Some of the best young female pros will be coming to Bloomfield this July as Wintonbury Hills Golf Course hosts the New England Golf Classic, a stop on the Duramed Futures Tour.
The tourney, one of 17 on the Duramed Futures Tour this year, will be held July 17-19, with pro-ams slated for July 15 and 16. The tournament, held last year at nearby Gillette Ridge Golf Club, benefits Chip in for a Cure, which raises money for cancer research and health programs.
Vicky Hurst, now a member of the LPGA Tour, won last year’s event with a seven-under-par score. West Hartford’s Natalie Sheary was runner-up. The tournament has a purse of $100,000 with $14,000 going to the winner.
Similar to the what the Nationwide Tour has meant to the PGA Tour, the Futures Tour has produced a plethora of stars for the LPGA circuit. Alumni have amassed more than 345 LPGA victories and 37 major titles. The list of Future’s Tour graduates includes Lorena Ochoa, the LPGA’s Rolex Player of the Year and Vare Trophy winner the last three years.
In 2006, the Futures Tour signed a multiyear agreement with national title sponsor Duramed Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an innovator in women’s health care pharmaceutical products. The Tour operates under the ownership umbrella of the LPGA, and tournament purses in 2009 total nearly $1.8 million.
Wintonbury Hills Golf Course, rated as the second best public course in Connecticut, is Pete Dye’s first championship design in New England and a fitting host for the tournament. The par-70 layout combines an open, links-style with traditional tree-lined holes, as well as challenging green complexes. The course is owned by the town of Bloomfield and managed by Billy Casper Golf Company.
“Wintonbury Hills golf course and the town of Bloomfield are very excited to be hosting the Futures Tour for the next three years,” said Doug Juhasz, general manager. “I am sure the Tour and it’s players will be pleased with both the challenge and the conditions that our course will provide.”
Adult general admission for all three days is just $20, $10 for seniors, with students and children under 12 admitted free. Adult single day general admission ticket are $10, $7 for seniors.
Tickets may be purchased at the gate and online at www.newenglandgolfclassic.com.