Futures Golf Tour Announces 2003 Tournament Schedule

By Futures Tour MediaJanuary 15, 2003, 5:00 pm
Futures TourLAKELAND, Fla. -- The FUTURES Golf Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA, has released its 2003 tournament schedule. Known as the largest international developmental tour and second largest womens professional golf tour in the world, the FUTURES Tour continues each year to showcase the LPGA stars of tomorrow. The Tour boasts of recent graduates and current LPGA stars such as Grace Park, Career Grand Slam Winner Karrie Webb, and 2002 LPGA Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Beth Bauer.
The Tour season will begin in mid-March in Florida and end in mid-August in York, Pa. Fourteen events from the 2002 schedule will be returning for the upcoming season including the longest running FUTURES Tour tournament, the 19th annual Michelob Light FUTURES Charity Golf Classic in Decatur, Ill., and the 17th annual season-ending York Newspaper Company FUTURES Golf Classic in York, Pa.
'The overwhelming support from our local tournament organizers, the communities we play in, and our charities has allowed the Tour to offer a consistent and solid schedule to our players,' stated Zayra F. Calderon, president and chief executive officer of the FUTURES Tour. 'In spite of a downturn in the economy, our tournaments have managed to increase purses and continue to provide our talented players with the opportunity to compete in challenging venues across the countries.'
Specifically, the Isleta Casino & Resort FUTURES Golf Classic held at Isleta Eagle Golf Course in Albuquerque, N.M., increased its purse $25,000 to $95,000 up from $70,000 in its inaugural year last year. This is the largest purse increase for the 2003 season and the second largest purse in Tour history, $5,000 less than the 1998 SunTrust FUTURES Classic in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Jill Trujillio, tournament organizer and head golf professional at Isleta Eagle Golf Course said, 'We had such a wonderful experience with the FUTURES Tour in 2002. The cooperation of the staff and the appreciation of the players definitely impressed the committee and sponsors of the tournament.
'An increase in the purse for 2003 and 2004 is a direct result of the success of our event and the confidence we have in the FUTURES Tour. We look forward to the next two years of Tour excitement, raising money for the charity, and promoting the game of golf.'
Due to the large number of FUTURES Tour players who continue to qualify each year for the U.S. Womens Open Championship, the FUTURES Tour will not stage a tournament the same weekend as this prestigious event, July 3-6. A total of 17 FUTURES Tour players competed in last years LPGA major in Hutchinson, Kan.
Calderon stated, 'Seventeen of our players last year rightfully earned a spot in the 150-player field and as each year passes this number continues to grow. The success of our players is reflected in the large number of FUTURES Tour alumnae on the LPGA numbering 180 plus representing 244 LPGA victories including 27 major championships.'
Key Highlights for the 2003 season:
  • The average purse for the 2003 season is over $66,000. This number is up an average of $1,500 per event. Since 1984, the average tournament purse has grown from $10,000 to its current average today.
  • The Aurora Health Care FUTURES Charity Golf Classic in Sussex, Wis., increased its purse from $60,000 to $70,000 for the 2003 season.
  • The 2003 season features the addition of three new title sponsors: Frye Chevrolet, sponsor of the $70,000 Frye Chevrolet Classic in Wichita, Kan., Bank of Ann Arbor, sponsor of $60,000 Bank of Ann Arbor FUTURES Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., and General Electric, sponsor of the $60,000 GE FUTURES Professional Golf Classic, in Altamont, N.Y.
  • This season, FUTURES Tour players can take advantage of the recently modified criteria for the 58th U.S. Womens Open Championship. According to the United States Golf Association (USGA), previous FUTURES Tour winners (2002 season and 2003 winners through May 1), and the top-five money winners from the 2002 FUTURES Tour Money List will bypass the Local Qualifying round, advancing automatically to the Sectional Qualifying round.
  • The Southwestern Illinois FUTURES Golf Classic in Waterloo, Ill., a suburb of St. Louis, originally scheduled for May 16-18, 2003, will have its inaugural FUTURES Tour tournament in 2004 at the prestigious Annbriar Golf Course and will follow with tournaments through the 2006 season.
  • The FUTURES Tour remains dedicated to creating a fund-raising opportunity for local non-profit organizations. Since 1985, more than $2.65 million has been raised for charities such as Girls, Inc., Chip In For A Cure, and the YWCA of York.
    'We are extremely pleased with our schedule and anticipate announcing additional tournaments in the upcoming weeks,' Calderon said. 'We expect the season to be filled with an extremely talented roster from players spanning the globe and we are sure that the competition for the top-three spots will be fierce and thrilling for everyone.'
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    Lincicome grouped with two rookies in Barbasol

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 17, 2018, 9:54 pm

    Brittany Lincicome will tee it up with a pair of rookies when she makes her first start in a PGA Tour event Thursday at the Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky.

    Lincicome, an eight-time LPGA winner, is scheduled to go off the 10th tee at 9:59 a.m. ET in the first round with Sam Ryder, 28, and Conrad Shindler, 29. They’re off the first tee Friday at 2:59 p.m. ET

    Lincicome will become just the sixth woman to play in a PGA Tour event, joining Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Michelle Wie.

    “The first three or four holes, I’ll be a nervous wreck, for sure,” Linicome said.



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    Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

    She wondered if there would be resentment.

    She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

    “I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

    PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

    Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

    She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

    Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

    “It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

    Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Domenico Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

    He waved Lincicome over.

    “He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

    Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

    “The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

    Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

    Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

    “I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

    Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

    Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

    Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

    What are Lincicome’s expectations?

    She would love to make the cut, but . . .

    “Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

    Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

    “I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

    Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

    Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

    As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

    “The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

    Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

    The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

    “She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

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    Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

    There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

    Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

    She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

    It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

    Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

    "It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

    Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

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    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”

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    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”