What you need to know about this weekend's Four Winds Invitational at South Bend C.C.

SOUTH BEND — A field of 130 female golfers who hope to play on the LPGA Tour in the future will tee off Friday in the $200,000 Four Winds Invitational at South Bend Country Club.

It’s the second straight year the 54-hole event will be played at the par-72, 6,456-yard course that was designed by legendary architect George O’Neil on Chain O’Lakes near Lydick and opened in 1916. The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its Four Winds Casinos are the presenting sponsors of the event.

Admission for the three-day event is free, thanks to the sponsorship of Tire Rack.

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It's the second straight week the Epson Tour is playing an event in Indiana. Last week, many of the players competed in the French Lick Charity Classic on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick. China’s Xiaowen Yin won for a second straight week on the Epson Tour, surviving four rounds in hot, humid and rainy conditions by posting a 7-under total of 281 and capturing the $50,250 first prize by a shot over Gabriella Then of the United States.

American Lucy Li, who also has two victories this season and earned $110,111, and Yin ($106,216) are the top two golfers on the Epson Tour in money earnings but not competing this week in the event which will pay $30,000 to the winner.

But 12 of the next 13 on the money list are entered, including third-place Linnea Strom of Sweden ($86,307), fourth-place Then ($72,639), fifth-place Gina Kim of the U.S. ($69,948) and sixth-place Grace Kim of Australia ($64,393).

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The field includes players from 30 nations and 20 states, and it includes three players with Indiana collegiate ties: Purdue’s August Kim, University of Indianapolis’ Pilar Echeverria and Notre Dame’s Becca Huffer.

Eight of the players in the field already have won this season: South Korea’s Kum-Kang Park (Florida’s Natural Charity Classic), Strom (IOA Championship), the Philippines’ Dottie Ardina (Copper Rock Championship), Then (Garden City Charity Classic), Grace Kim (IOA Golf Classic), American Gina Kim (Inova Mission Inn Resort), Finland’s Kiira Riihijarvi (Ann Arbor’s Road to the LPGA) and Taiwan’s Ssu-Chia Cheng (Island Resort Championship).

American Lilia Vu, who won last year’s event with a 12-under total of 204, is not in the field because she is currently playing on the LPGA Tour where she has earned $526,446 this season. But among those returning is 2020 Four Winds champion Kim Kaufman, who won at Blackthorn.

“I think the (course) switch was really good,” Kaufman said after finishing 37th last August. “I think it really elevated it a little bit to be at the (South Bend) country club.”

Happy homecoming for Huffer

Huffer certainly wouldn’t mind ending the week the way it started for her Wednesday — in the victory circle.

The 32-year-old Huffer, a 2012 graduate at Notre Dame where she played for recently retired head coach Susan Holt, captained the winning team in the afternoon pro-am scramble to a score of 17-under 54. Her playing partners were Mike Seiler, Anthony Kitchen, Dan Ellis and Sean Mueller. Their winning effort was two strokes better than the team captained by Gigi Stoll which included Michigan City pro Mat Blair, Kara Blair, Kenny Price and Bill Williams

On Tuesday, Huffer and Epson Tour media officials visited the indoor practice facility for the Notre Dame golf teams at the Warren Golf Course, the Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw course which has hosted several national events since its opening in 2000, including the 2019 U.S. Senior Open. Among those there to greet Huffer was new Notre Dame women’s coach Caroline Powers Ellis, who was the associate head coach and a former player at Michigan State.

More pro-ams

The Wednesday morning pro-am was captured by the team captained by Weiwei Chang of China. Chang’s team included Austin Coyne, Leo Bruni, Rusty Gay and Andrew Clark, and it scrambled to victory with a 13-under total of 58, one shot ahead of four teams.

There was another pro-am set for Thursday morning at 9, and many in the field likely got in some practice rounds in the afternoon.

Charities benefit

Some of the players in the field made a trip Wednesday morning to Beacon Children’s Hospital in downtown South Bend to play indoor golf with some of the young patients there. The hospital is the beneficiary of funds raised from the tournament’s pro-am and other events.

“This experience is as special to us as it is to them,” Epson Tour player Pilar Echeverria of Guatemala said in a video. “It’s just fun watching them try and try and try again. It’s funny how we get frustrated when we don’t make a 10-footer. But they’re out there doing it again and again and again. It’s pretty fun watching them be resilient. We’re inspired by them.”

