71st International Four-Ball Field Set
The Florida State Golf Association (FSGA) will be conducting the 71st annual Women’s International Four-Ball Championship at the esteemed Wanderers Club for the sixth consecutive year. Forty-eight teams represented by 11 states and two countries will travel to Wellington, February 13-14 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 11 states and Canada, are several of the top ranked Mid-Amateur and Senior Women amateur golfers, including several new comers. Katie Miller will return to defend her title with a new partner, Lauren Greenlief. Greenlief, of Virginia, made a name for herself in 2015, advancing to the Round of 16 in the Inaugural U.S. Women's Four-Ball and winning the 29th U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Champion five months later. Greenlief played at the collegiate level for the University of Virginia and has won the Virginia State Golf Association Women's Stroke Play Championship three times. Notably, Miller was the Medalist at the 2017 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. This duo should have no problem making a run for Miller's fourth consecutive title. The two will also be paired together for this year's U.S. Women's Amateur Four-Ball.
Another stand out pair is the 2017 Women's Senior Player of the Year and 2017 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur Runner-Up, Mary Jane Hiestand, and her partner, the 2017 U.S. Senior Women's Amateur Champion, Judith Kyrinis. Hiestand made a historic run in her 20th start in the U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur, defeating Meghan Stasi in the Round of 16. Hiestand has competed in 43 USGA Championships and has been named the FSGA's Women's Senior Player of the year six times. Kyrinis, a resident of Canada, will be making her fourth start in the Women's International Four Ball.
Meghan Stasi will return to try for her fourth title with first time competitor, Catalina Lara of Frisco, Texas. This will be the seventh consecutive year Stasi has competed in the Women's International Four-Ball. Stasi has now won both the USGA's and FSGA's Women's Mid-Amateur Championships four times. She was also named the FSGA's Women's Amateur Player of the Year for the seventh time in 2017. Tara Joy-Connelly will also be bringing a new face to this year's star studded field in an attempt to win her third title. Joy-Connelly will be paired with Ina Kim of New York. Kim recently stepped back into amateur golf after an 11-year hiatus while she dominated her finance career in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and London. Stasi, Joy-Connelly, and Kim all competed in the final U.S. Women's State Team Championship last September.
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 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur in 2001, and a quarterfinal finish in the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur in 1997 and 2001. Brower made her 49th USGA appearance at the Inaugural U.S. 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 fourth appearance in 2018. Marlene Streit is a common name among the Canadian amateur golf circuit, taking home titles in eleven Canadian Ladies Open Amateurs, ten Canadian Ladies Close Amateurs, and four Canadian Ladies Senior Women’s Amateur tournaments, along with three titles at the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur and one U.S. 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.