Former Rocket Jennifer Elsholz has received a sponsor’s exemption for the Tullymore Classic, a Symetra Tour event featuring the future stars of the LPGA Tour.The 54-hole stroke play tournament will tee off Friday, July 3, and conclude Sunday, July 5, in Stanwood, Mich., which is 30 miles west of Mount Pleasant and one hour north of Grand Rapids.
Elsholz, who graduated in May with a degree in psychology, won the 2014 Michigan Women’s Amateur and the Golf Association of Michigan Championship to earn the Golf Association of Michigan’s Player of the Year honors.
The other exemption was given to 17-year-old Brooke Henderson of Smith Falls, Ontario. Henderson, the former top-ranked amateur in the world, tied for fifth place at the Women’s PGA Championship earlier this month.
“We talked to golf people and experts across the state from the Golf Association of Michigan and the PGA about the best amateurs in the state, and Jennifer’s name came up repeatedly,” Scot Cucksey, PGA golf professional at Tullymore Golf Club said. “It was impressive that last summer she was the fifth golfer ever to win both the Michigan Women’s Amateur and the [Golf Association of Michigan] Championship in the same year. She also performed well at The University of Toledo and is planning to go to [LPGA Tour Qualifying] Q school in the fall. She seemed like a perfect fit for our sponsor’s exemption.”
A field of 144 golfers is competing in the $100,000-purse Tullymore event. The winner will earn $15,000 and have an opportunity to move into the top-10 on the Volvik Race for the card money list. The top 10 on the year-end Symetra Tour money list earns LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.
“It’s definitely exciting to be able to get an exemption and go out and play on the tour that, depending on what happens, I could possibly play on next year,” Elsholz said. “Playing this summer as an amateur gives me a chance to qualify for the U.S. Amateur and a few other big events, and playing in the Tullymore Classic will be a great experience. It’s certainly exciting and a step in the right direction for me.”
Elsholz ranked third for the Rockets with a 77.6 stroke average this past spring. She posted a season-best fourth-place finish at Michigan State’s Mary Fossum Invitational to earn Mid-American Conference Women’s Golfer of the Week accolades. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native notched two more top 10 showings during the year — tied for 10th place at both the Rocket Classic and Florida Gulf Coast University Eagle Invitational — and helped UT win a pair of tournament titles.
“Jen’s goal is be a professional golfer,” UT Head Coach Nicole Hollingsworth said. “That’s her dream, and I’m excited she is pursuing that. This is a great opportunity for her. She was the best amateur in the state of Michigan a year ago, and it’s great they are honoring her for that by giving her a sponsor’s exemption.”
Visit tullymoreclassic.com for more tournament information.