FRANKLIN — The field has been set for the 81st Annual Women’s Amateur Championship scheduled for June 24-28 at Vanderbilt Legends Club, in Franklin.
A total of 89 women will be participating in the event — the largest entry since 2008 when the event was hosted by The Honors Course, in Chattanooga.
This year, the Committee has revised the format so everyone, regardless of age and ability level, can be competitive. With participants selecting the division they wish to compete in during the tournament entry process, players will be able to compete against players of similar ability levels. Both the Championship Division and the Flighted Division will compete in a 36-hole stroke play qualifier to determine the positions for match play. The Championship Division will play at approximately 6,000 yards and the Flighted Division will play from approximately 5,400 yards. Currently, 62 ladies will be competing in the Championship Division while 27 will be in the Flighted Division.
Looking at the list of participants for this year’s championship, 2012 champion Lauren Stratton is not among the 89 players set to take part in next week’s event. Following the conclusion of her collegiate career, Stratton turned professional. While she will defend her 2012 title at the Golf Capital of Tennessee Women’s Open later this summer competing as a professional, Stratton leaves the amateur title up for grabs among a talented and competitive field.
Kendall Martindale, a rising junior at Vanderbilt University, is back to try for another championship after falling to Stratton in the semifinal match of the 2012 championship. Martindale claimed the 2011 Tennessee Women’s Amateur and Tennessee Women’s Open titles — one of only three women to ever win the coveted double in the same year. In addition to her wins in 2011, Martindale also won the 2010 and 2008 Tennessee Girls’ Junior Championship.
Another player with Vanderbilt ties, Courtney Chandler (formerly Wood) graduated from Vanderbilt in 2004. Besides helping her team win the 2004 Southeastern Conference Championship, Chandler also won the Tennessee Women’s Open twice in 2005 and 2002 — the only player to win the title multiple times. Because of her outstanding victory in 2002, Chandler was named co-Tennessee Amateur Player of Year in 2002. Following her collegiate career, Chandler turned professional in 2004, playing on the Duramed Futures Tour for two years with conditional status on the LPGA in 2005 before retiring from professional golf at the end of that season and regaining her amateur status in 2009.
In addition, Crossville’s Jean Roise joins the championship. Last season, Roise claimed the Tennessee Women’s Four-Ball title at Johnson City Country Club with partner Carole Fuller before winning the Tennessee Women’s Senior Amateur title at Oak Ridge Country Club. As the 2012 Senior Amateur Player of the Year, Roise hopes to add another Tennessee title to her list of accomplishments. Another college player ready to make her mark this season is Hermitage’s Sarah Harris. Currently a rising sophomore at the University of Kentucky, Harris won the 2012 Tennessee Girls’ Junior Championship.
For more information on the Women's Amateur Championship, visit www.tnwomensam.com.