The Danielle Downey Classic will back for the third straight year, running from July 17th to the 23rd at Brook-Lea Country Club.
The Symmetra Tour has told tournament chairman Mike Vadala that the event is now one of the most solid events on tour.
“I think for the tournament itself, we started out, we were fledgling, we didn’t really know what we were doing,” says Valdala. “Nobody that is affiliated with this event had ever worked on a golf tournament before. And by the third year, we really think we’re good.”
The players enjoy coming to the tournament due to Rochester’s long-standing support of women’s golf. The Wegmans LPGA tournament had been held in town 38 years and Rochester has supported the Downey Classic ever since.
“Wegmans was here for the LPGA, and now we’ve taken it over and we still feel the same support,” says tour player Caroline Westrup.” I feel like Rochester itself is a women’s golf city.”
“Rochester isn’t just a golf town, there’s a ton of knowledge about it but they’re a women’s golf town,” says Symetra tour player Christine Meier. “They genuinely appreciate the women’s game and they want to see it grow and support us. You can feel that the whole week here.”
They also enjoy the chance to play with local high school golfers in the Monday Pro-Am.
Tour player Kendall Dye says ” We remember what it was like when we were little girls and how we would have died to have played with or met a professional. I never had that.”
Vanessa Fulmore, a junior golfer at Aquinas, says that the opportunity opens their eyes to the possibility of playing golf at the next level. “In high school they played, they started the same way that I did, and to see where they are now is incredible.”
“We want to grow the game, we want to see it succeed, we want to see it get better, and I think things like that that are so simple but they make such a difference” says Meier.
The tournament is named after Danielle Downey, a Spencerport native and former LPGA player who died in a car crash on January 30, 2014.