When the women who annually played in the Greenville County Ladies Amateur found out that the event was being discontinued their first reaction was shock.
“A lot of us were surprised, we started calling around and found that a lot of the women who played in the tournament didn’t want it to end, ” said Linda Miller. “We have a lot of talented women who wanted to help and things came together and here we are,” she said.
The newly formed Upstate Ladies Amateur Golf Championship was played at Fox Run Country Club. The field included 65 golfers, almost doubling the number of golfers in the last Greenville Ladies Amateur.
The new organization opened the event to women golfers from all the upstate counties. Many of the women who had played in the old event returned to play in the new championship and were ready to help to make sure the event continued.
“So many women pitched in to help. Doris Fisher and the Ladies Golf Association at Fox Run got us off to a good start and the club was a great host for our first tournament,” said Miller.
The first round of the 36 hole championship was led by Gillian O’Brien. The Gardner-Webb golfer from Clemson carded a 2-under par 70 to hold a 2-shot lead.
Lea Venable, the 6-time winner of the previous Grenville Ladies championship was 2-shots back after the first round.
A pair of former champions of the former ladies championship were third and fourth. Emily Rapp posted a 2-over par 74 and Pam Prescott shot a 4-over par 76.
In the second round O’Brien faltered, but Venable and Rapp could not take advantage of O’Brien’s struggles.
Only Prescott was able to make a charge at the leader.
The Powdersville High School golf coach had her driver working much better in the second round and that opened up scoring opportunities.
“I never was out of the fairway. It makes your approach shots much easier when you are in good position on every hole,” she said.
Prescott only made one bogey while carding 5 birdies to finish with a 4-under par 68. Her two day total of 138 earned her a 4-shot victory over Venable.
“I didn’t have to scramble for a par all day. I hit some really good approach shots and had birdie putts. If I didn’t make the putt I had some easy pars,” she said.
Prescott has played some outstanding golf this summer. She won the senior division title at the Carolinas Golf Association’s Amateur and was second at the South Carolina Women’s Golf Association Amateur Senior Division.
“I have played well and played the way I like to play. I like playing risk-reward golf and I’ve been able to win by going for it,” she said.
The success of the new tournament has the organizers excited about the future. The tournament has often been as much about the women enjoying the gathering as much as the actual golf.
“We had great support from many club’s LGA (Ladies Golf Associations) and now that we have had a good tournament we hope we can make it bigger and better for next year,” said Miller.
Next year the championship will be played at The Links O’Tryon in late July.
Flight winners included: First Flight – Lea Venable, Second Flight – Pam Brown, Third Flight – Sherry Martell, Fourth Flight – Candy Young, Fifth Flight – Doris Fisher, Sixth Flight – Kim Wolcoveick, Seventh Flight – Pamela Stercay, Eighth Flight – Gayle Vasile.
Categories: Upstate Amateur Golf