WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The local Women’s All Pro Tour (WAPT) is being hosted by the Wichita Falls Country Club for the fourth year.

The number of participants has increased from 70 in our first year to nearly 120 players from around the world.

The WAPT is a qualifying tour for young professional lady golfers hoping to earn their way to the next stage in their journey towards the LPGA. Each year, top winners in the WAPT are eligible to advance to the Epson Tour, which is the “official” qualifying tour of the LPGA.

The local sponsors are: Holder’s Jewelers, United Regional Health Care System, American National Bank & Trust, First National Bank of Wichita Falls, Union Square Federal Credit Union and the Prothro Family.

The tournament play begins Tuesday, April 25, and ends Friday, April 28, at the Wichita Falls Country Club on Hamilton Boulevard.

Carney Porter: An exciting golf tournament is coming to Wichita Falls next week. And here to talk about it is Howard Farrell and Linda Hanger. Thank you both so much for joining us this morning. All right. Howard, can you just tell us a little bit about how this came to be and what people can expect when it’s coming up?

Howard Farrell: The WAPT is a women’s developmental program for the ladies to advance through different tours to the LPGA, the Ladies Professional Golf Association. So there’s a series of things that the ladies have to do to get what they call the “final game,” which is the LPGA. The whole aspect is to provide an environment that will get them ready for that final piece.

Carney Porter: And sounds like it’s an important piece of the puzzle for sure.

Howard Farrell: It’s that stepping stone that all the ladies have to go through. And I said, the ladies, the men obviously go through the same scenario.

Carney Porter: Right. What is it about the event that is so much fun and that you all look forward to? And if you don’t mind touching on it, what is it that you look forward to most?

Linda Hanger: Well, I look forward, first of all, it’s just to watching some amazing golf. These girls are very talented, and they can craft shots that we all, as golfers, dream about. And there’s a lot of activities going on with this event. There’s a pro-am and there’s some social get togethers.

And one of the things that we’re really hopeful for is that the public will come out and watch these girls play. I mean, this is- this is an incredible level of golf, and it’s just encouraging everybody to come out. There’s no fee for them to come out and just be a spectator, so.

Carney Porter: Hey, I’ve been been to my fair share of some golf tournaments, too. And they’re a fun time, too, to be a part of. And it’s nice, like you said, to watch and cheer on, cheer on those golfers and get to see what they’re made of. It’s a great way to do that.

So like she said, it’s free of charge and it’s April 25th through the 28th happening at the Wichita Falls Country Club. And you can see it starts at 7:30 on Tuesday, Wednesday and 12:30 Thursday and Friday. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. We appreciate it. Don’t go anywhere.