Archive for Tuesday, March 29, 2005

LPGA Futures golf tour gaining sponsors, interest

March 29, 2005


So far it's been all birdies and pars for the LPGA Futures Golf Tour event in early May at Eagle Bend, even though promoters have yet to hit a hole-in-one.

"We do not have a major sponsor," Miles Schnaer said, "but we've had a lot of interest from smaller areas."

Schnaer, who owns Crown Automotive, and Jerry Samp, a local investment broker, announced in December they had convinced the Futures Tour to schedule one of its 18 events in Lawrence.

It has been estimated the two will need to come up with between $110,000 and $120,000 in sponsorship money. The purse will be $70,000.

The 54-hole tournament is scheduled May 6-8 with a pro-am May 5. Some of the funding will come from the pro-am participants.

"Several businesses have committed to the pro-am," Schnaer said, "but we still need people to play in both the morning and afternoon sessions."

Each of the 144 Futures Tour participants will be teamed with four amateurs. Also needed are volunteers and residents to provide housing for some of the players.

"I'm really amazed how many calls are coming in," Samp said. "My wife gets four or five volunteer calls a day. But we still need more and we still need people to provide housing."

Because of the small purses, many of the Futures Tour players prefer to stay in private housing rather than in motels and hotels in order to save money.

Anyone interested in volunteering or providing housing can call Mary Kay Samp at 865-2458.

The Futures Tour already is underway. Events have been staged in Lakeland, Fla., and the Tampa Bay area. Rookies Sarah-Jane Kenyon and Jin Young Pak were the winners at the first two stops, each earning a little less than $10,000.

The top five finishers on the Futures Tour will earn automatic berths on the LPGA Tour.

The Future Tour is on hiatus until the Jalapeño Classic on April 22-24 in McAllen, Texas. The fourth stop will be April 29-May 1 in El Paso, then the LPGA Tour hopefuls will come to Eagle Bend.

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