Saturday, November 09, 2002



The reason for the long delay in publishing the scores from the final day of the United States Futures Tour at Lakeland, Florida eventually became apparent.
There was a nine-player play-off, involving those who finished with totals of 305, for the last four places among the precise figure of 38 (no ties) who gained full playing rights for the 2003 season on America's No 2 female professional golf circuit which will have roughly 19 events worth a total of 1.3 million dollars.
More of that later.
The good news for followers of Scottish golf is that our native women's amateur champion, Heather Stirling from Bridge of Allan, made it with ease among the top 38, finishing in joint 16th place after a final round of 76 for 300. Heather played in the tournament as an amateur and did not receive any prize money so technically she is still an amateur but expect her now to commit herself to a tour pro golf career.
Also on 300 was an English player ... not Rebecca Hudson but Rebecca Prout from Sussex, playing as an amateur. Rebecca signed off with a 75
Rebecca Hudson from Wheatley, Doncaster earned a place on the Futures Tour next season - if she wants it - by finishing joint 26th on 303 after her best round of the week, a 73. Committed as a pro after signing a contract with I M G, Miss Hudson's management company should be able to gain her sufficient tournament opportunities in Europe next year to make it more worthwhile for her to campaign on this side of the Atlantic rather than in the much less publicised Futures Tour, which also offers less money to be won.
Rebecca's golfing buddy, Kirsty Fisher from Lancashire matched Miss Hudson's closing 73 but her total of 310 gained her only Priority 2 status which puts her well down the pecking order for entry opportunities next year when one considers that the leading 90 players on this year's Futures Tour rank ahead of the leading 38 Tour School qualifiers and then comes the Priority 2 players.
Linzi Morton, last year's Scottish women's amateur champion, faces a bleak future next season, having relinquished her amateur status and now will have to hunt around for a mini-tour to keep her eye until the qualifying schools come around next year.
Linzi had a closing round of 79 for a total of 311.
[I've edited this. Pick up the rest of this story on the main News page - GGK]