Wright Wins on Futures Tour

By Futures Tour MediaMay 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
Futures TourALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The week of the $75,000 Isleta Casino & Resort Gold Classic kicked off with an Australian leading in the first round and another Aussie winning in the final. And they both arrived at the tournament in the same car.
Just the wrong Aussie won, said Kylie Pratt of Mackay, Australia with a big grin. Pratt, of course, was the first-round leader and finished tied for ninth at 212. Her traveling compatriot, Lindsey Wright of Albury, Australia, was the winning Aussie. Wright took the gold in the tournaments title with the $10,500 champions check.
And the former Pepperdine University player did it with three rounds in the 60s, blistering the par-72, 6,621-yard Isleta Eagle Golf Course with a final-round 66 to win at 13-under-par 203.
Ive done a lot of hard work since I left college and this is so encouraging to come out and win this week, said Wright, a non-exempt member of the LPGA Tour who is playing her first full season on the Futures Golf Tour.
Wright started todays final round two shots behind rookie Aram Cho of Seoul, Korea. She put the pressure on Cho on the front nine with a 4-under-par performance of 32 that included three consecutive birdies on holes three, four and five, a bogey on the seventh, then a chip-in eagle-3 on the par-5 eighth hole from 40 yards. When the two made the turn to the back nine, Wright had drawn even with Cho.
The difference was that Cho recorded one bogey and one birdie on the back nine, while Wright rattled in two birdies, including another chip-in for birdie on the 14th from 20 feet. Cho was solid, but Wrights short game set her apart.
My short game has been great and I could really feel it today, said Wright, who won her first Futures Tour title last summer in Altamont, N.Y., during the partial season she played following her college graduation.
Cho had one last chance to apply pressure to the leader on the final green, but she came up short with her 35-foot birdie try. Wright was steady-handed and two-putted her 15-footer for par and the win. Cho secured second place with her 2-under finish of 70 at 205 (-11).
Lindsey says she was unbelievably nervous when she won last year, but thats also what she wants -- where she wants to be, said Leith Wastle, a teaching pro from Melbourne, Australia who is instructing Wright, Pratt and Yvonne Cox of Charleston, W.Va., who finished third at 8-under 208.
Lindsey is a tough little woman and shes got a heck of a lot of guts, added Wastle, who caddied for Pratt. Right now, shes just doing a lot of things right.
For starters, Wright hopes to gain her exempt LPGA Tour status for 2005 by finishing in the top five on the Futures Tour Money List at the end of this season. As a non-exempt LPGA Tour member, she has the option to Monday qualify. But Wright says her goals are more long-term than showing up for those grueling one-day events to earn one or two spots in the tournament field.
I see the Futures Tour as a big stepping stone, because there are so many players who can potentially win tournaments out here each week, said Wright, a former four-time All-American at Pepperdine. Im not interested in having one great week on the LPGA Tour and not being able to sustain it. I want to get better every week.
Wright, who played in eight tournaments in 2003, says she learned by watching the practice habits and tournament finishes of recent Futures Tour alums, such as Stacy Prammanasudh and Reilley Rankin. Both of those players earned their LPGA Tour cards by finishing in the Futures Tours top five.
I look at players from last year and see how well they are doing now on the LPGA Tour, said Wright. They worked really hard, but if they can do it, I can do it. Ive made that commitment to myself this year and Im learning something in every round I play.
As for going for the gold, Wrights finish at Isleta allowed her to charge up the Tours current Money List from No. 22 to No. 3. After three tournaments, she has won once and tied for fifth once. And its a safe bet as to whos buying dinner tonight when that carload of Aussies takes to the highway.
Related Links:
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x