The First Tee of Michiana also has been on hand this week. Director Jenny Zimmerman is conducting a fundraiser for the program’s “Links at Four Winds Field” event which will take place at the South Bend Cubs’ downtown ballpark Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Spectators coming to the Four Winds tournament this afternoon and Friday can hit birdie balls at two inflatable animals (three balls for $5; 10 balls for $10), and if they are successful, they win a round in the “Links at Four Winds Field” fundraising event which is worth $39.

If you want to go

  • Who: 130 women players from around the world

  • What: $200,000 Epson Tour golf event of 54 holes that pays $30,000 to winner

  • When: Friday through Sunday

  • Where: South Bend Country Club (par 72, 6,456 yards)

  • Admission: Free


SOUTH BEND — Friday’s first-round pairings in the LPGA Epson Tour’s $200,000 Four Winds Invitational at the par-72, 6,456-yard South Bend Country Club:


  • 7:30 a.m.: Min Seo Kwak (Seoul, Republic of Korea), Tess Hackworthy (Madison, Wis.)

  • 7:41: Kaitlin Milligan (Norman, Okla.), Kathleen Scavo (Benicia, Calif.), Vicky Hurst (Melbourne, Fl

  • 7:52: August Kim (Nashville, Tenn.), Mariah Stackhouse (Riverdale, Ga.), Katherine Smith (Detroit Lakes, Minn.)

  • 8:03: Laura Restrepo (Panama City, Panama), Katelyn Sisk (Columbia, S.C.), Clariss Guce (Artesia, Calif.)

  • 8:14: Gigi Stoll (Beaverton, Ore.), Hira Naveed (Perth Australia), Kum-Kang Park (Seoul, Republic of Korea)

  • 8:25: Weiwei Zhang (Hainan, China), Hyo Joon Jang (Seoul, Republic of Korea), Lindy Duncan (Plantation, Fla.)

  • 8:36: Natalie Srinivasan (Spartanburg, S.C.), Jillian Hollis (Rocky River, Ohio), Alexa Pano (Lake Worth, Fla.)

  • 8:47: Lauren Cox (Orange, Texas), Auston Kim (St. Augustine, Fla.), Sarah Elizabeth White (Grand Rapids, Mich.)

  • 8:58: Megan Osland (Kelowna, B.C.), Min-G Kim (Cheongju, Republic of Korea), Vivian Hou (Taipei, Chinese Taipei)

  • 9:09: Lakareber Abe (The Woodlands, Texas), Carley Cox (China Grove, N.C.), Miranda Wang (Tianjin, China)

  • 9:20: Moeka Nishihata (Osaka, Japan), Siyun Liu (Shanghai, China), Mind Muangkhumsakul (Banphai, Thailand)

  • 12:30 p.m.: Kenzie Wright (McKinney, Texas), Britney Yada (Hilo, Hawaii), Maddie Szeryk (London, Ont.)

  • 12:41: Shasta Averyhardt (Flint, Mich.), Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo.), Karen Fredgaard (Frederiksvaerk, Denmark)

  • 12:52: Selena Costabile (Thornhill, Ont.), Elayna Bowser (Dearborn, Mich.), Stephanie Na (Adelaide, Australia)

  • 1:03: Laura Wearn (Charlotte, N.C.), Pavarisa Yoktuan (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand), Linnea Strom (Hovas, Sweden)

  • 1:14: Samantha Wagner (Windermere, Fla.), Polly Mack (Berlin, Germany), Michaela Finn (Brastad, Sweden)

  • 1:25: Sophie Hausmann (Nottuin, Germany), Maddi Caldwell-Young (Canton, Ga.), Yan Liu (Fujian, China)

  • 1:36: Sofia Garcia (Asuncion, Paraguay), Anita Uwadia (Newcastle, England), Laetitia Beck (Caesarea, Israel)

  • 1:47: Louise Stahle (Lund, Sweden), Ana Paula Valdes (Morella, Mexico), Lori Beth Adams (Burlington, N.C.)

  • 1:58: Jessica Porvasnik (Hinckley, Ohio), Katharine Patrick (West University Place, Texas), Nannette Hill (Jupiter, Fla.)

