Teen Star Wins 4th Futures Tour Event of 08


Duramed Futures TourBLOOMFIELD, Conn.-- Rookie Vicky Hurst of Melbourne, Fla., erased a two-stroke deficit with a 4-under-par 68 to earn her fourth Duramed FUTURES Tour win of the season at the CIGNA Golf Classic.
Hurst, winner of four events in eight entries, claimed the top prize of $11,200 and finished the tournament with a three-round total of 209 (-7).
She won by eight shots over special invitee Natalie Sheary (71) of West Hartford, Conn., an amateur and sophomore at Wake Forest University, who is close friends with Hurst. Sheary finished her second event with the Duramed FUTURES Tour at 219 (+1) after tying for 19th in last years CIGNA Golf Classic.
With wins in McAllen, Texas, Decatur, Ill., and Hammond, Ind., Hurst became the first player to win four events in a season since LPGA Tour pro Song-Hee Kim earned five victories in 2006. Hurst was the only player to finish under par for the tournament and joined Sheary and Jenny Suh of Fairfax, Va., as the three players to finish with an under-par final round.
Hurst came into Sundays round two shots back to rookie M.J. Hur (81) of Seoul, South Korea, who retained the lead through the first two rounds. But just as it was on Saturday, when she saw a five-stroke lead shrink to a two-shot advantage, Hur struggled from the start on Sunday with two bogeys on her first three holes and three consecutive bogeys on holes nine through 11.
Hurs first shot of the day was pulled left, and after saving par on her first hole, she was unable to put together any momentum during the day. Hurs errant drives along with a two-stroke penalty for removing sand to improve her lie on the 13th hole erased hope of her second career Tour victory.
The wind didnt bother me that much today, but I just couldnt do anything right, Hur said.
Just like the swirling winds Hurst overcame in Hammond, Ind., she mastered the problematic gusts that plagued the field on Sunday. Still, the rookie would not say the wind was worse than Saturdays gusts.
I just tried to focus on my own game today, Hurst said. Ive been hitting the ball really well all week and I wanted to put it to good use when it counted.
Hurst took the lead for the first time on the front nine with a birdie on the sixth hole and rolled home a 55-foot birdie putt to extend her lead to three shots. She led by as many as six shots, adding a birdie on the 11th hole. She spun her approach shot with backspin within five feet on the par-4 18th hole, setting the stage for her final birdie putt.
Next up for the 18-year-old Hurst is the LPGA State Farm Classic next week in Springfield, Ill., an exemption from her victory at the Michelob ULTRA Duramed FUTURES Players Championship in Decatur, Ill., the Tours major championship. Hurst didnt feel any extra pressure knowing she will be absent from the Tour next week in Syracuse, N.Y.
I go out there and treat every tournament the same, Hurst said. I just wanted to focus on my game.
Hurst will be wearing one of her signature Kangol hats stitched with the Duramed logo next week and gave fans a glimpse by wearing it during Saturdays second round.
Ive never worn something that someone has asked me to wear, Hurst said. When Im out there wearing it, Ill be proud of the Duramed FUTURES Tour for supporting me.
Sheary entertained Hurst at her home earlier this week, saying when theyre together, golf is the last thing they talk about. The friends couldnt have scripted the results any better, and were proud of the fact that they shared the top two spots on the leaderboard.
Im so proud of Vick because shes won three and is on her to way to number four, said Sheary after finishing her round. I hit the ball the same all three days, and other than a mess on 16 yesterday, I thought I played the course pretty smart.
The Duramed FUTURES Tour moves on to Syracuse, N.Y., next week for the Alliance Bank Golf Classic, set for July 18-20.