Four top senior women amateurs from the Pacific Northwest have received exemptions to compete alongside members of The Legends Tour in this year’s Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup presented by Boeing.
Playing for the first time along with the professionals June 6-8, at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort’s White Horse Golf Club in Kingston, Wash., will be the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion, Lara Tennant of Portland, Ore., as well as Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash., Jackie Little of Proctor, British Columbia, Canada, and Anita Wicks of Roseburg, Ore.
Both Tennant and her sister, Renee Baumgartner, were standout players on their respective college teams – Tennant at the University of Arizona, and Baumgartner, at the University of Southern California, later spending 17 years as the head women’s golf coach at the University of Oregon. Tennant also coached at Oregon.
Mother of five children who played limited golf in her 30s and 40s, Tennant entered senior-level competitive golf in 2017 at age 50, winning both the Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur and Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur championships. She defended both titles in 2018.
She also was the medalist in her first U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, held on her home course in 2017 at Portland’s Waverley Country Club, and tied for fourth at the prestigious North & South Senior Women’s Amateur Championship last year in Pinehurst, N.C.
“I still played and kept in the game a little bit, but my goal was to be physically, mentally and competitively ready to go see what I could do in senior golf,” Tennant said at last year’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. “It has renewed a passion for me in golf that has coincided with me turning 50.”
The 2018 Washington State Golf Association (WSGA) Senior Women’s Player of the Year, Folsom also hopes to test herself alongside players she grew up watching as a teenager. She played golf collegiately at the University of Memphis before launching her career as an IT consultant with Slalom Consulting.
“By adding the senior amateurs to this event, The Legends Tour has embraced the entire female golf community,” said Folsom, winner of the 2018 WSGA Senior Women’s Champion of Champions Championship, the 2018 WSGA Senior Women’s Am Championship, the Washington State Women’s Golf Association (WSWGA) Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and the WSWGA Women’s Best-Ball Championship.
“Hopefully, this will allow those not familiar with women’s golf to see that you can pursue competition as a touring professional and as an amateur,” Folsom added.
Winner of Canada’s 2018 Zone Women’s Senior and Amateur championships, 2018 British Columbia Senior and Super Senior women’s championships, the 2018 British Columbia Women’s Masters championship, the 2018 PNGA Senior Women’s championship, and the 2018 Canadian Super Senior championship, Little said she is “very familiar” with Canada’s women LPGA professionals -- especially Gail Graham and Lorie Kane, with whom she “played a lot of amateur competition.”
“I’m really excited to play with the professionals – something I’ve never done,” said Little. “It will be very cool to play among the professionals I’ve idolized.”
A former resident of Kingston, Wash., Anita Sandstede-Wicks said she is “absolutely thrilled to be chosen to participate and to compete with the professionals” in this year’s event. She grew up watching LPGA competition on TV and in Portland, Ore., when the tour came to the Pacific Northwest.
Like many other top amateurs, she played college golf and competed against players, such as current Legends Tour members Juli Inkster and Danielle Ammaccapane, who moved on to winning LPGA Tour careers.
“They all pummeled me on the golf course back then, but I still enjoyed playing against them,” said Wicks, who played for Oregon State University and later worked as a PGA Club professional from 1988-1997 at Dungeness Golf Club and Sand Point Country Club in Washington.
Regaining her amateur status in 1999, Wicks has worked as a licensed tax preparer with H&R Block for the last 10 years while playing competitive amateur golf. She was a member of the Oregon Team of the 2018 PNGA Cup, a semifinalist at the 2018 Oregon Golf Association (OGA) Senior Women’s Amateur, the 2018 OGA Senior Women’s Stroke Play champion, and finished sixth at last year’s North & South Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
Amateur invitations were extended based on the performance records of each player’s amateur record in the Pacific Northwest region.
A tournament pro-am is set for Thursday, June 6, followed by the 36-hole professional competition on Friday and Saturday, June 7-8. A field of 36 Legends professionals will compete for a $200,000 purse.
For more details, visit www.TheLegendstour.com. Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup tickets can be purchased in advance online at www.ClearwaterLegendsCup.com or at the gate on tournament days.