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Jill Briles-Hinton

The most skilled woman golfer ever to come out of Peoria has to be Jill Briles-Hinton, a 12-year veteran of the Ladies Professional Golfers Association tour.

She was a very good golfer at a very early age. The year she graduated from Peoria Central High School she won the 1981 Peoria Women's City tournament.

Then it was on to the University of Miami for more golf where, in 1986, Miami was runner-up in the NCAA tournament with Jill finishing in a tie for seventh in the nation.

She qualified for the LPGA tour on her first try and was a regular on the tour for a dozen seasons.

Among her career pro highlights were three ties for second place finishes - in the 1987 Jamie Farr Classic, the 1988 Ocean State Open and the 1994 Children's Medical Center Classic. Her career earnings were more than $500,000.

Some years ago she helped establish the LPGA Charity Pro-Ams in Peoria to benefit breast cancer research, an event that has become a major fund raiser with dozens of pros from the LPGA tour taking part.

In 1998 she left the tour to become golf coach at the University of Florida.