Five Things to Know: Florida W. Open & Sr Open
TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida Women’s Open and Senior Open will take center stage in Vero Beach this week. Orchid Island Golf and Beach Club will host the championship from August 9-11, with John’s Island Club serving as the co-host.
This year’s field will feature some of the top women professional and amateur golfers, who will battle to be crowned the third Women’s Open and Senior Open Champions.
Here are five things to know before the championship begins.
By The Numbers
The average age of this year’s Open field is 23 years old. Chloe Kovelesky will be the youngest competitor in the field at 13 years old, while Tara Joy-Connelly will be the most experienced player in the Open Division at 46 years old.
For the past three years, the Florida Women’s Open has consistently draw some of the best young talent from around the state and this year is no different. Over 50 collegiate golfers will be in the field at Orchid Island, while 10 junior golfers will tee it up in the championship.
Fifty-five professionals will be competing this week between the two divisions.
Defending the Crown
When competition begins on Friday, all four past champions will be in the field. Sandra Angulo Minarro captured the Open Championship last year, firing back-to-back rounds of 68 to win the championship. Reigning FSGA Senior Player of the Year, Mary Jane Hiestand, won the Senior Division last year at Quail Creek.
Sandra Changkija (Open) and Barb Bunkowsky (Senior) were the inaugural Florida Women’s Open and Senior Open Champions in 2017.
Eight States Represented
There will be eight different states represented at the Florida Women’s Open: Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. While a majority of the field hails from Florida, 14 out-of-staters will be competing.
Women’s Amateur Champ to Women’s Open Champ?
In June, Emmy Martin raised the 90th Women’s Amateur Championship trophy at the Ritz-Carlton Members Golf Club. Martin stormed back, winning the final three holes, to defeat Elizabeth Moon, 1 up.
This week, she will look to become the first player in FSGA history to capture the Women’s Open title in the same year she won the Amateur Championship.
Women’s Open Heads to Vero Beach
Orchid Island will play host to its first Florida Women’s Open this week. The Vero Beach club most recently hosted the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, as well as the 2016 Florida Four-Ball Championship and 2017 Florida Boys’ Junior Championship. Orchid Island, a 1990 Arnold Palmer design, also co-hosted the 2013 Florida Open.
Designed by Pete Dye, the North Course at John's Island Club opened in 1973 and will serve as the co-host for the championship. John’s Island was the site of the 2015 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship and three Florida Mid-Amateur Championships (2007, 2012 and 2017).
The championship will begin on Friday with tee times beginning at 8 a.m. A complete recap with full results will be posted on FSGA.org following the day's play.