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.
 
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  • Battling mono, Kaufman tied for lead at CME

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 2:05 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Kim Kaufman’s bout with mononucleosis might leave fellow tour pros wanting to catch the fever, too.

    A couple months after Anna Nordqvist battled her way into contention at the Women’s British Open playing with mono, and then thrived at the Solheim Cup with it, Kaufman is following suit.

    In her first start since being diagnosed, Kaufman posted an 8-under-par 64 Saturday to move into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. It was the low round of the day. She’s bidding to win her first LPGA title.

    “I’ve been resting at home for two weeks,” Kaufman said. “Didn’t do anything.”

    Well, she did slip on a flight of stairs while recuperating, hurting her left wrist. She had it wrapped Saturday but said that’s mostly precautionary. It didn’t bother her during the round.


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    “I’m the only person who can take two weeks off and get injured,” Kaufman joked.

    Kaufman, 26, left the Asian swing after playing the Sime Darby Malaysia, returning to her home in South Dakota, to see her doctor there. She is from Clark. She was told bed rest was the best thing for her, but she felt good enough to make the trip to Florida for the season-ending event.

    “We had some really cold days,” Kaufman said. “We had some snow. I was done with it. I was coming down here.”

    How does she feel?

    “I feel great,” she said. “I’m a little bit shaky, which isn’t great out there, but it’s great to be here doing something. I was going a little bit stir crazy [at home], just kind of fighting through it.”

    Kaufman made eight birdies in her bogey-free round.

    New-look Wie eyes CME Group Tour Championship title

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:32 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – Michelle Wie is sporting a new look that even has fellow players doing double takes.

    Bored during her six-week recovery from an emergency appendectomy late this summer, Wie decided to cut and die her hair.

    She went for golden locks, and a shorter style.

    “I kind of went crazy after being in bed that long,” Wie said. “I just told my mom to grab the kitchen scissors and just cut all my hair off.”

    Wie will get to sport her new look on a big stage Sunday after playing herself into a four-way tie for the lead at the CME Group Tour Championship. With a 6-under-par 66, she is in contention to win her fifth LPGA title, her first since winning the U.S. Women’s Open three years ago.


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    Wie, 28, fought her way back this year after two of the most disappointing years of her career. Her rebound, however, was derailed in late August, when she withdrew from the final round of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to undergo an emergency appendectomy. She was out for six weeks.

    Before the surgery, Wie enjoyed getting back into contention regularly, with six finishes of T-4 or better this season. She returned to the tour on the Asian swing in October.

    Fellow tour pros were surprised when she came back with the new look.

    “Definitely, walk by people and they didn’t recognize me,” Wie said.

    Wie is looking to continue to build on her resurgence.

    “I gained a lot of confidence this year,” she said. “I had a really tough year last year, the last couple years. Just really feeling like my old self. Really feeling comfortable out there and having fun, and that's when I play my best.”

    You Oughta Know: LPGA's Sunday scenarios

    By Randall MellNovember 19, 2017, 1:17 am

    NAPLES, Fla. – The CME Group Tour Championship is loaded with pressure-packed subplots Sunday at Tiburon Golf Club.

    Here’s what You Oughta Know about the prizes at stake:

    Race to the CME Globe

    Lexi Thompson and Sung Hyun Park are 1-2 in CME Globe points. They are best positioned Sunday to take home the $1 million jackpot in the season-long competition.

    Thompson and Park are tied for fifth in the tournament, one shot off the lead. If either of them wins, she will take home the jackpot.

    The way it’s unfolding Thompson is a good bet to take home the jackpot by merely finishing ahead of Park, unless they both stumble badly on Sunday.

    Ariya Jutanugarn is tied for the lead. She must win to take home the jackpot, but she would also need Thompson to finish ninth or worse and Park to finish eighth or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points to make a bold Sunday charge.

