Moon Captures Futures Tour Opener


Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- In a rapid turn of events, rookie Soo Young Moon of Kuemsan, Korea, was able to beat Nicole Materne of Spokane, Wash., by three shots for her first-ever professional and Futures Tour victory.
The non-exempt LPGA Tour rookie fired a four-under-par 68 for a 206 (-10) total at The Club at Eaglebrooke in Lakeland, Fla. Moon, who at one point was three shots behind Materne, beat the six-year Futures Tour veteran by three strokes. Materne shot a 71 (-1) on the 6,327 par 72 layout.
The first 12 holes of the final round belonged to Materne, who wasted little time getting herself into the lead position alone. She started off sizzling with birdies on three, five, seven, eight, and nine. She turned at 11-under-par for the tournament, three shots ahead of second round co-leader Moon, who was able to stay on Maternes trail by two putting for birdie from 55 feet on five and then adding to that with another birdie on seven.
On the back nine, Materne birdied 12 and was up three on Moon. Then came the turning point of the round on the par four 365-yard 13th hole. Although Moon bogeyed, she suddenly found herself within one shot of Materne, who triple-bogeyed the same hole. Then on 14, Materne bogeyed and Moon birdied, allowing Moon to take the outright lead for the first time at nine-under-par.
Moon, who is also a rookie on the LPGA Tour this season, stated,' I was a little nervous, but I did not want to think about anybody elses mistakes on the course. I was concentrating very hard on what I had to do to win. I knew that it was not impossible, but I needed to work hard.'
'I hit a three wood off the tee and the swing just did not feel right,' commented Materne, whose season ended quickly last year after she broke her hand. 'My tee shot on 13 landed in the hazard and then my second shot landed in the water. When I finally got to the green, I three putted for triple bogey. It just wasnt a great hole.'
Moon three putted for bogey on 15 and the two were tied again. However, the 19-year-old turned the heat on and added two more birdies on 16 and 17 and finished with a 68 (-4). Materne finished her round with a bogey on 18 and ended with a 71 (-1) for a 209 (-7), three shots behind Moon.
Moon earned non-exempt status for the 2003 LPGA Tour at the LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament last October held at The Club of Eaglebrooke. Her LPGA Tour status granted her automatic Futures Tour eligibility under Category 1 A-4, but Moon opted to compete in last years Futures Tour Qualifying Tournament to improve her status to Category 1 A-3. She won co-medalist honors with Aree Song, formerly Wongluekiet, of Bradenton, Fla.
'I like this course,' laughed Moon, who picked up the $8,400 first-place check. 'I cant believe I won. I never expected that this would happen. I practiced a lot this winter and just wanted to do my best.'
Moon plans on trying to Monday qualify for 10 to 15 LPGA events and she will also fit in as many Futures Tour tournaments as she can. If the time comes and Moon finds herself in a position to make it into the top three on the Futures Tour Money List, she will commit herself full-time to the Futures Tour. With one win under her belt, the 'FUTURE' is starting to shine for Moon.
Kimberley Adams of Tide Head, New Brunswick, recorded the second Futures Tour hole-in-one of the season and the first of her professional career. On the par three 174-yard sixth hole, Adams hit her six iron into the cup. She finished tied for 24th with a 224 (+8) and will receive a cash award for her accomplishment, courtesy of Futures Tour corporate marketing partner, Donald T. Ostop & Company, sponsor of the first annual Weekly Hole-In-One Challenge.
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