Canadians Brittany Marchand and Maddie Szeryk eager to be back on Symetra Tour

Canadians Brittany Marchand and Maddie Szeryk eager to be back on Symetra Tour

Brittany Marchand felt like her career was on an upswing after tying for eighth at the Florida’s Natural Charity Classic in early March. It was the first tournament of the Symetra Tour season and was Marchand’s best finish in more than a year after she muddled through the 2019 LPGA Tour schedule.

A week later and the Symetra Tour, like the rest of North America’s professional sports, was on indefinite hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Let’s just say it was 100 per cent a momentum killer if I’ve ever seen one,” Marchand said with a laugh. “I’d already had quite a long off-season and then to have another off-season, essentially, it was like ‘OK, I’ve already worked on everything I wanted to. I’m ready to go.’”

Marchand, from Orangeville, Ont., is one of four Canadians in the field at this week’s FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship in Battle Creek, Mich., a three-round tournament that tees off Friday morning. She’s still eighth in the tour’s rankings thanks to that strong finish in March.

“Little did I know that that finish at the beginning was actually going to be a huge help,” said Marchand. “Normally that would have been great but it wouldn’t have determined much of anything over the course of a season.”

It’s the first tournament to be played by the LPGA Tour family following the three-month hiatus. The shortened Symetra Tour schedule is now 10 events.

The Symetra Tour will still award LPGA Tour membership to the top players on the money list at the end of the year. However, five cards with partial status will be available instead of the 10 that have been distributed each year since 2008.

“A full LPGA card is off the table,” said Marchand, who added that in some ways it creates a pressure-free situation. “I have to wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be starting next year on the LPGA, no matter what, even if I finish at the top of the money list.”

Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., is also eager to get back to work at the FireKeepers. Her only competition during the pandemic break was a 16th place finish at the Texas Women’s Open and playing with her sister Ellie, a Texas A&M prospect.

Like Marchand, Szeryk said she’s pleased to be playing competitive golf again but has mixed feelings about the limited exemptions available for the next LPGA Tour season.

“It’s a bummer that you don’t even really have a chance this year,” said Szeryk, who is No. 41 on the tour’s money list. “There’s nothing we can do about it so I just have to look at is as a growing experience and I’m really going to be ready for (the LPGA) when I get up there.”

Josee Doyon of St-Georges, Que., and Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., round out the Canadian contingent at the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship.

The LPGA Tour resumes its schedule next week with the Drive On Championship, which Hamilton’s Alena Sharp has already declared she will play in.

PGA TOUR — Calgary’s Aaron Crawford earned his way into the 3M Open as a Monday qualifier. Roger Sloan of Merritt, B.C., David Hearn of Brantford, Ont., and Michael Gligic of Burlington, Ont., will also be teeing off at TPC Twin Cities in Blaine, Minn., on Thursday.

KORN FERRY TOUR — Adam Svensson of Surrey, B.C., is ranked 37th on the Korn Ferry Tour and will be in the field at this week’s Price Cutter Charity Championship at Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Mo. He’ll be joined by Vancouver’s Stuart Macdonald and Ben Silverman of Thornhill, Ont. Taylor Pendrith of Richmond Hill, Ont., is third in the second-tier circuit’s standings but is taking the week off.

EUROPEAN TOUR — Aaron Cockerill of Stony Mountain, Man., was tied for fifth at 5 under after the first round of the British Masters at Close House Golf Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. Scotland’s David Law was the leader at 7 under.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2020.

___

John Chidley Hill’s weekly golf notebook is published on Wednesdays.

Follow @jchidleyhill on Twitter

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press

Golf

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Is this a town garden?’ Sylvan Lake resident has been gardening for 7 decades

Most summer days, Joel McCutcheon is in his garden pulling weeds, tending flowers and mowing

Witnesses to doctor attack will likely suffer trauma: RCMP

Supt. Gerald Grobmeier held a news conference last night but wouldn’t confirm details.

Red Deer doctor killed at clinic

Red Deer RCMP are investigating the death of a doctor at the Village Mall Walk-In Clinic.

Alberta reports 257 new cases of COVID-19

Central zone has 157 active cases

Charges likely in fatal attack at central Alberta medical clinic: RCMP

A vigil was held Monday night to mourn the victim

Vigil held in Maskwacis for 10-year-old boy

Samson Cree Nation comes together for comfort, console each other

Cuts to environmental monitoring budget In Alberta’s oilsands are viewed as reckless

The 2019-2020 budget saw $58 million dollars being dedicated to environmental monitoring

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Police investigating after insults, expletives yelled at federal minister’s staff

A 90-second video circulating on social media appears to have been shot by the person who was yelling

Rent-relief program becomes new front in fight between Liberals, opposition

Opposition trying to draw parallels between decision to have Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. run program and the WE controversy

Ottawa sets minimum unemployment rate at 13.1% for EI calculation

Statistics Canada says the unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July

Oilers 50/50 raffle delayed as team resolves errors, offers refunds

Alberta fans who want to void any ticket purchases will have until noon Thursday

Who can dismiss the Governor General? A look at protocols and possibilities

The Governor General is appointed by the Queen, on the advice of the prime minister

Most Read