It is quite possible Tess Hackworthy will not play competitive golf in Wisconsin during 2020, which means that the former University of Wisconsin golfer will not compete for a fifth consecutive Wisconsin State Women's Open title and that there will not be a PHC Classic on the Symetra Tour.
One day after earning $720 in her professional debut at the CoBank Colorado Women's Open, Hackworthy spoke via Zoom about her experience at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club in Denver and looked ahead to her first summer as a professional golfer. The Madison native graduated in May from UW after her fifth season with the Badgers was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last fall, Hackworthy earned conditional status on the Symetra Tour by playing in the first stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying School in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Her plans to turn professional after graduation were halted briefly after the NCAA announced that it would grant additional eligibility to spring sports athletes impacted by the coronavirus and the decision to cancel the season. However, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez quickly announced that seniors who would otherwise have exhausted their eligibility would not be allowed to use the NCAA's extra eligibility at UW, which prompted Hackworthy to turn her attention back to her pursuit of a career playing professional golf.
She shot 74-71-75 and finished tied for 34th in Colorado, earning her $720. After spending Saturday at home in Madison doing her laundry and packing, Hackworthy was set to leave Sunday for this week's event on the Women's All-Pro Tour (WAPT) in Anna, Texas. The WAPT, which conducts tournaments in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas, has become the feeder tour for the Symetra Tour, the LPGA's developmental circuit.
Hackworthy will play three events on the WAPT before returning home to prepare for her Symetra Tour debut. Because many of the foreign golfers on the Symetra Tour are reluctant to travel amid restrictions imposed by COVID-19, she said her conditional status currently gets her into the fields for each of the 10 events still on the 2020 schedule for the Symetra Tour, but while the Symetra Tour has yet to make an official announcement, Hackworthy was told the PHC Classic at Brown Deer Park Golf Course in Milwaukee will not be one of them because, she was told last week, it has been canceled.