May 26, 2003
Merrillville, Ind. -- Reilley Rankin, an All-American for Georgia's Lady Bulldogs in 1998 and 2001, won her first professional golf tournament on Saturday -- the Northwest Indiana Futures Golf Classic presented by The Horseshoe Casino.
The second-year professional from Hilton Head Island, S.C. fired a final-round 70 at Innsbrook Country Club and survived a two-hole playoff against Soo Young Moon of Keumsan, Korea, who posted a 69 to tie Rankin at 211 (-5).
Moon and Rankin replayed the last hole twice in a sudden-death playoff.
Both recorded par on the first playoff hole, with Rankin two-putting from 20 feet and Moon getting up and down for par from 16 feet.
On the next visit to the 18th green, Rankins approach landed 15 feet to the right of the hole, which she two putted for par. Moons approach landed 60 feet below the hole on the front of the green and her first putt stopped eight feet short. Her par attempt spun out, leaving a tap-in putt for bogey and giving Rankin her first professional paycheck worth $9,100 in the $65,000 event.
With the victory, Rankin climbed from 17th to fourth on the Futures Tour money list. Through seven Futures tournaments in 2003, Rankin now has three top-10 and two additional top-20 finishes. The top-five players on the year-end money list will earn exempt status on the LPGA Tour for 2004.