Six-time Ladies Professional Golf Association winner and Southern Pines resident, Donna Andrews, was given the honor of hitting the first tee ball at 7:30 a.m. Thursday on her home course, as the 2nd U.S. Women’s Senior Open gets underway at the Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club.
Donna retired from the LPGA in 2005 to become the lead teaching instructor at Pine Needles. Long-time golf fans will remember her for winning the 1994 Nabisco Dinah Shore, a LPGA major championship and the 1988 North and South Women’s Amateur held on Pinehurst No. 2.
She played her college golf at UNC-Chapel Hill, and was the first LPGA player inducted to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame last year.
Among the recognizable names are defending champion Laura Davis and U.S. Women’s Open champions Amy Alcott, JoAnne Carner, Juili Inkster and Liselotte Neuman, just to name a few.
120 female golfers, age 50 and older, will compete in this 18-hole stroke play championship sanctioned by the United States Golf Association.
Round 1 is being contested Thursday with players going off the 1st and 10th tee, while Round 2 is scheduled for Friday. The field will be cut after Round 2 to only those 50 players with the lowest 2-day total. Rounds 3 and 4 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The Tickets for the event can be purchased at usseniorwomensopen.com. Those 18 years old and under are admitted free.
Feature photo: Donna Andrews, retired LPGA member and Southern Pines resident hits the first tee ball at 7:30 Thursday morning to open the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club. Judy Rankin, 26-time winner on the LPGA tour and honorary starter this week looks on.
~Written and photos by Sandhills Sentinel Sports Reporter/Photographer John Patota.