Debby King of Eugene, Ore. shot 3-over 74 to earn medalist honors in leading the field of 14 players who competed today in U.S. Senior Women’s Open sectional qualifying at the par-71 Fairwood Golf & Country Club in Renton, Wash.
The other two players to advance from this qualifier are Patricia Ehrhart of Honolulu, Hawaii and Lara Tennant of Portland, Ore.
These three players will now join the field to play in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship, which will be held July 12-15, 2018 at Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.
Alternates from this qualifier are Beth Wrigley of Spokane, Wash. (first); Denise Kieffer of University Place, Wash. (second); and Sue Craven of Snohomish, Wash. (third).
The Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and conducted this qualifier for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Championship.
“I’ve been dreaming about this day since they first made the announcement over two years ago,” said King, about the inaugural national championship for women over 50 years of age. “I posted a calendar on my wall and had this date (of today’s qualifying) circled. I kept telling myself that I can do this. And I did.”
King, 58, is an LPGA teaching professional with the PGA of America. She owns a golf school, the Kingdom of Golf Experience School, conducted at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell, Ore. She has been a golf coach at the University of Notre Dame and University of Tennessee.
Ehrhart played college golf at the University of South Florida, then played mini-tours until she earned status on the LPGA Tour in 1998. “But I started a family, and turned my focus to that,” she said. Her youngest daughter, 11-year-old Scarlett, caddied for her today. Ehrhart got her amateur status back when she was 48, and now plays in as many USGA national championships as she can; she currently is exempt to play in the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
“I’m looking forward to playing Chicago Golf Club,” she said. “I have two sisters and a brother who live in the Midwest.”
Tennant is on the executive committee of the Oregon Golf Association. One of the region’s top amateur players, she was co-medalist and No. 1 seed at the 2017 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, and was named the 2017 OGA Women’s Golfer of the Year. She is a four-time winner of the Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur, and won the 2017 Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur.
Click here for complete hole-by-hole scoring of this qualifier.
Sectional qualifying is being played over 18 holes at 17 sites across the United States between June 4-20. There are qualifying sites in 16 states, including two in California. The USGA accepted 462 entries from golfers in 39 states for the inaugural championship.
The U.S. Senior Women’s Open is open to professional golfers, and amateurs with a Handicap Index not exceeding 7.4 who are 50 years of age at the start of championship play.
Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving nearly 70,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the USGA and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.
— Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) (@theWSGA) June 14, 2018