Well into its second decade, the Alliance Bank Futures Golf Classic has proven to be a consistent launching ground for top female golfers to get to the LPGA Tour.
And that could be the case again as 18 of the top 20 money-winners on the Duramed Futures Tour come to the Links at Erie Village this weekend for the 13th edition of this tournament.
In all, $90,000 will be on the line, with $12,600 to the winner. Play in the 54-hole event runs Friday through Sunday, each day starting at 8 a.m.
Prior to that, there will be two days of pro-ams, a junior clinic and two tournaments related where top high school golfers are featured.
The second Nice N Easy Grocery Shoppes Pro-Junior Challenge, where 14 high school teams are paired with Futures pros in a nine-hole scramble format, takes place Wednesday morning at 8 a.m.
Auburn, Baldwinsville, CBA, Central Square, Chittenango, Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt, Liverpool, Rome Free Academy, Skaneateles, Westhill and Whitesboro are the competing teams.
Following that, the winning team will take on a group of top Rochester-area high school players in the Crowley Intersectional Showdown Thursday at 9 a.m. Danielle Fuss, Sara Quinn, Michelle Spiegel and Madeline Sisson make up the Section V All-Stars.
Though most of the Futures top 20 is in town, the tour's leading player will not be. Vicky Hurts, who has won four of the eight tournaments she has entered in 2008, is entered in the LPGA's State Farm Rail Classic and will play there.
Also, defending champion Violeta Retamoza is gone, having been one of the top five Futures money-winners in 2007, which helped her earn a promotion to the LPGA Tour.
One year ago, Retamoza overcame an opening 75 in cold, windy conditions on her 24th birthday to post rounds of 66 and 67 on the weekend, finishing off with a 25-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole that helped her beat Ha-Na Chae by a single shot.