By Betsey Mitchell
For the third year in a row, the winner of the Moore County Women’s Amateur is Friend to Friend, the Carthage-based women’s shelter.
This year’s champion is Ashley Sloup, a rising sophomore at Winthrop University. New this year is the addition of the “Friendship Division,” which was won by Amy Rich of Pinehurst. This division plays a short course.
The competition was held at The Country Club of North Carolina, July 27-28. Although it was mighty steamy, the weather cooperated with sunny skies for both days. The greenside fans were cooling more than the Bermuda greens.
The first round had the championship tee course set extra tough to challenge the expanding field of the younger college gals. The committee may have overdone it, so adjustments were made for the second round. Sloup’s first round was a solid 79, and she shot a stellar 73 on the next day to win the trophy by 5 strokes over Mary-Katelyn Holanek, the 2013 champion.
Defending champion Laura Kinsman had a great time and justified finishing a little farther back in the pack, confessing that she hadn’t played any golf since May. As a recent graduate of St. Andrews University, she has enjoyed a summer of travel before getting started in the workaday world teaching sixth–eighth-grade health and physical education at Southern Middle School in Aberdeen.
As she accepted her prize, Sloup thanked the committee and praised the entire staff of CCNC. “The course was beautiful. There wasn’t a blade of grass out of place out there. Thank you for a wonderful tournament.”
The full field made for an exciting and successful two days. Many new friends were made, and old friends enjoyed getting together for a great cause. Between the supporting sponsors, player donations and a generous raffle, a record $7,000 was raised for Friend to Friend.
Anne Friesen, executive director of Friend to Friend, thanked everyone and highlighted the services offered by Friend to Friend. In addition to their ongoing service to women who are victims of domestic violence, there has sadly been an increase of human trafficking in our area. A new app has made it possible for victims to quickly and quietly reach out for help.
So many of the clients arrive at the shelter with just the clothes on their backs. Sometimes those clothes are just pajamas. Friend to Friend provides shelter and clothing, then goes beyond to find these women and their children permanent housing, perhaps a job, and even transportation. If you or someone you know needs help, call the 24-hour crisis line at (910) 947-3333.
The Moore County Women’s Amateur first competed in 1978. Realizing that women playing golf could have fun and support an important mission, the MCWA began its partnership with Friend to Friend in 2013. Since that time, this tournament through direct donations and sponsorships has raised nearly $15,000.
The venue for 2016 will be Pinewild County Club. There is no need to wait that long to lend a hand to Friend to Friend. You can go to their website, wwwFriend2Friend.me, to learn how you can help.
It was all for a good cause, but the women who came out on top deserve their moment in spotlight. Here is the complete list of winner in order of finish: Championship –Ashley Sloup, Mary-Katelyn Holanek, Patty Moore, Courtney Stiles; Friendship Flight 1 – Amy Rich, Kendra Muir, Sally Means, Julie Shore; Flight 2 – Beth Bennington, Carmen Andia, Candice Robertson, Jane Pajack; Flight 3 – Tanya Kozlowski, Isabelle Daley, Tracy Spillane, Jack Meyer; Flight 4 – Jennette Rafetto, Roe Lyons, Franny Stewart, Rita Roberts; Flight 5 – Caroline Brinsley Smith, Jean Lawson Peters, Diane Tate, Kay Reardon; Flight 6 – Bonnie Dingman, Mickey Scarborough, Carmella Adolfsson, Terri Watt; Flight 7 – Mary Wilde, Mary Woodford, Olga Manning, Liz McClain.
And a final “high five” to Terri Watt. She scored her first hole-in-one on the tough 16th hole of the Dogwood course. Greg Hayes, assistance golf pro, said, “We get a lot of aces out here, but I only know of one other on that 16th hole. That is something.”