It could almost be considered a going away present as Lea Venable is just a few months away from leaving the Mid-Am ranks and beginning a new chapter in her golf career as a senior.
The Holy Tree golfer won the Women’s South Carolina Golf Association Player of the Year award for 2022.
It is the second time Venable has won the award. This time it was a little different than the first time in 2017.
“There was a mix up in the announcement and at first I wasn’t the player of the year, but after some checking I was told I won it,” Venable said. “I like this way better,” she added.
Many golfers in their late 40s are often just marking time until they qualify for senior competition. Venable didn’t do that this year she put together one of her best seasons.
She will take the Player of the Year award with her to senior events in 2023.
The year started off well for the former Gamecock golfer as she and partner Skye Two Hawks Skenadore won the WSCGA Team Championship.
“Our family business has been good (Electric Motor Service of Clinton Inc.) and I wasn’t sure how much I could get away and play, but after we won the team title I started to look at the schedule and see if I could squeeze in a few more events than I had planned,” said Venable.
Always on the Player of the Year’s schedule are events hosted by the WSCGA and she played in several including the South Carolina Women’s Open and the WSCGA Amateur.
“This organization raised me, I was just a kid when I started playing and they helped me develop a love for the game and I always want to support the association and their events,” she said.
After the opening team championship, Venable qualified for the US Mid-Am and made the round of 32 in the Carolinas Match Play championship.
“As I get a little older my definition of a good tournament has changed. Making the round of 32 and playing against all the college kids is a win for me and qualifying for the US Mid-Am is also something I’m proud of doing,” she said.
Her best individual effort came with her win in the 2022 Walton Horton and Jeanne Campbell WSCGA Match Play Championship at Southern Oaks.
The course has been good to Venable in the past winning some team events and a Greenville County Women’s Amateur championship.
This time she faced long time competitor and 8 time WSCGA Player of the Year Dawn Woodard in the final and won the title.
After the win Venable was happy with the victory but was looking forward to starting to play as a Senior in 2023.
“I’d like to be able to maintain my level of play in Carolina and USGA events as a senior so I’m looking forward to qualifying for the Senior Amateur, and see what other events I can work into my schedule” she said.
Pardus is the WSCGA Senior Player of the Year
Jayne Pardus represented South Carolina extremely well within the Carolinas, nationally and internationally finishing top 10 every time she teed it up.
Pardus qualified for the US Women’s Senior Open and won her 3rd Carolina Women’s Senior Amateur Championship, and her 2nd WSCGA Team Championship – Championship Division,
Both Venable and Pardus wil receive their awards at the WSCGA Annual Meeting in Columbia on January 11th.