Date: March 25, 2008

Whitaker earns LPGA Tour exemption with maiden win

Alison Whitaker has earned a sponsor&aposs invitation to the Ginn Tribute hosted by ANNIKA after her maiden tournament victory in the University of Florida Challenge at RedTail Golf Club. The young Australian took out individual honours with a three round score of eight-under as her Duke team mates coasted to victory. Whitaker will now take her place in the field at RiverTowne Country Club in South Carolina where she will rub shoulders with some of the best females on the planet from May 26-June 1. “It is just so exciting to get the sponsor&aposs exemption,” the National Squad member said. “I haven&apost played in an LPGA event before and after playing in the NCAA Championships the week before it will be great preparation. I think two weeks back-to-back of high quality golf is more than I could ask for in terms of finishing off a semester at Duke. I am very excited about it.” Tournament Director of the Ginn Classic Becky Newell said, “We are extremely excited to have Alison included in our prestigious field. She is a talented player and this will be a great experience for her to compete with the best players in the world.” Whitaker&aposs three-day total of 208 at the recent UCF Challenge was a new career-low for the sophomore. “My ball-striking was the best it has ever been,” she said. “I cannot remember ever hitting it so close so many times. On the first day when I shot seven-under, I was hitting it close and holing just about every putt I looked at as well, which was great. I had bids out on my putter after my round, apparently, and some were getting pretty high so I thought about selling it – but I didn&apost!” she said with a laugh. Whitaker was part of the Duke University women&aposs golf team that won last year&aposs NCAA Championship and playing in such a strong team, it can be difficult to rise above the pack to claim a well-deserved individual win. “It was a long time coming and took longer than I thought it would to be honest with you. “But with someone like Blue (Amanda Blumenherst) on the team it is always going to be hard to win. It is really cool and it was a strong field as well so it wasn&apost like I picked an easy one to go off on.” Whitaker&aposs recent run of consistent results has her ranked third overall in her Duke women&aposs golf team with a scoring average of 73.4 and is the only player other than young American phenomenon Amanda Blumenherst to post a victory. The Australian is now preparing for the Bryan National Collegiate which will be played from March 28-30 at Browns Summit, North Carolina.