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Saturday, September 10, 2011

So Who Is Taylor Leon?

The big attention getters at the LPGA event Friday were (as expected) World #1 Yani Tseng and local girl Stacy Lewis, both of whom are tied for the lead at -5. The putting struggles of Michelle Wie also snagged a considerable amount of airtime.

But the leader for most of the day was Taylor Leon. You can be forgiven if you didn't recognize the name. Let me give you a quick bio.

Taylor LeonTaylor is 24 years old and spent 2 years at the University of Georgia before turning pro in 2007. She's got 2 wins on the LPGA Futures Tour. Her best score is a 65, and her best finish is a sixth -- ironically, at the 2009 edition of the very tournament she was leading Friday!

She's struggling this year. She's #111 on the LPGA Money List, and she has only this week and next week to earn her card by getting up to #80... which is currently about $35,300 dollars away. (That will probably change this week, of course. As it stands, that's about $15,000 more than she's earned so far this year.) She, like so many other players, has been a victim of the smaller playing schedule this year -- she's only played 8 events, and made only 4 cuts. Her best finish has been a T43 at the Wegmans LPGA Championship, the only major she was qualified to play in. (That must count for something, if only an emotional boost.)

And she shot a bogey-free 67 (-4) on Friday, which puts her one off the lead of the afore-mentioned Tseng and Lewis.

So why am I telling you this? Because Taylor will be playing during the GC broadcast window today. There's a decent chance you'll get to see her since they were talking about her situation Friday -- after all, she was leading for most of the day. It'll be interesting to see if she can make the cut and make up some ground in her efforts to keep her card.

For every player like Tseng and Lewis, there are a dozen Taylor Leons who never even get mentioned during a broadcast. Maybe she'll end up being the big story this week. After all, a win would secure her card as well.

Good luck, Taylor. Go low this week.

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