Thomson playing on ‘FUTURES’ tour

FORT FRANCES—Lorie Kane, Dawn Coe-Jones, Gail Graham, Nancy Harvey, A.J. Eathorne, and Alena Sharp.
The above names represent some of the top Canadian golfers currently playing on the LPGA Tour—the biggest stage for women’s golf.
And soon another name may be joining their ranks, that of Fort Frances native Christin Thomson.
After four years competing as an amateur at St. John’s University in New York City, Thomson has taken the next step towards her dream of playing in the LPGA by turning professional.
The decision to forego her amateur status in favour of becoming a professional was a relatively easy one to make given Thomson’s performance on the links during her senior year at St. John’s.
“After I had a very competitive senior season, I decided right away that I knew I could compete against the best players out there,” Thomson said last week during a visit home to Fort Frances.
“It was just going to take a few more years of hard work, so I turned professional right away.”
Buoyed by the knowledge she could compete with the best, Thomson made the jump to the pro ranks upon graduating with her degree in sports management back in May, joining the Duramed FUTURES tour.
Featuring more than 300 of the best young golfers from 27 countries spanning six different continents, the Duramed FUTURES tour has earned the reputation of being “the road to the LPGA.”
While the tour does not offer the riches of the LPGA (golfer’s earn roughly $10,000 for winning a Duramed tournament as opposed to $100,000 for an LPGA event), the stakes are extremely high for golfers looking to ascend to the next level.
The top five players on the Duramed tour’s money list at season’s end automatically are awarded their LPGA cards for the following season.
In addition to the automatic berths, the sixth through 15th place finishers on the Duramed money list advance to the LPGA’s final qualifying tournament, where they have a chance to play their
way onto the world’s top women’s tour.
No fewer than 31 Duramed FUTURES Tour players from the 2005 season qualified for playing status on the 2006 LPGA Tour.
Thomson earned a spot on the Duramed tour last November after attending the organization’s qualifying school.
Despite not playing her best golf and receiving a low ranking, she did earn “status”—a designation granting her a spot on the alternate’s list at Duramed events.
Once on the list, Thomson was contacted if a spot opened up in the tournament field.
Fortunately, Thomson was able to play in almost every tournament she applied for this past summer and the experience she garnered
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was invaluable.
“It’s kind of a lot to take in when you first make that step from college to professional,” she said of her first experience in the pro ranks.
“It’s a little bit different. You’re completely on your own, you’re not out there with a team anymore.”
Thomson struggled on the Duramed tour when compared to the lofty standards she set for herself in college—her best finish was 53rd in her final tournament of the season in Albany, N.Y.
But she attributed most of her troubles to inexperience.
“The girls who have been out there, and have done it for a couple of years, are the ones who are playing well,” she noted.
However, the tough first season has done nothing to dampen Thomson’s spirits. If anything, it’s only made her more committed to reaching her goals.
“Next year it will be a lot of fun because I’ll be able to go back to some of the same houses [she stayed in this year] and I’ll have seen the courses so it will be a lot more comfortable,” she reasoned.
Thomson believes her increased familiarity with the routine and demands of the professional tour should translate into better results in 2007.
“I would like to definitely be a top 20 player next year,” she said of her expectations for the coming season. “I feel like it’s something I can definitely accomplish.”
The first stop on next season’s Duramed FUTURES is the Lakeland Classic scheduled for March 10-12 in Lakeland, Fla.
In an effort to help cover some of the expenses associated with playing on the Duramed tour, including travel and accommodation, Thomson currently is seeking sponsorship.
For $100 a share, investors have the opportunity to share in Thomson’s winnings. All sponsorship money will be repaid from Thomson’s total tournament winnings at the end of the season.
If Thomson earns anything up to $10,000, it will be divided equally among the shares and repaid to the sponsors.
Should she earn anything above $10,000, but less than $20,000, 30 percent of the prize money will be divided equally among the shares.
And if Thomson earns anything above $20,000, but less than $30,000, 15 percent of the prize money will be divided equally among the shares.
If you would like to sponsor Thomson, call 1-917-741-2279 or e-mail
(Fort Frances Times)