Home News Product Reviews Health & Fitness Features Healthy Eating

WSR Features Futurestour Taylor Leon

 

Futures Tour Golfer Taylor Leon


taylor Leon.jpg

Hometown

Dallas, TX

Birth Date

3/10/1987

Birthplace

Dallas, TX

College

University of Georgia

Turned Professional

2007

Joined FUTURES

1/7/2005

Career Earnings

$25,112

Career Best Finish

1st


Profile

  • Competed in four U.S. Girls' Junior Championships, and was the youngest player in the field at the age of 12 in 1999.
  • Three-time AJGA All-American.
  • Member of the 2003 Junior Solheim Cup Team in Sweden.
  • Competed in three U.S. Women's Open Championships (2004, 2005).
  • 2006 SEC Freshman of the Year while at the University of Georgia.
  • Named the 2007 Univeristy of Georgia Player of the Year.
  • Two-time NGCA All-American First Team selection (2006, 2007).
  • Named to the 2006 U.S. Curtis Cup Team.

 

Year

Events

Best Finish

Top 10

Cuts Made

Earnings

(Rank)

Average Score

(Rank)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2005

5

T14

 


4

$0

 


74.21

 


*2007*

5

1st

2

5

$25,112

(12)

71.25

 


 


Career Victories

Purse

Score

Earnings

2007 CIGNA Golf Classic - Bloomfield, Conn.

$80,000

215(-1)

$11,200

2007 Betty Puskar Golf Classic - Morgantown, W.Va.

$80,000

203(-13)

$11,200

 


2007 Finishes

Tournament

Date

Score

Finish

Earnings

Michelob ULTRA Duramed FUTURES Players Championship
(Decatur, IL)

June 14 - 17

71-68-72-73 284

12th

$1,565

CIGNA Golf Classic (Bloomfield, CT)

July 13 - 15

70-70-75 215

1st

$11,200

Alliance Bank Golf Classic (Syracuse, NY)

July 20 - 22

73-70-72 215

T19

$639

USI Championship (Concord, NH)

August 3 - 5

71-77-75 223

T49

$508



Rookie Taylor Leon is now two for five.
That’s two wins in five starts on the Duramed FUTURES Tour, which is good enough to move into the No. 12 spot on the Tour’s season money list with three tournaments remaining.




MORGANTOWN, W.Va.,
Aug. 12, 2007

The native of Dallas carded rounds of 65-69-69 this week for a three-day total of 203 (-13) to win the $80,000 Betty Puskar Golf Classic at The Pines Country Club. It was her first wire-to-wire victory and it was a three-shot win over LPGA Tour members Kris Tamulis (66) of Naples, Fla., and Vikki Laing (69) of Musselburgh, Scotland, who tied for second at 206 (-10).

“It’s really exciting, especially since I’ve won both ways – coming from behind and now, winning from start to finish,” said Leon, 20, who turned pro this spring after two years at the University of Georgia. “I haven’t been in this position before, but it’s great that I have the game to play out here. I didn’t doubt that I could do it.”

And neither should the gentleman at a pro-am dinner last Thursday, who met Leon and casually said to the rookie, “So, realistically, you don’t have a chance to get your card, do you?”

“That made me kind of mad and I probably gave him the evil eye,” said Leon, who went out the next day and shot her career-low score of 65 (-7) in the first round to take the early tournament lead in this year’s 16th annual event. “I was thinking, ‘Of course I have a chance,’ and I’m going to try my hardest to get one of those cards.”


No doubt, Leon has made that pretty clear to the rest of the Tour ever since her June arrival at the tournament in Decatur, Ill., where she finished 12th in her pro debut.

“It’s not like she’s 17 or anything,” said Tour member Kellee Booth (74) of McKinney, Texas, who played in today’s final pairing with Leon and finished tied for ninth. “She played in college, she’s played at the U.S. Women’s Open and she has some really good experience. I watched her play in the Curtis Cup and saw her excel there, so I knew she could excel on the next level.”

“I’ve heard people compare her to Paula Creamer,” said top-ranked Emily Bastel (68) of Upper Sandusky, Ohio, who tied for fourth. “At that age, they don’t have fear and when you come out here not knowing exactly what to expect, it’s almost easier to just go out and play your game. Kudos to her. She kept the hammer down all week.”

