Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First Pro Win for Taylor Leon

taylor leonCongratulations to Texan Taylor Leon for recording her first professional victory in just her third professional start.

Leon grew up in Dallas along with her golfing siblings Tyler and Trent. None of the Leons played collegiately in Texas, however. Tyler and Trent are current members of the Oklahoma State golf team; Leon left the University of Georgia a few months ago following her sophomore season.

Leon won the Cigna Golf Classic on the Futures Tour last weekend in Bloomfield, Conn. She didn't play great in the final round, shooting a 75, but all you have to do is finish with a lower score than anyone else. Actually, Leon finished tied with Mollie Fankhauser, who really struggled in the final round (78), then won the championship on the first playoff hole.

It was Leon's second Futures Tour tournament since turning pro (her other pro event was the U.S. Women's Open).

At lot of people expect big things from Taylor Leon going forward. She already has a caddie. Why is that unusual? Futures Tour players rarely use caddies - those women carry their own bags! Caddies are just too expensive for most of the players on the Futures Tour. But Leon is already set up with a veteran. From the Futures Tour recap:

But this time, it was the rookie who came out on top – which wasn’t a surprise to her caddie, 28-year LPGA Tour veteran Jerry (Woody) Woodard.

"Taylor does a lot of flag hunting," said Woodard, who caddied for LPGA Hall of Famers Pat Bradley, Betsy King and current European Solheim Cup captain Helen Alfredsson. "She's not scared. If she’s got a wedge in her hands, she's going for that flag."

And while she believed she could win, Leon admitted that leaving Georgia after two seasons to turn pro did step up the pressure she was already putting on herself.

"I think I always feel pressure because it's kind of a scary, new situation," said Leon, a two-time collegiate winner and the 2007 SEC Champion, who earned $11,200 for today’s win. "In the back of my head, I'm thinking, 'What if something happens? What if I break my arm?' I don’t have a degree."

Photo: Taylor Leon with the trophy she received for winning the Cigna Golf Classic (Credit: Futures Tour)

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