Parks wins John Shippen National Invitational

Sadena Parks of Puyallup, Wash. shot a final round three-under-par 69 to take home the women’s division of THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational at Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Mich.

The win earns Parks an exemption into the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give (June 16–19) in Grand Rapids, Mich., as well as an exemption into the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 13–16) in Midland, Mich.

Parks learned to play golf at Classic Golf Club in Spanaway, Wash., about 30 minutes south of Seattle. She won two Washington State High School Championships and then played four years on the women’s golf team at the University of Washington, being the first African American golfer to play at the school. She graduated in 2012.

In 2014, Parks won twice on the Symetra (now called Epson) Tour and finished in the top-10 on the money list, which earned her LPGA Tour membership for the 2015 season.

“This is the first win for me for 2022,” Parks said. “THE JOHN SHIPPEN has been great to me, so to give them a win is something magical. It means a lot.”

Parks carded a first round one-over-par 73 and started the final round four shots back of first place. Parks used four final-round birdies, including three on the final nine holes, to propel her to the tournament title. Her 36-hole total of 142 was two strokes better than Lakarerber Abe and Georgia Oboh, who tied for second.

Parks said she is looking forward to the opportunity to play as a sponsor exemption in the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational.

“I’m excited for all of it,” she said. “I want to keep it simple – shot by shot, hole by hole.”

THE JOHN SHIPPEN, designed to showcase Black amateur and professional golfers, is named after John Shippen Jr., who was the first American-born golf professional and also the country’s first Black golf professional. Shippen was bestowed PGA of America membership posthumously in 2009.

Later this summer, THE JOHN SHIPPEN National Golf Invitational will feature the nation’s top Black men competing in a 36-hole stroke play competition at Detroit Golf Club July 22–24. The winner will once again receive an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 28-31).

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