Archive for Saturday, April 30, 2005

Rookies among players to watch next week

April 30, 2005


Three rookies could make a splash when the LPGA Futures Tour arrives next week in Lawrence.

Leigh Anne Hardin of Indiana, who played collegiately for the top-ranked Duke University women's team after winning the U.S. Girls' Junior Championship, could make an impact, as could Sara Huarte, the 2004 NCAA champion while competing for California-Berkeley.

Also, keep an eye on May Wood, the 6-foot-2 long-hitter who left Vanderbilt University early to turn pro.

The Lawrence Futures Classic is scheduled Friday through Sunday at Eagle Bend Golf Course, but Tour members will arrive as early as Monday for practice rounds.

More practice rounds are scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday, with a junior clinic on tap at 4 p.m. Wednesday. Morning and afternoon pro-ams will keep the course busy all day Thursday.

In addition to the rookies, several LPGA Tour pros who have lost their non-exempt status will be in the 144-woman field, including veterans Marianne Morris of Middletown, Ohio, and Jen Hanna of Greenville, S.C.

Three former U.S. Women's Amateur champions also are expected. They are Meredith Duncan (2001) of Shreveport, La., a 2004 member of the LPGA Tour; Becky Lucidi (2002) of Poway, Calif.; and Virada (Oui) Nirapathpongporn (2003) of Bangkok, Thailand, who was also the 2002 NCAA individual champion and a four-time All-American while at Duke University.

Nirapathpongporn and Lucidi finished 1-2 at last week's Futures Tour Jalapeño Classic in McAllen, Texas.

Former LPGA Tour member Kellee Booth of McKinney, Texas, who played collegiately at Arizona State, also will be in the field as she attempts to regain form after injuries. Booth won the USGA's 1993 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

What: Fifth of 18 stops on the LPGA Futures Golf TourWhen: Friday-Sunday; practice begins MondayWhere: Eagle Bend Golf CourseTickets: $5, or $10 for all three rounds

Sun Young Yoo of Seoul, Korea, is the money leader after three Tour stops with $12,086. Nirapathpongporn is second with $11,350 and Sarah-Jane Kenyon of Queensland, Australia, third with $10,466.

The Tour is in El Paso, Texas, this weekend for the IOS Futures Classic.

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