Wilson Fires Career Best


Futures TourYORK, Pa -' Fourth-year Futures Tour veteran Caryn Wilson of Rancho Mirage, Calif., fired a career-best 6-under-par 66 to take the first-round lead at the $75,000 York Newspaper Company Futures Classic, the final stop of the 2002 season. Wilson holds a two-shot lead over Julie Turner of Skaneateles, N.Y., who shot a 68 (-4) on the 6,455-yard par 72 Briarwood Golf Club in York, Pa. Nine players are tied at 69 (-3).
Wilson, who started her day on the 10th tee, had a hot front nine consisting of four birdies on 12, 16, 17, and 18. All putts were within 10 feet. She continued her streak on the back nine by draining a 20-foot birdie putt on hole No.1 and two-putted from 30 feet for birdie on the par-5 475-yard second hole. Wilson parred the remaining holes and finished with a flawless 66 (-6).
'Putting was the key out there for me today,' stated the 41-year-old Wilson, who made 12 putts in her first nine holes. 'That has always been the weakest part of my game and it is finally starting to come around. I was also striking the ball a lot better today. The distance on my balls is getting a lot longer and it is nice to see it go further.'
Wilsons best finish so far this year was a tie for sixth at last weeks Betty Puskar Futures Golf Classic in Morgantown, W. Va. To date, she has earned $8,657 in 12 tournament starts and is ranked 42nd on the Futures Tour money list, compared to last years 14th place finish on the final money list with $23,362. A former member of the 2000 LPGA Tour, Wilson is slightly displeased with her performance this season.
Wilson commented, 'Ive had a disappointing year in terms of results. I ended strong last year and I was hoping that this season, I could pick up where I left off, but that has not happened. Each year, the competition gets better and better and you have to score low to keep your head above water. Im really trying to get things in order for LPGA Q-school and these past few weeks have been great for my confidence.'
Upon graduating from a full tennis scholarship at Stanford University in 1983, Wilson became a professional tennis player, competing several times at three of the four grand slam tennis events including the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, and Wimbledon.
'I started a lot of tennis careers,' noted Wilson, who was also a traveling coach for the United States Tennis Association in 1988, working with tennis stars like Jennifer Capriati. 'I played against some younger and unknown players at the time like Gabrielle Sabitini. I learned a lot from my tennis experience and had a lot of fun, but I retired and became a coach while the opportunity was available.'
In 1992, Wilson left behind her tennis and coaching career to dedicate herself to a new passion ' golf. She adjusted so well that six years later she turned professional and in 1999, she became only the second woman, along with Althea Gibson, to play in both the golf and tennis U.S. Womens Open Championships.
Wilson is not alone in her journey back to the LPGA Tour. Since joining the FUTURES Tour in 1999, she has been traveling with her husband and caddie Stan, a former television sports anchorman in California, and their pet dog Koko.
'Stan helps me with everything from my swing to my mental game,' said Wilson. 'He is out there on the course with me everyday and has such great insight. He has sacrificed a lot to be with me. Its been a rough summer in terms of golf, but Im very lucky to have my best friend traveling with me and helping me with every aspect of my game.'
Turners 68 (-4) round was made up of five birdies, three bogeys, and an eagle on the par-5 540-yard fifth hole. Current money winner Lorena Ochoa of Guadalajara, Mexico, finished with a 1-under-par 71 and is tied for 17th with eight other players. Christina Kim of San Jose, Calif., who trails Ochoa by $1,747 on the Tours money list finished with a 72 (E). She is tied for 26th with 13 others. Finally, Miriam Nagl of Berlin, Germany, ended her round tied for 52nd with 74 (+2). Nagl occupies third place on the money list with $38,198.