  • 2:09: Amanda Tan (Singapore), Michelle Piyapattra (Eastvale, Calif.), Cassie Porter (Peregian Springs, Australia)

  • 2:20: Valerie Tanguay (St-Hyacinthe, Que.), Roberta Liti (Siena, Italy), Maria Fernanda Torres (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

NO. 10 TEE

  • 7:30 a.m.: Prima Thammaraks (Bangkok, Thailand), Malene Krolboll Hansen (Taastrup, Denmark)

  • 7:41: Maria Fernanda Escauriza (Asuncion, Paraguay), Riley Rennel (Columbia, Tenn.), Rebecca Lee-Bentham (Toronto, Ont.)

  • 7:52: Jessica Peng (Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei), Elin Arvidsson (Falkenberg, Sweden), Gabby Lemieux (Caldwell, Idaho)

  • 8:03: Ssu-Chia Cheng (Taipei, Chinese Taipei), Gabriella Then (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Grace Kim (Sydney, Australia)

  • 8:14: Dottie Ardina (Laguna, Philippines), Jiwon Jeon (Daegu, Republic of Korea), Kiira Riihijarvi (Oulu, Finland)

  • 8:25: Gabriela Ruffels (Melbourne, Australia), Amy Lee (Brea, Calif.), Emma Broze (Nervieux, France)

  • 8:36: Sarah Jane Smith (Sunshine Coast, Australia), Bailey Tardy (Norcross, Ga.), Emilee Hoffman (Folsom, Calif.)

  • 8:47: Karolina Vickova (Kladno, Czech Republic), Yue Ren (Guangdong, China), Kim Kaufman (Clark, S.D.)

  • 8:58: Lindsey McCurdy (Liberty Hill, Texas), Kennedy Swann (Mckenzie Bridge, Ore.), Regina Plasencia (Guadalajara, Mexico)

  • 9:09: Haley Moore (Escondido, Calif.), Mariel Galdiano (Pearl City, Hawaii), Alisa Rodriguez (Austin, Texas)

  • 9:20: Pinyada Kuvanun (Khonkaen, Thailand), Pilar Echeverria (Guatemala City, Guatemala), Yu-Sang Hou (Taipei, Chinese Taipei)

  • 12:30 p.m.: Daniela Recla (Vitoria, Brazil), Pauline Del Rosario (Manila Philippines), Julienne Soo (Melbourne, Australia)

  • 12:41: Chanoknan Angurasaranee (Saraburi, Thailand), Emily Mahar (Brisbane, Australia), Ingrid Gutierrez Nunez (Cuautla, Mexico)

  • 12:52: Julie Aime (Nice, France), Abby Herrmann (Pensacola, Fla.), Kendra Dalton (Poughquag, N.Y.)

  • 1:03: Milagros Chaves (Asuncion, Paraguay), Daniela Iacobelli (Melbourne, Fla.), Karen Chung (Budd Lake, N.J.)

  • 1:14: Celine Borge (Tonsberg, Norway), Gina Kim (Durham, N.C.), Klara Spilkova (Prague, Czech Republic)

  • 1:25: Jaravee Boonchang (Bangkok, Thailand), Amelia Garvey (Christchurch, New Zealand), Robyn Choi (Gold Coast, Australia)

  • 1:36: Dani Holmqvist (Stockholm, Sweden), Louise Ridderstrom (Stocksund, Sweden), Marta Sanz Barrio (Madrid, Spain)

  • 1:47: Soo Jin Lee (Carlingford, Australia), Fernanda Lira (Mexico City, Mexico), Leslie Cloots (Antwerp, Belgium)

  • 1:58: Kristin Coleman (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.), Teresa Toscano (Huelva, Spain), Beatrice Wallin (Gothenburg, Sweden)

  • 2:09: Nishtha Madan (Delhi, India), Alejandra Llaneza (Mexico City, Mexico), Anna Redding (Concord, N.C.)

  • 2:20: Maria Parra (Guadiaro, Spain), Greta Isabella Voelker (Witten, Fla.), Brynn Walker (St. Davids, Pa.)

This article originally appeared on South Bend Tribune: South Bend C.C.'s Four Winds Invitational golf: What you need to know