RODRIGUEZ TAKES HOME TITLE AT KINGSMILL RESORT
In her first LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddy appearance, Alisa Rodriguez (Austin, Texas) got the championship title and shot a final round 70 to finish at 5-under overall. Rodriguez made the trip tied for first with first round leader Allie Knight (Knoxville, Tenn.), But two birds at Nos. 15 and 16 helped her secure the victory.
“I was definitely a little nervous when I started. Just could not make putts in the beginning – had a very good look and just nothing went in and eventually made some on the back, so it was a big push, “said Rodriguez. “Allie played great golf. She had three birds on the front nine and I was not doing anything, so I was just trying to be patient and stick to my game plan: try not to do anything that I had not done all week. And it paid off. ”
Rodriguez, a teacher at Balcones Country Club, is looking forward to returning to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. The top eight finishers in the Championship division were given exceptions from the 2022 KPMG PGA Women’s Championship, which will be held on 21-26. June at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. “I teach a lot of juniors and everyone honestly, so I know them. I’m excited to see myself on TV again,” Rodriguez said.
Knight finished in solo second at -3 with defending champion Stephanie Connelly Eiswerth, LPGA / PGA (Fleming Island, Fla.) Finished alone in third.
TICKETS ITEMS TO CONGRESSIONAL
Along with Rodriguez, Knight and Connelly Eiswerth, the rest of the top eight in the championship division have earned their places in the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the Congressional Country Club: Sandra Changki (Kissimmee, Fla.), Ashley Grier (Villanova, Pa.), Jennifer Borocz (Jacksonville, Fla.), Ashley Tait (Morrison, Colo.) Og Meaghan Francella (Wilmington, Del.)
Rodriguez, Knight, Grier, Connelly Eiswerth and Changkija all competed in the 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the Atlantic Athletic Club after finishing in the top 8 at last year’s PGA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Louis. Lucie, Fla. The 2020 LPGA Professionals National Championship was canceled due to COVID-19.
Borocz last appeared in the big championship in 2020. Francella, a former tournament player who won the 2007 MasterCard Classic after defeating Annika Sorenstam in the playoffs, will start her first start in the KPMG Women’s PGA as a member of LPGA Professionals. She last appeared in the major in 2013, where she missed the clip. She recorded her career-best result at the event in 2010, drawing to a seventh. Tait participates in his first major championship.
“It will be really good to play another big championship. Each one is special; they are all a little different. Hopefully next year we can get some friends and family out, but I’m really excited to go back, ”said Connelly Eiswerth, who will compete in her third straight KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. “The experience is just something you can not explain until you do it yourself, but it’s really fun to experience it with family and friends and students at home.”
HIRST WINS FOURTH NEXT CHALLENGE SECTION TITLE
With her daughter Allie on the bag, Charlaine Hirst (Pinehurst, NC) went wire-to-wire at the LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddy to win its fourth straight challenge division title.
“It’s very exciting and it’s hard to believe,” said Hirst, an LPGA Professional and LPGA * USGA Girls Golf Site Director at Country Club of Whispering Pines. “Five days is a lot of golf. I’m not used to playing that many days in a row, but I just hung in there today. I had a great group, we encouraged ourselves a little bit together and we just had a lot of fun. ”
“[Being a four-time champion] sounds good, I take it and run, ”she joked. This trophy may feel a little sweeter knowing that her daughter helped Hirst secure the victory. “She may have to come back next year. I think she must appreciate what I do because she does not do much golf. She makes our Girls Golf program. She’s having fun doing just that little bit, and now she’s got a high level of experience of what it takes to be up here. It’s funny, it was nice to have her. ”
Lieschen Wienke (Bloomington, Ill.) Took home solo second with Louise Ball (Knoxville, Tenn.) And Stephanie Peareth (Homestead, Fla.) Ends in third and fourth, respectively.
DANCKAERT WINS FIRST SENIOR DEPARTMENT TITLE
Tonya Danckaert (Atlanta, Ga.) Fired one final round 66, the low round of the week, to win the Senior Division. Danckaert competed in her first LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddy and was pleasantly surprised with her bogey-free round on the final day and was very excited about her victory.
