Futures Tour Announces First Major

By Futures Tour MediaJune 16, 2005, 4:00 pm
Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- The FUTURES Golf Tour will launch its first major championship next year in Decatur, Ill., with a purse of $100,000, making it the Tour's richest purse. The tour made this announcement today in Decatur prior to the start of its longest-running tournament, the Michelob ULTRA FUTURES Charity Golf Classic. The tournament will be renamed the Michelob ULTRA FUTURES Championship at Hickory Point Golf Course starting next year.
 
'The FUTURES Tour and the tournament in Decatur have grown together over the last 21 years, so to make this tournament our first major championship is thoroughly fitting,' said Zayra F. Calderon, president and chief executive officer of the FUTURES Golf Tour. 'This is the next step for the FUTURES Tour and this gives players a reassurance that this Tour is committed to support their development, enabling them to be successful at the next level.'
 
In addition, the tournament will be contested over 72 holes -- making it the Tour's only four-round event. Tournament organizers in Decatur and FUTURES Tour officials worked together for several months to decide on a tournament format that would give the event the feel of a major championship.
 
LPGA Tour Commissioner Ty M. Votaw offered his endorsement of the FUTURES Golf Tour's plan to upgrade a long-time existing tournament to major status.
 
'As the official developmental tour of the LPGA Tour, we congratulate the FUTURES Tour in elevating one of is longest-running events to major championship status, the first-ever on the FUTURES Tour,' said Votaw. 'And, by offering a $100,000 purse, there is a demonstrated commitment to offering increased economic opportunities to its members. Throughout the years, the FUTURES Tour has provided women golfers with a competitive schedule for them to hone their game with the hopes of competing on the LPGA Tour. The Michelob ULTRA FUTURES Championship is a terrific step in this process.'
 
The prospect of hosting a major in his Midwest town has energized John Skeffington, Decatur's tournament chairman, who worked with the Tour to come up with something that would make his event stand out. Together, the two entities agreed on a definition of what a major championship would entail on the FUTURES Golf Tour.
 
'It would be very hard for us to take this on if we were only a few years old, but we've been around for 21 of the tour's 25 years,' said Skeffington. 'Our goal has always been to make our tournament better each year. We really wanted to take this tournament to the next level because the FUTURES Tour is such a great partner.'
 
Skeffington said the final touches are still being added to give next year's tournament a 'major feel.' He hopes to see the tournament become an all-caddied event, as is used at the season-ending YWCA FUTURES Classic in York, Pa. He also wants real-time scoring to become a staple of the event and plans to provide lockers for players -- a courtesy that is standard at LPGA Tour events.
 
With its inaugural FUTURES Tour tournament held in 1985, past champions of the Decatur tournament line up like a commencement ceremony for LPGA-bound pros. Tammie Green won the tournament twice (1985, 1986) and was followed by such future LPGA players as Denise (Baldwin) Killeen, Vickie (Moran) Odegard, Marianne Morris, Kristal Parker, Marilyn Lovander, Nicole Jeray, Angela Buzminski and Lorena Ochoa.
 
Three of the event's top finishers from 2004 earned LPGA Tour cards this year by finishing among the Tour's top five at the end of last season. The 2004 Michelob ULTRA FUTURES Charity Golf Classic winner, Aram Cho, was last year's FUTURES Tour Rookie of the Year and advanced to the LPGA Tour alongside Lindsey Wright and Malinda Johnson, runners-up at the 2004 Decatur tournament.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.