Industry News

Inspiring storylines make third annual Circling Raven Championship a must-see

Tickets on sale for Epson “#Road2LPGA” Tour event, teeing off at acclaimed golf amenity of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, Aug. 25-27

(Worley, Idaho; August 17, 2023) – For golf fans who like to discover tomorrow’s female superstars live and in-person, the third edition of next week’s Circling Raven Championship at Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel will be chock full of intriguing storylines played out in scenic Northern Idaho.

The Epson “#Road2LPGA” Tour event, presented by KXLY News 4 Now, will once again welcome a strong field of 132 female golfers to Circling Raven, the resort’s highly ranked course, where they’ll vie for shares of the $225,000 prize purse (that’s $25,000 more than the prize purse was in 2021 and 2022).

Those numbers alone make for serious drama as every competitor seeks full LPGA Tour membership status and cumulative prize winnings during the Epson Tour season determine which players achieve that dream goal.

As the list below illuminates, several compelling sub-narratives reveal how this event tends to identify future superstars — and is sure to spike the excitement meter once again for Circling Raven Championship patrons and players alike, especially since the tournament falls near season’s end, with few opportunities remaining to clinch LPGA membership.

Potent Proving Ground — In the inaugural Circling Raven Championship in 2021, American player Lilia Vu finished 12th to clinch first place on that season’s Race for the Card official money list and punch her ticket to full LPGA membership. Fast forward to Aug. 13, 2023, when she won the AIG Women’s Open in England — the final LPGA major championship of the year, Vu’s second major win this season and third title in 2023, vaulting her to No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. Who in this year’s field will follow Vu to world-class greatness?

Shooting for No. 1 — While current Epson Tour leading money winner Gabriela Ruffels of Australia is playing in the LPGA’s Canadian CPKC Women’s Open next week, No. 2 Natasha Andrea Oon of Malaysia and No. 3 Jiwon Jeon of South Korea will tee it up on Circling Raven’s stirring, challenging layout. Both are within $50,000 of Ruffels and could edge even closer with a strong showing.

The Hat Trick — A win here would make Jeon this season’s second three-time champ on the Epson Tour alongside Ruffels. Also in the hunt for this distinction is Jenny Bae, who is No. 5 on the money list.

Quest for Two — Last year’s winner, American Jillian Hollis, is gunning for back-to-back triumphs in Northern Idaho, which would be a Tour first in more than two decades.

Junior Phenom — Gracie McGovern of Scottsdale, Ariz., will come to Circling Raven on a true high — her first appearance at the U.S. Women’s Amateur at Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles after winning a local qualifier. Earlier this year she won the outright state Div. III championship as a junior at Scottsdale Christian, and in November 2022 took top honors at the PKBGT/Notah Begay III Girls Golf National Championship. Gracie has given a verbal commitment to attend Texas Christian University after graduating high school in 2024.

Local Love — At least two players in the field have roots in the Palouse region of Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington. For the third straight year, Amy Eneroth, a four-time all-Pac 10 player for Washington State University (Class of 2009) will play on a sponsor’s exemption. She is an assistant golf pro at Kalispel Country Club in Spokane. Meanwhile, three-time Idaho Women’s Amateur champion Gabby Lemieux, who has also played in two U.S. Women’s Opens, returns for her third straight Circling Raven Championship.  She owns a business in Idaho with her husband. Many of their friends, family, and associates attend and support her in the Circling Raven Championship.

Collegiate Connection — German-born Sophie Hausmann is a former University of Idaho standout and currently No. 23 in the Epson Tour’s Race for the Card standings. She’s also a member of the Ladies European Tour and competed in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open.

These and many other yet-to-be-written stories should make for a memorable summer week at Circling Raven.

“The third Circling Raven Championship presented by KXLY News 4 gives fans of the sport the opportunity to see astoundingly talented women professional players up close,” said Laura Penney, CEO of Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel. “We are proud to welcome them, and we join Epson and the LPGA TOUR in supporting women's golf. That these rising stars will compete on our award-winning golf course and have praised its conditions and design the past two years is a thrilling bonus, an affirmation from discerning players that we’re a first-class venue.”

Recently crowned Idaho’s No. 1 public course in Golfweek’s “Best by State” annual rankings, Circling Raven meanders across 620 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and Palouse grasses. The Gene Bates-designed masterpiece measures 7,189 yards from the back tees and is proudly owned and operated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. 

The three rounds of competition start at 7 a.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Aug. 25-27).

Single-day passes ($10) or full-week passes ($40) are available at or at the gate.

For more information, or to book rounds and packages, visit or call 800-523-2464.

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About Circling Raven Golf Club and Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel

Since 1993, the Coeur d’Alene Tribe has operated the Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel, located where sky greets Mt. Tch’mutpkwe, source of the St. Joe River, 25 miles from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The casino resort is among the largest employers in North Idaho employing between 850-1,100 depending on the season and contributing more than $33.5 million to education in the region since it opened. Additionally, millions more have gone in support of a wide range of public projects, emergency relief, charities, and programs in the Pacific Northwest. Named Tribal Destination of the Year in 2019 by AIANTA and winning the silver Distinguished Dozen award from Courier in 2019 and 2020, the property features 300 rooms and suites, seven distinct food and beverage venues and entertainment including live music and comedy as well as hands-on tours and experiences through the casino’s Cultural Tourism Program.
Three million-dollar winners have found their luck on 100,000 square feet of gaming space offering nearly 1,200 video gaming machines and high stakes bingo. Additional amenities include a 15,000 square foot spa voted 1st for “Resort Spas that deliver the Ahh Factor'' by, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, indoor and outdoor wedding locations and Circling Raven Golf Club, an 18-hole, par 72 course acclaimed as a “Top 100” course by every major golf publication in the U.S. LIKE Coeur d’Alene Casino on Facebook and Instagram or follow us on Twitter. For more information about Coeur d’Alene Casino and Circling Raven, visit 

Gary Trask,, 978-228-0314
Dan Shepherd, 703-403-5317
Yvette Matt,, 208-500-9989