Crosby of Jackson, a two-time state champion (2001, 2002), past champion Connie Ross of St. Joseph (2008), Grand Rapids’ native Sue Ertl and another two-time champion, Suzanne Green-Roebuck of Ann Arbor (1994, 1999).
Among the amateur notables is Stacy Slobodnik-Stoll, a two-time Michigan Amateur champion and seven-time Michigan Women’s Mid-Amateur champion who is also the successful head women’s golf coach at Michigan State University. She annually competes against the field, which again includes former Spartans as well as golfers currently on her roster.
Several Symetra Tour players like Kueny are making stops. The tour was in South Bend, Ind., last week, and in the Upper Peninsula’s Harris next week.
Crystal Mountain is hosting the state championship for the 11th consecutive year.
Gallery is welcome with parking and admission free.