The Pilot - Southern Pines - July 28, 2017
By Betsey Mitchell
The 40th Moore County Women’s Amateur was held at Pinehurst No. 9 on July 24-25, 2017. It was a heated competition both in the atmosphere and on the field. Congratulations to everyone for surviving the ever rising heat index.
Congratulations to the champion, Gabby Weiss of Southern Pines, NC and member of Pinehurst Country Club. The first place winner of the Friendship division was earned by Sook Hee Yang of Jamestown, NC and member of Colonial Country Club.
The Championship division played the course set at over 5,800 yards and featured some of the best amateurs around. After round one, Abby Parsons of Kenansville, NC led by three. During round two, Gabby Weiss opened with a birdie and then hopped on the bogie train for the remainder of the front nine.
Gabby made the turn trailing by seven strokes. Her back nine was refreshed with three birdies and no bogies. Abby did not shine and by the end 36 holes Gabby Weiss came away with the trophy with a score of 148. One better than Abby.
The Friendship division played a shorter course and had a similar fight to the finish. Julie Shore of Raleigh, NC shot a stellar 74 on the first day, leading the field by one and her flight by four strokes. One the second day, Sook Hee Yang got off to a slow start but powered through on the back nine resulting in a final day total of par 72. As a result, she ended up winning her division by five strokes.
High-five to Tricia Williamson. She has the distinction of Most Improved. She scored an uncharacteristic 98 on the first day followed up with a 77. Not enough to catch Diana Staley, but very impressive.
Some may recall that there was a very enthusiastic storm barreling through Moore County last Sunday night.
This caused the course at Pinehurst National to be littered with limbs and pine needles. The fairways were covered with debris. The grounds crew must have been out pre-dawn. They had the course ready and in tip-top shape by the first 7:30 tee time.
Many thanks to them and the entire staff at Pinehurst No. 9 with a special shout out to Matt Vick, Jacqueline Ponder and Ryan Duckworth.
For the past five years, the Moore County Women’s Amateur has included the mantra “Women Helping Women”. Although the competition dates back to 1978, it went through revitalization in 2013 through the leadership of Franny Stewart, Rita Roberts, and Bette Rycroft.
Part of their plan was to include a charitable arm to the competition. A relationship was formed with Friend to Friend, the women’s shelter based in Carthage. This year the event raised a total of $8,080 bringing the five-year total to over $28,000. The revenue is sourced from sponsorships, raffles, player donations, and a portion of each entry fee.
This was the first year the MCWA had a title sponsor. During the awards presentation special thanks was extended to Leith Honda.
Anne Friesen, Executive Director of Friend to Friend made a presentation to the players during the celebration luncheon where she explained the many services they offer. They field hundreds of calls every year through the crisis line. Trained volunteers are there to answer the phone 24/7 to assist with domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, and bullying in school.
Domestic abuse affects one in four women and crosses every socio-economic level. If you or someone you know needs help, please call 910-947-3333 or go to the website http://www.friendtofriend.me.
The women’s shelter has a bright, family atmosphere. Women and their children may arrive with nothing but the clothes they are wearing. Sometimes it is just pajama. Services extend well beyond housing.
The staff offers training and support to find the women jobs, teach them parenting skills, and expose the children to good habits. Many women have never handling household accounts, so they are taught how to open and maintain a checking account and how to budget their money.
The success of this organization exceeds most in the country. They have a success rate approaching 85% for families getting to self-sufficiency.
The Moore County Women’s Amateur committee looks forward to another great tournament next year. Mark your calendar for July 23-24 at Mid Pines Inn & Golf Club.