Texas Women's Disc Golf Championship
A popular question in the disc golf world right now is “What does it takes to run a women’s only tournament?” Who better to answer that question than Ed Coffey, Tournament Director for the Texas Women’s Championship? The 2010 TWC, with 98 participants, held the record for most female disc golfers at one event (record based on PDGA sanctioned events) until The Chick Flick in North Plains, Oregon broke the record in 2012 with 102 participants. In addition to that record, Coffey also makes the record books with the 2011 United States Women’s Disc Golf Championship he hosted holding the largest attendance to date for a USWDGC with 86 participants.
Ed Coffey says, “Focus on the little stuff”. Simple things like making sure there are enough bathrooms available and creating fun side games to be sure everyone has a chance to win a prize. These little things add up to the big picture and are the reason the ladies keep coming back.
The event kicked off with a delicious breakfast provided to all the participants, which was a good thing because the competition at this year’s event was impressive. In almost every division, ladies were battling back and forth for the win.
Leading the open field after the first round was Lisa Fajkus #32654 shooting the hot round of 59. Liz Dorries #31162 fought back in the second round and closed the gap to just one stroke. They both ended up tied for 3rd after Lisa suffered a two stroke penalty after playing a wrong lie. Lisa was able to calm her nerves after this situation and took home the win in that final round.
The ladies in the age protected divisions came to play and looked good doing it. Professionals in the Masters and Grandmasters division, Shelia Kirkham #7646 and Kathy Hardyman #19190 respectively, traveled from New Mexico and Colorado to compete in this great event. Shelia won the Masters division by 19 strokes and Kathy won Grandmasters by 20. In Advanced Masters and Advanced Grandmasters, Texas residents, Cathy Yerby #48226 and Tina Maddux #51859 held back their competition by 22 and 28 strokes.
To follow the weekend’s trend, it was a tight race in Intermediate as well. Lena Votion #49877 managed to maintain her one stroke lead in the finals over Kaci Horelica #52437. While in the Advanced division, Michelle Henderson #46009 was down by one and built her lead by four in the finals. Michelle won the Advanced title, and her fierce competitor Alicia Villnave #53636 took second.
During the lunch break, the six young ladies competing in the Junior division played their rounds. Tifany Bryant and Valerie Garza were tied walking into their final round and ended the round still tied. Brooke Snyder was only one stroke off the lead to claimed third. Tifany won the division in the end with a playoff.
Our star of the weekend was Reign Hope Stuart. She is the newest and youngest Women Throwing Frisbees (WTF) member at the age of 5. She completed her 2 rounds with a constant smile on her face while repeatedly saying, "Is it my turn?”.
A highlight for many locals was watching two junior girls, Taylor Synder #43084 and Jazmine Arguelles #50149, take the jump to play in the Recreational division for their first time. Jazmine lead the division from the start but Taylor was slowly gaining strokes each round. In the final nine, Taylor shot the hot round and gained a six stroke lead over Jazmine claiming the victory. Jazmine finished the tournament in 4th place respectively. These two young ladies are the next generation of Texas disc golfing women, and their mother club’s, WTF and The Ladies of Live Oak, couldn't be more proud.
If you missed out on this amazing event, don’t worry, there are several more women-only tournaments ahead this year. Check out the schedule on PDGA.com to start planning your next (or first) women’s event.
- Stephanie Vincent #29947 (PDGA Women's Committee)