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LPGA Symetra Tour VisitMesa.com Classic

February 18-23, 2014 | Longbow Golf Club | Mesa, AZ

Symetra Tour Heads West For Season-Opener 

                  LPGA's Developmental Tour partners with VisitMesa.com to kick off 2013 season in Arizona

VisitMesa.com and the Symetra Tour today announced that this year's Road to the LPGA will begin at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona with the inaugural VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic. Set to take place February 18-24, admission to the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic is free on behalf of tournament sponsor, VisitMesa.com.

"We are excited about partnering with VisitMesa.com to bring the Symetra Tour back out to the West Coast," said Mike Nichols, Chief Business Officer of the Symetra Tour. "Arizona's passionate LPGA fans now have a great opportunity to see some of the best up-and-coming professional women golfers at no cost right in their backyard."

The inaugural VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic, which features an elite field of professional golfers vying for a total purse of $100,000, marks the first time since the 2006 Tucson Duramed FUTURES Golf Classic that the Symetra Tour will stop in Arizona.

The Symetra Tour - Road to the LPGA is the world's largest international women's developmental tour and is committed to preparing the world's best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. Several Symetra Tour members call Arizona home including last year's Player of the Year and current LPGA Tour rookie Esther Choe who resides in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"We are honored to be the title sponsor for the LPGA Symetra Tour's first tournament on the 2013 calendar," said Marc Garcia, President & CEO of Visit Mesa. "This event affords us the opportunity to show our support of the LPGA while elevating Mesa's brand during a period in which hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world come to Arizona to play in the sun. We are hopeful that the VisitMesa.com Gateway Classic is so successful that it eventually becomes a mainstay for the LPGA tour here in Mesa."

This season marks the second time in the Tour's 33-year history that the top-10 Symetra Tour players on the season-ending Volvik Race for the Card standings will earn fully-exempt LPGA Tour status for the following year.

Longbow Golf Club is located in North Mesa. The par-71 Ken Kavanaugh designed golf course was renovated and redesigned in 2003 to feature a new clubhouse, expanded acreage and a revamped practice facility. More information is available at www.longbowgolf.com/scottsdalegolf.

About Visit Mesa

Visit Mesa is responsible for marketing Mesa, Arizona as a leading vacation, small meeting and sports travel destination to regional and national target audiences, including travel agents and group tour operators, meeting planners, leisure visitors and media.

About Mesa, Arizona

Mesa has fast become one of the largest metropolitan cities in the state of Arizona offering a variety of lifestyle and leisure pursuits that are in high demand by visitors and residents alike. Now boasting nearly 450,000 residents, Mesa's population is greater than such well-known cities as Minneapolis, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Miami. Mesa is embraced by the Sonoran Desert - a playground for incredible, sought-after outdoor recreation and one-of-a-kind attractions. Pair this with fabulous weather, world-class golf, premier shopping, and unlimited recreational opportunities and you have the makings for incredible discoveries in the desert Southwest.

About Longbow Country Club

Longbow Golf Club is a nationally recognized daily fee golf course located in Mesa, Arizona within Longbow Business Park. Often described as the "Essence of Arizona Golf," Longbow Golf Club serves up a desert golf experience that is firmly tied to the traditions of the game. Home of the 2010 AJGA Tournament of the Year, Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic, Longbow is consistently rated top notch by leading golf writers and publications, and was honored as one of the Top 100 Resort Courses in the Country, Golfweek magazine 2009; Top 20 Best Public Access Courses in Arizona, Golfweek magazine 2010; Top 25 Courses in Arizona, Golf Magazine 2010 and has received numerous other awards and top rankings.

About the Symetra Tour

The Symetra Tour - Road to the LPGA, is the official developmental tour of the LPGA and enters its 33rd competitive season in 2013. With the support of its new umbrella sponsor, Symetra, the Tour's mission is to prepare the world's best young women professional golfers for a successful career on the LPGA Tour. 2013 marks the second season that the top-10 money winners will receive full, equal status for the following season on the LPGA Tour. With more than 500 alumnae moving on to the LPGA, former Symetra Tour players have won a total of 371 LPGA titles, including 40 major championships. Symetra Tour events have contributed more than $5 million to charitable organizations throughout the nation since 1989. Follow the Symetra Tour on the web at www.SymetraTour.com, Facebook.com/RoadtotheLPGA, Twitter.com/Road2LPGA, and YouTube.com/Road2LPGA.

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