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Sunday Extra

The young Americans

By BOB HARIG, Times Staff Writer
Published September 18, 2005

CRISTIE KERR

Kerr, from Miami, has emerged as the top American player over the past two years. Although only 27, she has been around for a long time, having joined the tour right out of high school. She has six LPGA titles, including two this year, and is second to Annika Sorenstam on the money list.

NATALIE GULBIS

Gulbis, who lives in Las Vegas, has yet to win on the LPGA Tour, but she showed plenty of grit at the Solheim Cup, where she went 3-1-0. Only 22, she is in her fourth year as a pro and contended at the LPGA Championship. She has nine top-10 finishes and has earned more than $860,000.

CHRISTINA KIM

Kim, born in San Jose, was the sparkplug of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. Only 21, she is in her third year on the tour and has one victory at the 2004 Longs Drugs Challenge. Kim, who now lives in Orlando, has four top 10s this year and has earned $418,124.

BRITTANY LINCICOME

Lincicome, who lives in Seminole, turns 20 Monday. She made it through the same LPGA qualifier as Creamer did last fall although she is enjoying more modest success in her rookie year. Lincicome has no top-10 finishes but has earned a respectable $123,792 to rank 64th on the money list. The top 90 at the end of the season are fully exempt next year.

MORGAN PRESSEL

Pressel of Boca Raton will attempt to earn her LPGA Tour card at a qualifier in December. If she is successful, Pressel will not be permitted to become a full-time member of the tour until she turns 18 in May. She already has proven to be a solid competitor, however, having won just about every junior and amateur title, and finishing tied for second at the U.S. Women's Open. She recently tied for fifth at the LPGA's State Farm tournament.

MICHELLE WIE

Wie, who lives in Honolulu, appears ready to turn pro. She has twice competed in PGA Tour events this year, made it through stroke-play qualifying in the U.S. Amateur Public Links and finished second at the LPGA Championship. She turns 16 next month and figures to make the Samsung World Championship her first pro event. She will immediately reap huge endorsement contracts and may attempt to play in both women's and men's events.

[Last modified September 18, 2005, 02:15:36]


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