Goasguens 69 Leads Futures Qualifying


LAKELAND, Fla.- Amateur Caroline Goasguen of Montpellier, France, fired a 3-under-par 69 to take the lead after the opening round of the Futures Tour Qualifying Tournament in Lakeland, Fla.
One shot back in second place with a 70 are Corina Kelepouris of Drayton Valley, Alberta, Niina Laitinen of Helsinki, Finland, Kristin Dufour of Austin, Texas, amateur Susan Lippitt of Calgary, Alberta, and former LPGA Tour player Jennifer Hubbard of Van Alstyne, Texas. Due to the record-breaking roster of 296 players, 18 more than last year, three courses are being used for this 72-hole tournament; The Club at Eaglebrooke, ImperialLakes Country Club, and Cleveland Heights Golf Course, all located in the Lakeland area.
Playing at the 6,320-yard Club at Eaglebrooke, Goasguen's bogey-free round consisted of birdies on 12, 14, and 17. Goasguen, the runner-up at the 2002 Big Ten Conference Championship, will play her second round at the 6,155-yard Imperial Lakes Country Club.
Laitinen, who also played at the same course as Goasguen, picked up five birdies, one bogey, and a double-bogey for her 70. Laitinen will move on to the 6,197-yard Cleveland Heights Golf Course for her second round.
'I was very happy with my overall performance, but I did miss a fair amount of birdie chances,' said Laitinen, who finished 116th on the 2002 Futures Tour money list. 'I have been working on a new golf swing with my coach, Harry Hammond, and it really helped me out there today. My goal was to stay focused throughout the entire round and put myself into a good position heading into the second day. This is a good start.'
Notable players in the field at this week's qualifying tournament include 16-year-old amateur twin sensations Aree and Naree Wongluekiet of Bradenton, Fla., and Jenny Chuasiriporn of Timonium, Md. Aree fired an even-par 72 at the ImperialLakes Country Club, while sister Naree shot an 80 at Cleveland Heights Golf Course.
Chuasiriporn, a former Duke University standout and 1998 Curtis Cup team member, shot a 79 at ImperialLakes Country Club and is tied for 129th with 26 other players. Chuasiriporn made headlines after her outstanding runner-up finish in the 1998 U.S. Women's Open Championship in Kohler, Wis., losing in a 20-hole playoff to current LPGA Tour star Se Ri Pak.
The top 38 players in the tournament field will earn Priority 1, Category A-3 status, giving each direct entry to Futures Tour tournaments. The next 35 players will receive Priority 2, Category C status for the 2003 season. The top 90 players on the 2002 Futures Tour money list received Priority 1, Category A-1 status for the 2003 season by virtue of their ranking. For detailed information on the 2003 Futures Tour Eligibility for Play, please visit the web site at www.futurestour.com/About.html.
A cut will be made after 54 holes to the low 100 and ties.