Stephenson to Play on Champions Tour

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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) -- Jan Stephenson is ready to follow in the footsteps of Annika Sorenstam and Suzy Whaley and take on the men. Stephenson accepted an invitation to play in the Champions Tour event in October at Hawaii's Turtle Bay Resort.
 
The 51-year-old Stephenson, a winner of 32 pro events including three major championships, said she is looking forward to teeing it up against the likes of Craig Stadler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Tom Watson and Tom Kite.
 
'I've played with them for years,' Stephenson said Thursday after a practice round for the LPGA tour's Wendy's Championship for Children. 'Basically we grew up together on the LPGA and PGA tours.'
 
Stephenson said she consulted with players on all three tours, her sponsors, friends and family before deciding to play in the 50-and-over event. She will round out an 81-player field vying for a $1.5 million purse.
 
'My goal is to finish 30th,' she said. 'I certainly don't think that's out of the question.'
 
The Champions Tour does not have a cut and its tournaments are played on courses only marginally longer than those on the LPGA Tour.
 
Sorenstam received an exemption to play in the Colonial and missed the cut after playing two rounds in front of huge galleries. Whaley went through qualifying to earn a spot at Hartford and missed the cut.
 
'Annika and Suzy were such great ambassadors for women's golf,' Stephenson said. 'If I don't look like I'm having a good time, it could hurt. And if I don't play well, it could hurt.'
 
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