For 90 years, the Ladies National Golf Association (LNGA) has been a long-standing leader in the game in the United States.
Until 2019, it was known as the Trans-Miss National Golf Association, and the most recognizable piece of the work of the Association is the LNGA Championship that will be played for the 91st time in 2021 in July.
The partial list of renowned winners includes Patty Berg, Babe Zaharias, Betsy Rawls, Judy Bell, Barbara Barrow, Nancy Lopez, Carol Semple Thompson, Sandra Haynie, Ellen Port, Grace Park, Brittany Lang, Paige McKenzie, Lorena Ochoa, and Bethany Wu.
True to its work as an influential leader, the LNGA made some innovative decisions during the pandemic in 2020. Because of the growth of the LNGA Amateur Championship, the Association conducted an astute review of player opinion and the current environment of women’s amateur golf and decided to retire the Senior Four-Ball Championships as well as add the Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships. The Mid-Amateur Championship is for players 25-years-old and up with an index in the World Handicap System not exceeding 10.4. The Senior Amateur Championship is for players 50-year-old and up with an index in World Handicap System not exceeding 14.4.
The Wilma Cups, named in honor of Wilma Gilliland
“Our organization is ecstatic to establish the Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships,” said LNGA president Joanne Walker. “Golf’s resurgence during the pandemic provides a fertile ground to start these competitive events, which carry significant weight in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. We have two strong fields of players and that sets the stage for a great start to each championship’s history.”
The Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur Championships will be played for the first time in 2021. The 54-hole stroke-play championships will be played concurrently April 19-21 at Anthem Golf & Country Club in Anthem, Ariz. April 18 is the practice round.
A total of 14 mid-amateurs will participate but among 25-and-over competitors are three past U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur winners – Kelsey Chugg
, 2017; Lauren Greenlief
, 2015; and Meghan Stasi
, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012.
“The LNGA is to be commended for having the vision to bring these new championships to life,” said Stasi. “There’s a big appetite for significant competitions within women’s amateur golf and the LNGA has made a great contribution in that regard. I’m psyched to be able to play in the first event and see my golf friends in the spirit of a great competition again.”
In the Senior Amateur competition, a field of 68 players includes these past USGA champions Robin Weiss Donnelly
(1989 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Mina Hardin
(2010 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur), Sarah Ingram
(1991, 1993 and 1994 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur), Lara Tennant
(2018 and 2019 U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur), Anna Schultz
(2007 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur), and Corey Weworski
(2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur).
The Wilma Cup, in honor of the departed women’s golf advocate and LNGA leader Wilma Gilliland, will be presented to the Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur champions and remain in their custody for a year. Medals will also be awarded to the runner-up and third-place finisher in each championship.
ABOUT THE LNGA Mid-Am & Senior
Must belong to a LNGA member club. 54-hole
stroke play championship for mid-ams and seniors
debuting in 2021 upon the retirement of the LNGA
Senior Four-Ball championship.
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