The ninth annual Four Winds Invitational teed off this morning at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend. The clack of golf balls was the only sound heard across the course as players warmed up for the first day of the 3-day tournament. Blackthorn Golf Club marks the fifth stop for the tour out of 16 total tournaments across the US.
The Symetra Tour brings players from all around the world to compete for a spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour. The Tour’s mission is to prepare the world’s best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. In fact, Katharine Patrick, a young golfer competing in her fourth Symetra Tour, knows just how valuable this tour is.
“Looking back at college and the top junior events I’ve played, this is definitely the strongest field I’ve played,” Patrick said. “There’s a lot of experience here.”
Patrick started golfing when she was 8-years-old and has been preparing for this day ever since. From choosing the right college to picking the right coach, every decision she has made has led her on the path to the LPGA.
“I’ve always tried to surround myself with a good support system,” Patrick said. “From my family to my coaches to my trainers, they’ve always been there for me every step of the way.”
Being a native of Houston, Texas, the grass is a little greener on the other side. But with quick greens and smooth fairways, Blackthorn isn’t anything Patrick can’t handle.
“It’s a tough course, especially if it gets windy,” Patrick said. “But I’m really excited to play it, I like the layout a lot.”
Even with an entire professional career ahead of her, Patrick has already accomplished a lot at such a young age.
“Playing nationals my last two years in college is probably my biggest accomplishment thus far,” Patrick said. “I was really happy with my mentality and my play in Q-School, so hopefully I can keep that going forward.”