AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa AnitaThere are 18 tournaments on the schedule, with purses ranging from $70,000 to a high of $100,000 for the Futures Tour Players Championship in June. Courtney will have her husband, Kevin, carrying for her and is anxious to see where she stands among her peers. Not that she had any doubts in the first place. The 24-year-old believes she is more than ready for the challenge. “I’ve been working at this for four years,” she said. “I just know that I’m good enough to play with those girls. I know a lot of them on tour, and I know my level of play is just as good as their’s is. “I’m totally prepared to go in there and kick some major butt.” Her husband said the timing is right. Multi-million sponsorship deals are non-existent, but hopes and dreams are not. And that’s good enough for Courtney Erdman. The Arcadia resident, along with her caddy/husband Kevin, are about to embark on their first glimpse of life as a touring professional when she competes on the 2006 Futures Tour, which begins in March in Lakeland, Fla. ALTADENA – Welcome to the other side of professional golf. You won’t find limousines, corporate jets and luxurious hotel suites on the Futures Tour, the official developmental circuit of the LPGA for the past six years. What you will find are players struggling to break even and competing for first-place checks usually worth less than $10,000 in obscure locales like Forsyth, Ill., or Queenstown, Md. “No doubt we have to try it,” he said. “We’re young, and if worse comes to worse we’ll both go out and get jobs and regroup. But we haven’t worked this hard in the last few years to just forget about it. We could settle down and get a house and a normal life, but there’s no excitement in that.” Kevin, a teaching professional at Altadena Golf Course, first met Courtney on the driving range there about 6 1/2 years ago and quickly noticed her ability and competitive desire. Kevin played golf at La Salle High School and Citrus College and played in a number of mini-tour events. Courtney competed on the boys golf team at Crescenta Valley High School and twice qualified for the U.S. Amateur. It made sense to combine their knowledge of the game, especially after Courtney expressed a burning desire to play on the LPGA one day. Kevin, 26, eventually became her teacher, and nothing has been left to chance in the dogged pursuit of her life-long dream. It was Kevin’s idea, for example, for Courtney to compete with the men on the Golden State Tour last year to sharpen her competitive edge and boost her confidence. She played as an amateur and had a pair of top-10 finishes. “This (playing on the Futures Tour) is basically for experience and confidence so we can qualify for the LPGA next year,” Kevin said. “We believe she had the talent to make it to the LPGA this year, but I wanted her to get some experience. Then next year she’ll definitely try to qualify (for the LPGA).” The Erdmans figure they will need about $40,000 to play the Futures Tour this year and will hold a fundraising tournament on Feb. 17 at their home course to help with some of the costs. They have talked to a number of players who already compete on Futures events and have a pretty good idea of the difficult road that awaits them. At least Courtney won’t have loneliness to deal with, since her husband will be with her. She insists she isn’t nervous. “To tell you the truth, no,” she said with a smile. “And having him there, I love it. If I’m ever getting down on myself, he kicks me in the butt. He expects me to do well. I better go and give it my best … if not, I’ll hear it from him.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2272 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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