1998: LPGA Futures Tournament Held At Washtenaw Golf Club
The LPGA’s Epson Tour arrives in Ann Arbor next week for the inaugural Ann Arbor’s Road to the LPGA powered by the A2 Sports Commission tournament (tournament link). It will be played at Travis Pointe Country Club June 16 – 18, 2022.
The Epson Tour is the latest incarnation of the LPGA’s developmental circuit, equivalent to the PGA TOUR’s Korn Ferry Tour. The LPGA’s minor league now is in its 42nd year.
Back in 1998, when it was known as the “Futures Tour,” the circuit made a stop at Washtenaw Country Club (now the Washtenaw Golf Club) for the Med-Health Wellness Center Futures Golf Classic.
The tournament was played June 12 -14, 1998 as a 54-hole event. Proceeds benefitted the Northville-based Our Lady of Providence Center’s programs for the developmentally disabled.
Admission was $5 a day, or $10 for the weekend. A patron sponsorship was $2,500.
The title was won by Abby Pearson in a squeaker.
Pearson was leading comfortably coming into the 17th in the final round. She hit the middle of the fairway on the drive, but her approach hit one of the front bunkers. A 14-inch par putt lipped out; the tap-in also failed to fall.
Any who has ever played the 17th at Washtenaw knows how treacherous that green can be.
Meanwhile, runner up Cindy Wulf parred each of the final seven holes, but was unable to gain any ground until the Pearson miscues on seventeen.
On the final hole, Wulf’s approach was just 18 inches from the hole, but she was unable to make the birdie putt that would have earned the title.
Lara Tadiotto and Alice Plain tied for third. Defending Champion Suzy Green tied for 21st.
Pearson earned $6,600 for the win at Washtenaw Country Club.
Green commented on the course:
“Its a great track — my kind of track. It’s narrow out there and the rough is so deep you’ve got to keep it in play.Detroit Free Press, May 22, 1998
The following year, the tournament moved to Mystic Creek in Milford. Tee previous year, it had been held at Cattails GC in South Lyon.
Abby Pearson now works as a Class A professional instructor in Kalamazoo, Michigan.