Golfer to make her pro debut in hometown Bradenton

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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The Symetra Tour stops at Sara Bay Country Club this week, and ABC 7 stopped by to catch up with former Lakewood Ranch star Ericka Schneider.

Ericka is not unfamiliar with celebrity because she played a round at Pebble Beach with Jeff Sluman and Bill Murray. She is not unfamiliar with this Donald Ross golf course or winning, because she won the Donald Ross Invitational at Sara Bay back when she was at Lakewood Ranch High School.

"I think I played 18 holes, and our group was the only one that finished, but everyone else played just 9 holes. I ended up winning the tournament my senior year here."

Friday she tees off for her first pro event, and it happens to come in her hometown in front of many people who mean so much to her. "It’s exciting because not only do I get to play in front of them, but they get to see me do something that I have been talking about doing for a long time."

Tuesday she was just getting a practice round in with a teammate of hers at Ole Miss, and trying to drink it all in. "I couldn't ask for a better experience; getting to come out and play in front of all the people who have supported me in my junior career, and just getting to give back to the community. Also, give them a chance to come out and see me in first professional event."

The Guardian Retirement Championship tees off Friday morning and runs through Sunday at Sara Bay Country Club.