Leon admitted she was nervous on the first two holes. She bogeyed the second hole when she three-putted from 20 feet and the two players in her group both rolled in birdie putts. That’s when veteran LPGA Tour caddie Jerry “Woody” Woodard, who is working for Leon this season, got in his player’s ear and reminded her to start having some fun.

And how did Leon respond? Like a former David Leadbetter Golf Academy graduate whose only real concept of fear might be simply to resist the temptation of not throttling naysayers. Leon answered succinctly and effectively. She rolled in three consecutive birdies on holes four, five and six, from six feet, 20 feet and 20 feet, respectively. Just for good measure, she dropped in another 40-foot bomb for birdie on the eighth hole.

“She putted phenomenally well today and drained birdie and par putts from everywhere,” said Booth. “When she rattled off those three in a row on the front side, I figured at that point, we were playing for second.”

Leon got up and down for par on the 10th and 11th holes, made birdie from the fringe on the 13th hole from 25 feet, stumbled for her last bogey on the 15th, saved par from 15 feet on the 16th and took par on the last two holes to close the deal on her second win.

“I played with Taylor in Connecticut [where she won her first tournament] and she was just really steady,” said Laing, who posted her career-best runner-up finish on the Duramed FUTURES Tour this week. “All of these young players can only be good for women’s golf. They just push everybody else.”

“They come out prepared and ready,” added Bastel, who played two seasons on the LPGA Tour as an exempt member. “I played a lot with Paula [Creamer] my rookie year and consistency is what makes players like her very efficient.”


Of course, a healthy dose of competitive nature doesn’t hurt. Leon’s father played in a couple of U.S. Senior Open Championships and got Taylor and her two brothers started in golf at young ages. By age 7, Taylor had played in her first tournament. By college, she and her teammates would hightail it from practice each day, racing in their respective cars back to the dorms or off to dinner. It’s a little hard to picture the tall, smiling Texan with the red ribbon in her hair laying down rubber on the streets of Athens (Ga.) against her pals just for bragging rights.


But then again, it was Leon who put the hammer down today and made it clear to everyone, including that well-intending, but naïve gentleman at the pro-am dinner, that three more tournaments certainly is plenty of time to move up the money list, finish in the top five to earn a 2008 LPGA Tour card and to move on.

Just like Tour alums Lorena Ochoa and Grace Park, who both won this event a few years ago before moving on the LPGA Tour, one gets the real sense that Taylor Leon is just playing through.

For scores and more information, visit www.duramedfuturestour.com.


Contact: Lisa D. Mickey, Duramed FUTURES Tour at (863) 709-9100 and at lisa@duramedfuturestour.com




44taylorleon.jpeg

1.Leon Shakes Off Rookie Jitters, Aims For LPGA Tour Card

She might be a rookie on the Duramed FUTURES Tour, but Taylor Leon of Dallas proved she was no newbie to winning. Leon, 20, captured the recent CIGNA Golf Classic in Bloomfield, Conn., for her first professional title in only her second tournament on the Tour. Now, after three events, the two-time All-American from the University of Georgia has moved into the No. 22nd position on the Tour’s season money list and currently is ranked sixth for top rookie honors. Here is what she had to say to Lisa D. Mickey of duramedfuturestour.com about her first season as a professional and what she hopes to achieve as the Tour begins its final stretch of tournaments this week in Concord, N.H.
Q. What are your thoughts as you head into the Tour’s final stretch of tournaments?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leon: I’m thinking that I need to win a couple more tournaments to accomplish a few more goals. I need to keep my stamina up for this important last stretch. This has been a lot more draining than AJGA or college golf, mainly because you have to get there [to tournament sites] so much earlier to begin preparing for the weekend.

 

Q. So as we near the end of the season, what are your goals?

Leon: My biggest goal is to get an LPGA Tour card for 2008 or to at least finish among the next top-10 [non-LPGA Tour members] out here to get through the first stage of LPGA Tour Qualifying. Mainly, I just want to be in contention and have a chance to win.

