Duramed Futures Tour Season Ends With Ten LPGA Promotions
The Duramed Futures tour, that harbinger of potential success on the LPGA tour, wrapped up its 2010 campaign Sunday in Albany, New York. We learned a few things on Sunday evening about two handfuls of young ladies aching to compete at the highest level of women’s professional golf. The first is that they are jumping what amounts to two levels when they reach the LPGA. Given the USA’s penchant for slaughtering the European side in the Solheim Cup, it is fair to say that the Ladies European Tour is not quite at the level of their US LPGA sisters. Ergo, the next logical progression from Futures Tour would be to LET, but it doesn’t work that way. If you see these ten girls struggle (as former wunderkind Vickie Hurst, who dominated the Futures Tour in 2008, has done), you’ll understand. However, if one of them happens to win right away, as M.J. Hur did in 2009, shock waves shouldn’t exactly blow out the windows.
What else have we learned? Here’s a list:
–In the final week, no major switches took place. Cindy LaCrosse cemented her hold on the top spot with a playoff victory over Jennifer Song;
–One player dropped out of the top ten. Jane Rah couldn’t put it together last week, with rounds of 74-70-74 to tie for 40th, falling from 10th to 11th on the season-long promotion list;
–One player climbed into the top ten, in style! Hannah Jun tied for 3rd in Albany, with rounds of 72-70-67. Jun played a bogey-free final round, making four birdies to climb from T19 to T3 overnight. In contrast, Rah made three bogies in her final four holes to finish approximately $1000 behind 10th place Pornanong Phatlum, whose Friday 68 was enought to offset two lackadaisical weekend rounds (73-74) and secure a big-tour exemption for 2011.
–With 18 stateside events on the just-completed 2010 schedule, the DFT isn’t exactly suffering, although “flush” should not be applied, either. With a big gap from May 16th to June 4th, a Korean swing might be considered, given the popularity of the game in that Asian country. Bump the two Texas tournaments back a week in April and kick the Kansas City event to that month’s final week and you’ll have an entire month off. That’s plenty of time to have a week’s flight time over, two weeks of competition, and one more week to return to the states. My guess is that the Korean sponsors would offer significant purses for the events, enough to make the tournaments a worthwhile trip.
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