Dawn Woodard’s name is on a lot of trophies in the Carolinas.
The Thornblade Club golfer has won seven WSCGA South Carolina Amateur championships to go along with a handful of CGA titles.
Now her name is on a new trophy and it is the first one after winning the inaugural Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Open amateur division championship.
The first of what is expected to be an annual event was played at the Seabrook Island Club and featured both professional and amateur divisions.
Woodard battled Furman’s rising senior Haylee Harford down to the final hole for the amateur title.
“I was able to win by three shots, but it was a lot closer than it looked on the scorecard,” said Woodard. “I had to hit some really good shots on the last three holes because Haylee was hitting really good shots, too,” she said.
Woodard had a lead over the Lady Paladin golfer, but slowly Harford was able to catch Woodard on the 15th hole setting up a match play finish.
On the sixteenth hole Woodard’s approach shot was a little better than Harford’s and she was able to birdie the hole to take a one shot lead.
On the 17th hole both golfers were just about even in the fairway. Harford hit first and a strong wind knocked her shot down well short of the green.
“I learned a lot from her shot. I think who ever played first was going to give an advantage to the other player. I saw what the wind did and used a little more club to get on the green,” she said.
Woodard birdied the hole to take a two shot lead, but Harford had a chance on the final hole to tie the leader.
Again both golfers found themselves even after their tee shots. Harford’s second shot ended up 10 feet from the pin.
Woodard needed to decide if the would play it safe or go at the pin. She decided to fire at the flag and may have hit her best shot of the tournament.
“I didn’t want to play defensively so I went for the pin. The ball ended up about two feet from the hole and that wrapped it up,” she said.
In addition to being the first WSCGA Open amateur champion, Woodard received an exemption to play in the Symetra Tour event in the Carolinas next year.
Woodard shot rounds of 72-73-70 for a 215 total. Harford finished with a 218 total for second place while Mercer University golfer Jodee Tindal from Rock Hill was third at 221.
Furman golfer Carly Burkhardt finished in fourth place with a 6-over par 222 total with Sophia Burnett from Bluffton a shot back in fifth place.
“I think it is great that the state association stepped up and started this tournament. This gives us an event the professionals can play and it is also another opportunity for amateurs to play against some high quality competition,” said Woodard.
The tournament received outstanding support from the Seabrook members and staff. Woodard believed that was an important reason the tournament was a success off the course.
“You can tell when a membership is just letting you use the course and when they are excited to have you. Everyone at Seabrook was great. The Association (WSCGA) did a great job organizing the tournament,” concluded Woodard.
The Senior Amateur title was won by Lee Ann Brown of Charleston and the Senior Professional title was claimed by LPGA Tour legend Rosie Jones.
The Senior’s played 36 holes for their championship.
The Women’s professional title was won by Amira Alexander, a former Kent State golfer from Atlanta. Alexander edged out recent Clemson grad Sydney Legacy by a shot for the win.
Legacy was making her professional debut at the tournament. Her final round 3-under par 69 almost pulled out the victory. Symetra Tour golfer Kayla Sciupider finished in third place.
Complete scores available here https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/4169137987424142907