VENICE, Fla. (WWSB) - Another major sporting event returning to the Suncoast this week. Female golfers from around the world are competing to qualify for the LPGA tournament. Stage two has been held at the Plantation Golf & Country Club in Venice since 1987. The top 30 players will advance to the next round – hoping to make their golfing dreams come true.
“They’re fighting for their lives to get to the final stage and have their season going, and those who don’t advance, still obtain Symetra Tour status which is the official qualifying tour of the LPGA,” Zach Sepanik, Spokesperson for the LPGA, explained.
As long as each player finishes the 72-holes, they’ll be playing in 2020. This week, more than 185 ladies from 28 countries will hit the green hoping to make it to the next stage. With this tournament, not only are world-wide athletes playing in Venice every year, but they’re also bringing thousands of dollars to the community -making a huge economic impact.
Visit Sarasota County says that sports tourism brought $78 million to the Suncoast last year, and that number is expected to grow even more by the end of 2019. This is the 31st year that this tournament is being held in Venice, where golfers and their families from all around the world stay here for a full week – in our hotels and eating at our local restaurants.
"We're very thankful that they're hosting stage two here every year, that's what we look forward to. I mean this golf course is always in great shape, and the people that are here surrounding us and supporting us is always great too,” Sandy Choi, a player from Seoul, told us.
The tournament continues until Thursday afternoon here at the Plantation Golf and Country Club – which is one of only two qualifying schools in the nation.