    Stacy Lewis is one shot off the lead with a longshot chance at the jackpot. She must win the tournament while Thompson finishes 26th or worse, Park finishes 12th or worse and nobody else among the top 12 in points makes a bold Sunday charge.

    So Yeon Ryu, Shanshan Feng and Brooke Henderson are among others who still have a shot at the $1 million prize, but they have fallen back in the pack and need bold Sunday charges to take home the jackpot.

    Rolex Player of the Year

    The Rolex Player of the Year Award remains a four-player race.

    Ryu (162), Feng (159), Park (157) and Thompson (147) all have a chance to win the award.

    Park and Thompson are best positioned to make Sunday moves to overtake Ryu.

    Park needs to finish sixth or better to win the award outright; Thompson needs to win the tournament to win the award.

    It’s simple math.

    The top 10 in the tournament will be awarded points.

    1st - 30 points

    2nd – 12 points

    3rd – 9 points

    4th – 7 points

    5th – 6 points

    6th – 5 points

    7rd – 4 points

    8th – 3 points

    9th – 2 points

    10th – 1 point

    Vare Trophy

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    Money-winning title

    Park leads the tour in money winnings with $2,262,472. Ryu is the only player who can pass her Sunday, and Ryu must win the tournament to do so. Ryu is tied for 32nd, five shots off the lead. If Ryu wins the tournament, she also needs Park to finish worse than solo second.

    Rolex world No. 1 ranking

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    Because they are so close, the scenarios for overtaking Feng are head spinning.

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    Cook leads RSM Classic by three at Sea Island

    By Associated PressNovember 19, 2017, 12:28 am

    ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - PGA Tour rookie Austin Cook shot a 4-under 66 on Saturday to increase his lead to three strokes in the RSM Classic.

    Cook, a shot ahead after a second-round 62, had five birdies and a bogey - his first of the week - to reach 18-under 194 with a round left at Sea Island Golf Club's Seaside Course.

    ''Putting is key right now,'' Cook said. ''Been able to make a lot of clutch putts for the pars to save no bogeys. Hitting the ball pretty much where we're looking and giving ourselves good opportunities on every hole.''

    Former University of Georgia player Chris Kirk was second after a 64.

    ''I'm really comfortable here,'' Kirk said. ''I love Sea Island. I lived here for 6 1/2 years, so I played the golf course a lot, SEC Championships and come down here for the RSM Classic. My family and I, we come down here a few other times a year as well.''

    Brian Gay was another stroke back at 14 under after a 69.

    ''I love the course,'' Gay said. ''We keep getting different wind directions so it's keeping us on our toes. Supposed to be another completely different wind direction tomorrow, so we're getting a new course every day.''


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    J.J. Spaun had a 62 to get to 13 under.

    ''I just kind of played stress-free golf out there and kept the golf ball in front of me,'' Spaun said. ''I had a lot of looks and scrambled pretty well, even though it was only a handful of times, but pretty overall pleased with how I played today.''

    Cook has made the weekend cuts in all four of his starts this season. The 26-year-old former Arkansas player earned his PGA Tour card through the Web.com Tour.

    ''I think with an extra year on the Web this past year, I really grew mentally and with my game, just kind of more confidence,'' Cook said. ''I was able to put myself in contention on the Web.com more this year than I have in the past. I think I've just, you know, learned from experiences on the Web to help me grow out here.''

    He planned to keep it simple Saturday night.

    ''I've got my parents here and my in-laws are both here as well as my wife,'' Cook said. ''Go home and just have a good home-cooked meal and just kind of enjoy the time and embrace the moment.''

    Kirk won the last of his four PGA Tour titles in 2015 at Colonial.

    ''It's nice to be back in contention again,'' Kirk said. ''It's been a little while for me. But I felt great out there today, I felt really comfortable, and so hopefully it will be the same way tomorrow and I'll keep my foot on the pedal and stay aggressive, try to make some birdies.''