The top amateur women’s golfers in an 11-state region will compete for the 99th annual Women’s Southern Golf Association title this week at Gaillardia Country Club.
It’s the first time in 78 years the WSGA is being held in Oklahoma.
Based on a qualifying round on Monday, the lowest 32 scores from a field of 80 entries will be bracketed. Match play begins on Tuesday, continuing through a 36-hole championship match Friday on the 6,063-yard, par-72 layout.
This will be one of the strongest fields in WSGA history. The top 32 players have handicaps 1.1 or better. More than half the field has handicaps under 3.
The WSGA is an 11-state region that stretches to North Carolina and Florida with entries from Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.
“We’re thrilled to host such a great event,” said Peter Vitali, Gaillardia vice president of business development. “The WSGA Board of Directors was looking for a course strong enough to intrigue and attract players from all parts of the South. Gaillardia offers world-class play and some of the most beautiful fairways in the region.”
Defending champion Hally Leadbetter, of Bradenton, Fla., headlines a field that includes 31 players from Oklahoma, including Lucy Nunn, the only Oklahoman to win the century-old tournament.
Originally from Lawton, Nunn is Kentucky’s assistant women’s coach. Nunn, who won the 2008 tournament, turned pro after playing at the University of Arkansas but has regained her amateur status.
The last time the event was held in Oklahoma in 1936, Mrs. Mark McGarry, from Florida, posted an upset of Texan Betty Jameson. A decade later, Jameson was a co-founder of the LPGA tour.
With several collegiate players entered, it’s a strong field that also includes a handful of senior players.
“On paper, the 99th Women’s Southern Amateur is shaping up to be a history maker,” said WSGA public relations director Karen Koerner. “Will we have a back-to-back champion for the first time in 20 years? Will Oklahoma crown a second champion? There are a lot of intriguing storylines.”