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Whaley in preparation for GHO in July

Suzy Whaley has been busy getting ready for the Greater Hartford Open since becoming the first woman to qualify for a PGA event.

By the time the GHO begins on July 24, Whaley will have played in four LPGA events, including a major, a Futures tournament and a U.S. Open qualifying event.

"It's very difficult to juggle it all," she said. "Part of the challenge for me is I don't have the ability to practice as much as I would like. That doesn't mean I'm not working as hard as I can in each area. At the end of the day, the time I commit will have to be good enough."

The mother of two young girls and the pro at Blue Fox Run in Avon, Whaley qualified for the event when she won the Connecticut PGA Sectional in September.

Preparing for the GHO has meant plenty of extra work for Whaley. Not only has she intensified her physical conditioning, but Whaley's had to travel to play a lot of golf since spring in Connecticut has been cold and rainy.

While Whaley became the first woman to qualify for a PGA Tour event, Annika Sorenstam will become the first woman to play in one when she tees it up at the Colonial next week. Sorenstam received a sponsor's exemption to play in the tournament. Whaley will be monitoring the action on TV closely.

"I'll be absolutely glued. I'll watch every single shot," Whaley said. "I'm already nervous for her. I want her to do great."

As for her goals at the GHO in July, Whaley would like a tee time for Sunday.

"I'd love to play four days here," she said. "I've been working pretty hard since November to just play two."


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