OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail is welcoming the world of professional golf back to its courses with three new tournaments.
“It’s exciting to have professional golf back in the Opelika area,” says Scott Gomberg, the Director of Golf at Grand National Golf Trail.
Officials with the golf trail say they began the year with one tournament on the books, but now just over a month later that number has tripled in size, one of which will take place at Robert Trent Jones Grand National in Opelika.
“These three events will showcase the quality of Alabama golf around the world,” said John Cannon, president of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. “With such a quick turnaround, these new tournaments are a true testament to our staff and the world-class golf offered to the public along the Trail all year long.”
The Symetra Tour, the qualifying Tour for the LPGA, will be playing at tournament at RTJ Grand National from May 23 to May 26.
“This is the stomping ground to get to the LPGA tour so the neat thing about this tournament is you’re going to have a lot of players who went to Auburn and Alabama fighting for their LPGA tour card that are now on their Symetra tour so there’s a lot of faces that are familiar to a lot of people in this area,” says Gomberg.
144 female golfers will venture to Opelika to compete in the as of yet unnamed tournament for the cash prize ever of $300,000, which is the Symetra Tour’s highest ever.
Other community events will also be held in Opelika earlier in the week.
“It’s 144 players along with them comes the media, players and their families, spectators. With all the hotel rooms and restaurants that type of impact is pretty substantial in this area,” explains Gomberg.
Robert Trent Jones Capitol Hill in Prattville, Alabama will host the other two tournaments.
The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Classic is a new professional men’s event that will feature 156 international golfers competing for a $550,000 purse over four days in April.
The Guardian Championship with the Symetra Tour will be held in September and helps golfers increase earnings and become members of the LPGA.
Robert Trent Jones Grand National first opened in 1992 and hosted the first professional tournament on the Trail in 1997.