Everythings Coming Up Roses for May


Who is May Wood? She comes from the small town of Signal Mountain, TN. boasting citizenship of 7,500 and one traffic light.
Standing 61, brimming with beauty and a vivacious personality, she is the stuff LPGA Tour commissioner Ty Votaws dreams are made of. But much like the Wonglukiet twins, May will make the commissioner wait a few years until that dream comes true.
Wood, a student at Baylor High School, has been shaking things up on the junior circuit for the past few years. So much so that she has already has sponsors - names like Callaway - just drooling for a chance to be associated with her.
Baylor High School team coach King Oehmig, as well as Dave Ragan ' a former touring pro and Bruce Etter of Chattanooga Golf and C.C. - all share in the coaching duties of this young prodigy. It is their job to take May to the next level.
These three are not alone in sharing the responsibility of molding this raw talent into the next golf icon. There is one other person that Wood attributes her continued success to ' Phil Ritson.
Ritson, a native of South Africa and long time resident of Orlando, FL, met May two years ago during Baylors annual summer trek to the Phil Ritson Institute at Orange County National. He is great Wood said in a bubbly tone. I really love working with him. He saw my swing when my school team was down there practicing and came over and introduced himself to me.
She has one of the best swings you will ever see, Ritson said. She has a wide arch, three-quarter arm action and a big body rotation. May is the next big thing that will happen to womens golf.
The average top clubhead speed of an LPGA Tour player is 136 mph, while the average speed for a PGA TOUR player is 155 mph, Ritson said. Mays average top head speed is 150.6. This should give you a good idea of where she stands.
Wood, the sole amateur in this week's Electrolux USA Championship field, was hand-picked by Tournament Director Clyde Russell to receive a sponsor exemption. I think its important for events like ours to promote womens golf and particularly junior golf. May Wood has a compelling junior career, Russell said of May, the youngest winner in history of the Chattanooga Womens Amateur tournament, which she won at age 15 in 1999. We are really thrilled to have her in our field.
Wood, competing for the first time in an LPGA Tour event, recorded 1-over-par 37-36 (73) in the opening round. She hit 15 greens in her round and three-putted three times from short distances. Ritson said she apologized for Thursdays round and was clearly disappointed with her efforts.
The 17-year-old beauty, born on Dec. 27th, 1983, possesses a sublime swing and steely drive that her coaches and family alike are hoping will take her to great heights. With a swing that is said to emulate Davis Love IIIs, Wood is already a force to be reckoned with on the junior circuit and is expected to achieve lofty goals in the future.
Parents Mark and Kerry Wood are supportive of their oldest childs dreams. Mays dad is her quasi-agent and arranges her playing schedule, which is just fine with her. This gives the tight-scheduled teen more time to do the things she loves ' like listen to just about every kind of music you can think of and follow the career of her favorite golfer, Tiger Woods.
This summer will by Mays coming out party on the AJGA. Expect to hear more about this rising star.