June 10, 2011
The LPGA FUTURES Tour is the equivalent of the Nationwide Tour on the PGA, which, in laymen terms, means it is a tour of ridiculously good golfers who are on the rise to superstardom. The Golf Center at Kings Island will play host to a FUTURES Tour event, the Teva Championship, starting today and running thru Sunday. A field of 150 players will compete in this 54 hole event with a tour high $134,000 cash purse.
I had the privilege of playing in a ProAm on Thursday morning and was paired with Jamie Hullett. She is a Texas A & M graduate, who, at a mere 100 lbs (if that) can blast the ball up to 270 yards. This is not Hullett’s first pony ride; she was the 2000 Rookie of the Year on the LPGA Futures Tour and has held her green card ever since, but joins us in Mason, because, as is the case in golf, it is more about battling the course than the players.
In our foursome which included myself, Jamie, Jason Austerman, and Doug Adams, we were also joined by Maria Lopez (Hullett’s coach). Lopez, a former tour player, is also the coach at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. And believe me when I say she was a welcome addition to our group… chipping tips, yardage updates, and reading the green (no wonder I played so well).
As in most scramble tournaments they had longest drive and closest to the pin competitions. On No. 9 north I bombed my drive out there and proudly staked the ball distance in a proclamation of victory. Unfortunately, I spoke too soon. In the awards ceremony during lunch I was dethroned by 14-year-old phenom Sybil Robinson. It’s okay though, I googled her and she recently shot an 80 at the Southern Ohio Junior PGA. Did I spy a future FUTURES tour player? I’d say so.
While you’ll have to wait a few more years before Sybil can light up the tour it is not too late to enjoy the phenoms of today. Head on out to the tournament this weekend; I’ve been the past two years and there is nothing like it. The access is unreal and perhaps you’ll even pick up a few tips. Heck, it can’t hurt. If nothing else just go support these tremendous athletes — here is your opportunity to say “I saw her when…,” because truth be told these girls are talented and it won’t be before long when they’ve made it onto the LPGA Tour winning championships.to top ↑