The Road to the LPGA crosses the U.S. border to the south this week as the Symetra Tour stops in its lone international market in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico for the Riviera Nayarit Classic. 141 players make up the final field and will be playing for a $125,000 purse. The Tour returns to El Tigre Golf & Country Club for the third consecutive year and the tournament will be contested over 54 holes (three rounds). The tournament course will play 6,433 yards and par 73.
Last year’s champion, Ryann O’Toole has moved on the LPGA Tour, but four of the top-10 finishers return this year including runner-ups Nicole Smith (Riverside, Calif.) and Dawn Shockley (Estes Park, Colo.), Valentine Derrey (T4- Paris, France) and Jenny Gleason (T8- Clearwater, Fla.) round out the top-10 finishers returning in 2012.
Megan McChrystal and Esther Choe, the winners of the first two events of the 2012 season, are in the field as well and both look to record their second-career wins in Mexico. McChrystal won the season-opening Florida’s Natural Charity Classic and Choe notched a four-stroke victory last week at the inaugural Sara Bay Classic.
Six Symetra Tour professionals who are native to Mexico will be in playing in their home country this week. They are: Lili Alvarez (Durango), Marcela Leon (Monterrey), Pamela Ontiveros (Gomez Palacio), Sandra Angulo Minarro (Torreon) and Alejandra Llaneza (Mexico City).