Five Exempt for 2005 LPGA Season
This is the sixth year in the 24-year history of the Futures Tour that players have received automatic exemptions onto the LPGA Tour, and only the second year that five exemptions were presented. Previously the number of awarded cards was three.
Also today, the next 10 players on the money list, excluding any LPGA non-exempt members, received automatic entry into the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament to be held December 1 - 5, at LPGA International in Daytona Beach, Fla. Those players, in order of finish, are: Emily Bastel of Upper Sandusky, Ohio; Sung Ah Yim of Seoul, Korea; Kyeong Bae of Seoul, Korea; Kris Tamulis of Naples, Fla.; Seon-Hwa Lee of Chonan, Korea; Young Jo of Suwon, Korea; Erica Blasberg of Corona, Calif.; Allison Hanna of Portland, Ore.; Naree Song of Seoul, Korea; and Michelle Murphy of Tacoma, Wash.
Kang, who is in her third season on the Futures Tour and a second-year LPGA non-exempt member, had eight top-10 finishes, including two wins. She won the Tampa Bay's Next Generation Futures Golf Classic in Florida and the Betty Puskar Futures Golf Classic in Morgantown, W. Va. She earned $51,268 in 18 starts this year and tops the Futures Tour Money List awarding her honors as the 2004 Futures Tour Player of the Year.
'After trying to Monday qualify on the LPGA last year, I decided the Futures Tour is such a great program where you can play full time and every single week, so I played here all this year,' said the 24-year old. 'The Futures Tour gives you the experience of being a professional and I wanted to take advantage of it.'
Wright, also a non-exempt member of the LPGA and a second-year Futures Tour player, finished nine times in the top 10 this year, including winning twice. Her wins came at the Isleta Casino and Resort Futures Gold Classic in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Bank of Ann Arbor Futures Golf Classic in Michigan. With $45,536 in season earnings, Wright finished second on the money list.
'Last year, I watched the top five players get their cards and a few of the players I looked up to, so I knew this was the place to go to move on to the LPGA,' said the four-time NCAA All-American Wright, who played at Pepperdine University. 'I had status on the LPGA Tour [this year], but I knew if I played on the Futures Tour one more year, I would continue to develop week in and week out and make myself a stronger player. If you come out here prepared, it is an awesome experience.'
Despite missing the cut this week, Perrot held on to her No. 3 position on the money list. The 20-year old posted six top-10 finishes, including two wins coming into the final week. She won the GMAC Futures Golf Classic on Avon, Conn., and three weeks ago, won the Albany Futures Golf Classic in New York.
Perrot, who had LPGA non-exempt status last year said, 'I have been waiting for this moment since I was eight. I had one goal -- the LPGA Tour, and I did it. It is really exciting. I played three years on the Futures Tour and now I graduated to the LPGA Tour. It is like going to college and getting a degree and moving on. The experience I gained on the Futures Tour will help me so much on the LPGA Tour.'
The youngest player in the top five, 18-year-old rookie Cho, had five top-10 finishes this season, including one runner-up finish and two wins. Her first professional win was the Michelob ULTRA Futures Charity Golf Classic in Decatur, Ill., and her second win was the Stratton Mountain Futures Classic in Vermont. She earned $38,153 in earnings and captured Futures Tour Rookie of the Year honors.
The biggest surprise of the day and week was Johnson. She started the week in 11th place on the Futures Tour Money List. In order to move into the top five, the first-year pro would have to win this week's event. In stellar fashion, Johnson came from two shots back in the final round to tie for the lead with Kris Tamulis of Naples, Fla., after regulation play. Then the 22-year old won the York Newspaper Futures Golf Classic in a playoff with a birdie. That win allowed her to sneak past Bastel, who finished tied for 27th, by only $252.
'Surprised to say the least,' said the left-handed player and recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin. 'I had no idea until my name was called at the awards ceremony. At the start of the week, I thought if I won, I might have a chance. Having said that, while playing today and in the playoff, I never thought of it. I just wanted to win. It has been a great experience competing on the Futures Tour. This Tour is a spring board into the next stage.'
Zayra F. Calderon, president and chief executive officer of the Futures Tour said, 'We are sending five great champions to the LPGA Tour and wonderful representatives of the Futures Tour and their individual countries. These players are very strong and ready to take the next step. They showed character and will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, such as Lorena Ochoa, Grace Park, Beth Bauer and others. The Futures Tour is truly the place to grow young talent and develop them into the LPGA stars.'
The Futures Golf Tour, 'the official developmental tour of the LPGA,' has become the largest international developmental tour and the second largest women's golf tour in the world. Since 1989, Futures Tour events have raised nearly $3 million for charitable organizations. Throughout its 24-year history, membership has increased from approximately 150 North American players to more than 300 players from 29 different nations. The Tour now conducts 18 tournaments in 15 states. The top five players on the 2004 Futures Tour Money List will receive automatic exemptions for the 2005 LPGA Tour. There are more than 240 Futures Tour alumnae on the LPGA Tour and through 2003, they have won a total of 266 LPGA titles, including 28 major championships. The Futures Tour is committed to developing the skills and dreams of women golfers, establishing role models for youth and creating the LPGA stars of tomorrow.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18