February 07, 2017

70th International Four-Ball Field Set

13 states and two countries represented in this year's field

The Florida State Golf Association (FSGA) will be conducting the 70th annual Women’s International Four-Ball Championship at the esteemed Wanders Club for the fifth consecutive year. Forty-eight teams represented by 13 states and two countries will travel to Wellington, February 14-15 to contend for the title of ‘Women’s International Four-Ball Champions’. This historic event, first conducted by the Jaycees of Hollywood, Florida, has comprised the names of golf’s finest—Babe Zaharias, Louise Suggs, Peggy Kirk-Bell, Marlene Streit and others. The format of the championship will be 36-holes of four-ball stroke play, generally known as a two-person, best-ball.  

Among the talent of the 48 teams represented by 13 states and Canada, are several of the top ranked Mid-Amateur and Senior Women amateur golfers including 2016 champions Charlotte Daughan and Katie Miller. Charlotte Daughan, of Orlando, will be making a run for her third consecutive title after winning the 2015 Championship with partner Sarah Matin. Daughan competed in the 2016 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship for the third consecutive year as well as the 2016 US Women’s Four-Ball Championship for the second time. Katie Miller, a Pennsylvania native and UNC grad, has won three Pennsylvania State Championships and played professionally on the LPGA Futures Tour from 2009 to 2010. A year after returning to the amateur ranks in 2014, Miller won the Pennsylvania Women’s Amateur and competed in the inaugural US Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship. The duo defeated the 2014 Champions Meghan Stasi and Tara Joy-Connelly in a two hole play-off to win the 2016 Championship and earn Daughan her second consecutive Women’s International Four-Ball title. 

Sarah Matin, a 2015 Champion, did not play in the 2016 Championship because she was expecting her first child! Notably she has made three consecutive appearances in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship from 2014 to 2016. The new mom will be partnering with Kim Keyer-Scott of Bonita Springs for the 2017 Championship. Keyer-Scott also competed in the 2016 US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Tara Joy-Connelly will be returning to try and earn back her title. The 2015 Women’s Player of the Year has played in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship every year since 2005, missing 2003 and 2004 due to injury. She advanced to the semi-finals in 2011 and 2014, and battled to the Round of 16 in 2015. She assisted team Florida in a second place finish at the 2015 USGA State Team Championship marking her 24th USGA appearance and 9th State Team appearance. Joy-Connelly will be teaming up with Susan Cohn. Cohn has played in the US Women’s Senior Amateur four times, 2013 to 2016. 

Other notable competitors include the 2015 Women’s Senior Player of the Year, Tama Caldabaugh and the 2016 Women’s Senior Player of the Year,GigiHiggins. Tama Caldabaugh, a resident of Ponte Vedre Beach, competed in US Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship in 2015 and has competed in the US Women’s Senior Amateur Championship the last three years making it to the semi-finals in 2015. Gigi Higgins is another prominent FSGA Woman who will be competing at The Wanderers Club. The Cape Coral native earned her title of 2016 Player of the Year after three consecutive top six finishes in the Women’s Senior Amateur, 2014 to 2016, as well as three consecutive top 10 finishes in the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, also 2014 to 2016. Higgins qualified for match play in 2016 in both the US Women’s Mid-Amateur and US Women’s Senior Amateur Championships. She has made the trip to the US Women’s Senior Amateur every year since 2013. 

Taffy Brower of Boynton Beach, Florida, 2014 FSGA Hall-of-Fame inductee, and first ever Florida Women’s State Golf Association Player of the Year, will be  competing in the field with an impressive tournament history behind her. She has claimed four Women’s Florida State Match Play Championships, two Women’s State Stroke Play Championships and State Four-Ball Championships, and a victory at the State Senior Championship. In her golfing career, Brower has competed in an impressive 48 USGA events, including a quarterfinal finish in the US Women’s Mid-Amateur in 2001, and a quarterfinal finish in the US Women’s Senior Amateur in 1997 and 2001. Brower made her 49th USGA appearance at the Inaugural US Women’s Four-Ball Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.

No stranger to the amateur golf world, Marlene Striet a snow bird of Wellington, will be making her third appearance in 2017. Marlene Streit is a common name among the Canadian amateur golf circuit, takinghome titles in eleven Canadian Ladies Open Amateurs, ten Canadian Ladies Close Amateurs, and four Canadian Ladies Senior Women’s Amateur tournaments, along with 3 titles at the US Senior Women's Amateur and one US Women’s Amateur title . Marlene is the only woman ever to win the Canadian, British, American and Australian amateur titles, rightfully becoming the first Canadian member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

As the fourth championship in the Orange Blossom Tour, which includes the Harder Hall Women's Invitational, the South Atlantic Amateur (SALLY), and the Ione D. Jones/Doherty Championship, the Women’s International Four-Ball carries a tremendous amount of history and prestige.

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