Stephenson to Complete the Cycle


Jan Stephenson, the former LPGA Tour star, will complete a cycle of sorts as she tees it up with the men on the Champions Tour this week in the Turtle Bay Championship on The Palmer Course in Kahuku, Hawaii.
Stephenson, 51, will be the fourth woman to play alongside the men this season, following in the footsteps of Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and 13-year-old phenom Michelle Wie.
But unlike the others, Stephenson will be the first to do so in a Champions Tour event - Sorenstam and Whaley played PGA Tour events, while Wie teed it up in a Nationwide and Canadian Tour event.
Also unique to Stephenson is the fact that she's assured to be playing the weekend as there is no cut line at this event, as is the norm at most Champions Tour stops. The other three women failed to make the cut.
Hale Irwin is back to defend the title he won a year ago and will be seeking his fifth victory in this event - he won twice in Maui and the last two years at the new venue on the Big Island.
Bruce Lietzke, Tom Watson and Gil Morgan - the top three players on the money list - are all bypassing the event, leaving Jim Thorpe, who is currently fourth, a golden opportunity to make up ground in the season-long money race.
Thorpe is currently $230,000 behind the leader, Lietzke. First prize for the winner of the Turtle Bay Championship is $225,000, with a purse of $1,500,000.
Others on hand to catch some of the aloha spirit are Tom Kite, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tom Purtzer and Champions Tour rookie D.A. Weibring.
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