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FUTURES Tour announces bump in LPGA cards

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- The Duramed FUTURES Tour along with the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) announced today that it will award LPGA membership to five additional players this season. The Tours top 10 players on the regular season-ending money list will be awarded 2009 LPGA membership at the conclusion of the ILOVENY Championship in Albany, N.Y. That event will be played Sept. 5-7.
This gives five more players the opportunity for coveted membership on the LPGA, said Zayra F. Calderon, CEO of the Duramed FUTURES Tour. It rewards our top 10 players for their superior performance during a long, challenging season and it recognizes the Duramed FUTURES Tour as the pipeline to the LPGA.
Prior to this change, only players who finished in places one through five on the Duramed FUTURES Tour as of the conclusion of the last official money event on the Duramed FUTURES Tour were eligible for LPGA Tour membership.
Since 1999, a total of 37 players have earned LPGA membership by finishing among the Duramed FUTURES Tours top season money winners. The Tour presented LPGA membership to its top three money winners from 1999-2002, then began awarding LPGA membership to the top five money winners from 2003 to 2007. This year will mark the inaugural presentation of 10 cards to the top money winners, showcasing the Duramed FUTURES Tour as another way players can advance to the LPGA Tour.
Such LPGA Tour winners as Grace Park (1999), Lorena Ochoa (2002), Stacy Prammanasudh (2003), Jimin Kang (2004), Seon-Hwa Lee and Nicole Castrale (2005), and Meaghan Francella (2006), earned LPGA membership as top money winners on the Duramed FUTURES Tour.