EWGA’s elite 222 arrived at The Hermitage last week ready for the challenge. The former home of the LPGA Sara Lee Classic in Old Hickory, TN was ready (sheep included!).
While Mother Nature threw a few curve balls (rain delays and two saturated courses) at the assembled competitive field and operations team; a new EWGA Champion, Katie Brinker, was crowned on Saturday evening. Joining her with the top title in the Scramble Division was the Central Arkansas team of Christy Mahan, Karen East, Natalie Gay and Trisha Cooper. Congratulations Ladies!
What is it about the EWGA Championship that captures our attention, respect and participation from more than 2,300 EWGA competitors who start on this annual journey?
Perhaps it’s about trying to play your very best golf under a variety of conditions? Or how about testing yourself against a field of fellow competitors at your skill level? Or having the courage to embrace this experience as your first foray into competitive golf? How about achieving a personal goal? Advancing to the next level of the championship? Meeting women from near and far who also wear the EWGA badge? Or entering the competition solely for the fun of it! Everyone has their own motivations and stories. And we love them!
For Katie Brinker, her journey began at the first stage of qualifying, the Central Indiana Chapter Championship where she played with a broken fibula and sprained ankle (while tackling her new responsibility as mother of 7-month old son Nolan and 10 year-old stepson Cameron). After hobbling around with her foot and ankle in a boot, Katie then won the Ohio Valley District Semi-Final Championship at Fuzzy Zoeller’s Covered Bridge Golf Club in Sellersburg, Indiana. She arrived in Nashville determined to improve on her second place finish at the 2013 EWGA Championship. With caddie/husband Zach on the bag, her four consecutive birdies starting at Hole #15 led to her come from behind with a two shot victory. Katie’s victory speech delivered a strong message to her peers – perseverance in the face of adversity – never give up!
For others in this elite group of 222, their experiences were rewarding in different ways. Consider this comment from a competitor from Canada “This was my first Finals, and I loved being part of this group of diverse, fun-loving and accomplished women from all age groups, from all over the country (and Canada), and from many different walks of life. I am truly inspired to improve my focus on golf and to take my game to the next level. “
As one enthusiastic member from the Albany Chapter expressed “we don’t play competitive golf for a living” but as they say at the Oscars, it’s an honor to be nominated. We all had a “mighty fine time in Nashville.”
Yes another member said, “It was my first experience competing at this level, and I am motivated to work on my game and earn a chance to return. It’s also motivation to get more of our members involved, as there is so much to be enjoyed from these experiences.”
EWGA is made up of a community of women who are passionate about golf and are equally as engaged with the friendships, relationships and doors that playing this game opens. I challenge you to think of EWGA as being a picture frame and you are the interior designer empowered to make the portrait inside the frame reflect your EWGA story.
Why not consider charting your course to the EWGA Championship in 2015? See you in Palm Springs!