Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by Pepsico
Mystic Creek Golf Club
El Dorado, Ark.
Sept. 24, 2015
Thursday Pre-Tournament Notes
EL DORADO, Ark., Sept. 24, 2015 - The Symetra Tour, Road to the LPGA, will kick off the inaugural Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by PepsiCo tomorrow morning at Mystic Creek Golf Club. The day will begin with a ceremonial first tee shot from Chief Customer Officer Pepsi Beverages, PepsiCo, Mark Rogers at 7 a.m.
Play will begin on Friday at 7:30 a.m. with Christine Meier (Rochester Hills, Mich.), Emily Collins (Colleyville, Texas) and Michelle Shin (Cape Coral, Fla.) teeing off on the first tee and Allie White (Lancaster, Ohio), Lindsay Gahm (Louisville, Ky.) and Fabiola Arriaga (Torreon, Mexico) teeing off on the 10th.
Arkansas native and sponsor invite Amanda McCurdy (El Dorado, Ark.) will tee off at 12:32 p.m. off the first tee, while fellow Razorback Emily Tubert (Burbank, Calif.) will start her day on the 10th hole at 8:58 a.m.
The top 132 up-and-coming professionals from the United States and around the world will compete for a $100,000 total tournament purse in the 54-hole stroke play format. The winner of the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout will earn $15,000 and take a big step up the Volvik Race for the Card money list. The top 10 on the end-of-season money list will earn LPGA Tour membership for the 2016 season.
CALL THE HOGS! EMILY TURBERT EXCITED TO BE BACK IN ARKANSAS
University of Arkansas grad Emily Tubert is bound to be one of the crowd favorites this week at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by PepsiCo.
“I’m really happy be back in Arkansas and back in Razorback nation,” Tubert said. “It’s been over a year since I’ve been here. It’s fun that the Tour gets to come here. Even though it’s five hours from campus it’s still neat to be in this state.”
Tubert has had a busy week which included a media tour in Little Rock with Murphy USA President and Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Clyde.
“Murphy has been fantastic,” Tubert explained. “I actually got to hang out with Andrew Clyde all morning Tuesday doing media and he’s just the nicest guy and they’re putting on a class act for us this week.”
The Razorback is hoping that her experience playing in Fayetteville will help her this week at Mystic Creek.
“The course is fantastic,” Tubert said. “It’s in great shape. The greens are going to be the key this week. They’re pretty undulated and a little quicker than we’re used to seeing out here which I love because I love quick greens. Our course in Fayetteville, The Blessings, has super slopey greens and fast greens so it’ll be similar. I’m excited to go out and play this week and I’ve heard that everyone else is excited about this course too.”
HOMECOMING FOR AMANDA MCCURDY
El Dorado native Amanda McCurdy is back in her hometown this week competing at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by PepsiCo on a sponsor’s exemption.
“It’s great to be able to come back,” McCurdy said. “It’s cool to be able to come back and do this and play in front of all of my family and friends and have the support of all of the people who embraced me throughout my competitive career.”
McCurdy, who competed collegiately for the University of Arkansas from 2002-06, played on the Symetra Tour for two years following graduation but has since taken on a different career in the game.
“I’ve been an LPGA golf instructor down in Arlington, Texas,” McCurdy said. “It’s six years this month that I’ve been doing that and I’ve really enjoyed it. I get to work with a lot of kids and a variety of adults. It’s cool to still be part of a game that’s been a part of me and to be able to give back.”
While she may not be competing professionally any more, McCurdy knows what it will be like competing as a representative for El Dorado.
“It’s a small town so if you did something well you’re usually in the paper for it,” McCurdy said. “You feel like people lived it and died it with you so if I played well everyone was really happy and if I played poorly everyone’s heartbroke with me. Everyone was such a big part of what I did and it’s pretty neat to feel the same thing when I come back here now.”
Asked if there was extra pressure on her playing in her hometown McCurdy responded with a smile.
“I don’t think so. This doesn’t pay my bills anymore.”
PLAYERS LOVING THE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY
The inaugural Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by PepsiCo has been giving players a taste of southern hospitality all week.
“It’s definitely some of the best hospitality we’ve seen all year,” said University of Arkansas grad Emily Tubert. “We’ve had a couple of really good stops but this one is right up there. All the volunteers, all of the staff have been so friendly and so helpful. The whole community is so excited. It’s really nice to feel so welcomed.”
Madeleine Sheils (Boise, Idaho) echoed Tubert’s thoughts.
“I really believe that this is the best course that we play all year,” Sheils said. “It’s an incredible layout plus it’s in mint condition. Plus everyone in El Dorado has been kind and welcoming and excited to see us and we’re just honored to be here for the week.”
VOLVIK RACE FOR THE CARD NO. 10 CASEY GRICE EMBRACING THE CHALLENGE
With a mere three events remaining in the chase for 10 available LPGA Tour cards, Casey Grice (College Station, Texas) sits in the coveted 10th spot on the Volvik Race for the Card money list.
“I think it’s right in your face all of the time,”Grice admitted. “It’s always there but now it’s getting closer and closer. Now we have three events and my goal is to go out there and play the best golf that I can in the moment and have fun.”
While the gap is a narrow $245 between Grice and No. 11 Haruka Morita-WanyaoLu (Takamatsu City, Japan) don’t expect Grice to be looking in the rear-view mirror during the last few weeks.
“If you’re focusing on the people behind you, you’re going to fall down and if you focus on the people ahead of you you’re going to move up,” Grice explained. “I’ve just got to keep the nose to the ground and keep working hard and playing good golf.”
The North Carolina grad has a game plan to try and keep her in the top-10 starting this week at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout Presented by PepsiCo.
“Obviously it’s there and obviously I’m one of the bubble players so the number one goal is to just keep making cuts and always make a paycheck because the past few years it always comes down to just a little bit of money,” Grice said. “So you know that making a cut and making $250 could be the $250 that puts me over. That’s goal one and just then just enjoy it, enjoy the moment and enjoy the hunt. Not many people have the opportunity that I’m in right now. To have the opportunity to finish in the top-10 there’s only a few people now. Just enjoy the moment and do the best you can.”
BROOKE HENDERSON ON THE BAG FOR SISTER BRITTANY
Brooke Henderson, the 18-year-old who ranks 16th in Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings and who has has won on both the Symetra Tour (Four Winds Invitational) and the LPGA Tour (Cambia Portland Classic) this season, is in El Dorado this week working as a caddie for her older sister Brittany, who ranks 42nd on the Volvik Race for the Card money list with one top 10 finish.