Sophie Gustafson to play men's Japan Tour event
BY Bruce Young | Japan Tour | 2003 Casio World Open | Preview | 26 Nov 2003
In an unusual move for the Japan Golf Tour, Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson is playing this week’s Casino World Open near Kagoshima in Southern Japan.
The last of the full field events on the 2003 Japan Golf Tour season, the Casio World Open carries prizemoney of $A1,850,000.
Gustafson has had a fine year, both in the US and Europe, winning the Samsung World Championship in Houston in October and three events on the Ladies European Tour. She will be looking to join fellow LPGA golfer Se Ri Pak in making the cut in a men’s tour event in 2003. Pak did so in Korea last month when she finished tenth at the SBS Super Tournament.
If Gustafson is able to do so however, she will become the first woman in 58 years to make the cut in an event on a tour sanctioned by the International Federation of PGA Tours. The Korean event was part of the Korean Tour and not therefore under the umbrella of the International Federation.
Gustafson is the second longest hitter on the LPGA Tour this year behind Annika Sorenstam at an average of 269 yards. Such an average would have her ranked just inside the top 100 on the Japan Golf Tour.