“It was my first time here, so I’m just really excited to be here. Kingsmill was such a great place to have this, ”Danckaert said. “It’s one of the few times I’ve done it [shot a bogey-free round], so it’s huge, I can not believe it. I don ‘t think I’ve even been in a dispute over a tournament since maybe college. I’m still just in shock. I’m not sure what happened today, but it was amazing. I had one of my oldest friends here cadding for me and it was great to have him with me all three days. We just had a lot of fun out there. ”
Danckaert, lead instructor at the Grand Slam Golf Academy at Bobby Jones Golf Course, celebrates his victory by flying up to Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, Conn., To compete in the 2021. Senior Senior Women’s Open. I just turned 50 at the end of November, so all of this is new. It’s a little weird to think I’m playing in Senior Division stuff, but it’s pretty cool so far. I’m excited I do not have to try and qualify for next year’s US Senior Women’s Open now. ”
2018 Senior division winner, Barbara Moxness (Rio Verde, Ariz.), Finished on solo number two. Four times LPGA Professionals National Champion Jean Bartholomew (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.), Which won its first title at Kingsmill Resort in 2009, finished in third. The top eight finishers in the Senior Division qualify for the 2022 Senior LPGA Championship presented by Old National Bank as well as all competitors over the age of 45 who finish in the top 10 in the Championship division. In addition, the top five finishers in the Championship Division and the top three finishers in the Senior Division, who are at least 50 years old, qualify for the 2022 US Senior Women’s Open.
DEBRA PINNELL WINS SHIRLEY SPORK SUPER SENIOR CHAMPION
At the conclusion of the LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddy, Debra Pinnell was awarded the Shirley Spork Super Senior Champion trophy, awarded to the lowest goal scorer, 70 years or older.
“I had no idea this was going to happen, but I’m really excited,” Pinnell said. “I’m happy to be 70, happy to be here in the tournament, and it’s just really exciting to have this special award at the end. I could not believe it, it’s amazing. ”
LPGA co-founder Shirley Spork has always been a player with a strong eye for golf swing technique, making her one of six inaugural members of the LPGA Professionals Hall of Fame. In 1959, Spork co-founded LPGA Professionals with Marilynn Smith, Betty Hicks, and Barbara Rotvig. The native of Michigan was twice named LPGA National Teacher of the Year (1959 and 1984). She also served as LPGA president for eight years.
“It really means a lot to receive [this award] from such a great master, ”Pinnell added. “I met Shirley a long time ago when I was playing on the Tour. She was about to get off the trip and would occasionally come out to see, coach some of the girls and give clinics. I do not know her very well, but I just know what a wonderful person she is and how generous she is. I’m so glad she’s still so involved in golf, and I really appreciate it. Thank you, Shirley – you are amazing! ”
The 2022 LPGA Professionals National Championship presented by Voice Caddy is scheduled to return to Kingsmill Resort on August 28-31.
Alisa Rodriguez (1, -5) to compete at the Congressional Country Club for the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship:
“Honestly, I’m just so excited to go back and just have a chance to play major again. I actually went to Congressional when my uncle lived up there and we went and saw Tiger play so it was so cool. Going back and playing myself becomes a great experience. ”
Alisa Rodriguez (1, -5) to compete at Kingsmill Resort:
“It has been fantastic. I played with some amazing ladies, made new friends. It’s just a great event. It’s so cool we got to play Kingsmill. It was amazing, I’m just so happy. ”
Ashley Tait (T7, +2) on qualifying for the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship for the first time:
“I’ve worked all my life to get to an LPGA tournament, and I feel like I grinned through Symetra, and it never happened to me. And then this is my first year playing in the LPGA Professionals National Championship, and it sure went, it went. So I’m very excited. ”
Charlaine Hirst (1, +12) about what she takes home to her students:
“As an LPGA Professional, I build the next generation of golfers. I hope my students learn perseverance and come out and know that no matter where you are in your game, there is always a new shot around the corner, a better shot. You might hit something that you do not expect to hit and you just have to keep fighting on. Just encourage each other. ”