Q. Describe how you thought this season would be for you and what it has become.

Leon: I was confident that I would play well, but I’ve played better than I thought I would, so that’s exciting. The golf part is what I thought it would be, but the scheduling, travel and practice aspects of playing on the Tour is more draining than I thought.

 

Q. Are you pleased with the way you are playing, so far?

Leon: I feel great. I’ve played really consistently. I’m making a few more birdies and I’m really happy with how much better my putting has gotten since I came out here. I’ve worked hard on that this summer and I’ve seen some good results in the way I have performed.

 

Q. Were you surprised to win so soon?

Leon: Yeah, I guess I was. I knew I could win and I knew I was good enough to win, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon. I played well in my first tournament in Decatur [Ill.] and I was in contention. I think that first week really gave me confidence.

 

Q. Have there been any other surprises this season?

Leon: I kind of knew what I was getting into. My mom or my dad travels with me, so that’s comforting, but I miss my friends at school and my teammates, and I miss my brothers Tyler and Trent. But then again, this is what I’ve always wanted to do.

Q. You played on this Tour as an amateur while you were in high school at the David Leadbetter Academy in Florida. How is it different now, playing as a pro?

Leon: It’s way different. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned. It makes me feel good that I’ve come such a long way. I’m more confident now and I’ve come out here with a whole new mindset. I think I played in three events out here four years ago while I was a junior in high school. I’m a completely different player now




taylorleonnew.JPG

All Pictures to be credited to www.futurestour.com
.




Q. The Leadbetter Academy works with a lot of promising future pros and you were there with Paula Creamer and Julieta Granada. What did you learn there that prepared you for this stage of your career?

Leon: Pretty much just the mechanics [of the golf swing]. When you’re there, you are learning how to manage your time, how to put in the practice and how to develop a good work ethic. You are going to school, doing your fitness workouts and scheduling your practice time, so you learn how to balance things in your life. You also learn what you need to do to fix your swing yourself during tournaments and when you are away from your coach.


Q. How did college golf help prepare you for your professional career?

Leon: I grew up a lot in college and I learned how to be on my own. That was a really big deal. A lot of what I learned there was to become more independent and self-reliant.

Q. How scary was it for you to turn pro after two seasons in college?

Leon: I was ready and confident to turn pro, but there’s always a little bit of doubt. I wondered things like ‘what if something happens, or I wake up one day and my golf game has fallen apart or maybe I break my arm?’ The good thing is, there are some familiar faces out on the Tour – like my former Georgia teammates Jackie Beers and Kelly Froelich – and there are a lot of great girls out there. That has made it more fun. I’m going back to Georgia for the first football game of the season against Oklahoma State. I look forward to catching up with everybody.

Q. What did your former teammates at Georgia say to you after you got your first professional win?

Leon: They were so excited and said they knew I could win. They also said I’m buying the pizza the next time we get together.

Q. Is there anything you feel you must do to step up to the next level?

Leon: I think I have to get a little more mentally strong. I’m learning how to make up shots here and there, but it’s all about sharpening my game and learning how to close the deal to win.

Q. Do you ever ask your good friend Paula Creamer for advice?

Leon: Paula and I try not to talk about golf, but we have discussed things like caddies and life on Tour. She mainly says to make sure that I have my friends that I can talk to about stuff other than golf.

Q. Are you having fun yet?

Leon: Oh yeah, I’m having a great time. Like I said before, this is what I’ve always wanted to do. I love playing three days of competition under pressure. I love being in contention.

Q. How difficult do you think it will be to crack into the top five by the end of this season to earn one of the 2008 LPGA Tour cards?

Leon: I think it definitely will be hard because there is a lot of good competition out here. This is a real step up from college golf, with former exempt LPGA Tour players and a lot of non-exempt [LPGA] players out here. I have to win a few more times, but it’s do-able.

Q. Do you think you are ready for the LPGA Tour?

Leon: Yeah, I think I’m ready and my game is good enough and it will get even better in the off-seas

Thank you so much, if you tweet or share
UP
Have you read it?
Kate Moloney announced as Australian captain for the Fast5 World Series
Olympic Champion Katie Archibald Joins Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling
Please follow us