45th Annual Joanne Winter Silver Belle Championship Returns to ASU Karsten
Tempe, Ariz. – The 45th Annual Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Championship presented by the AB Farrington Foundation is set for December 28 – 30 at ASU Karsten Golf Club 1125 E. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ. The tournament features 96 players from across the United States and Canada. U.S. players will be traveling from 14 different states and as far as Hawaii and Florida to compete.Weather permitting the three-day, 54-hole tournament will begin each morning with double tees start at 9 a.m. Competitors will play the par 72 course at 6,102 yards.
2014 Championship runner-up Haley Moore of Escondido, Calif., returns for her fifth year in an attempt to capture the 17-18 bracket as well as the overall championship title. Moore’s impressive 9-under-par 207 at Chandler’s Whirlwind Golf Club placed her only seven strokes behind overall 2014 Champion Mariel Galdiano of Hawaii who withdrew from this year’s competition due to injury. Arizona players include high school golfers Alisa Snyder of Xavier College Prep and Kelly Su of Chaparral High School. College players include Madison Kerley and Saki Iida of Arizona State University, Haley Moore of University of Arizona and Kim Cifuentes of Northern Arizona University.
The youngest player in the field this year is Angelina Kim, of Los Angeles, Calif., who is 13 years and three months. A seventh grader at John Burroughs Middle School is playing in the Silver Belle for the first time.
Sienna Lyford, 15, of Roseville, Calif., also will be playing in the tournament for the first time, but it isn’t the first time for her family. In 1982 her mother, Cindy Mah-Lyford also played in the tournament. Mah-Lyford went on to play in the U. S. Women’s Open twice and is currently the assistant golf coach at Sacramento State University. In addition, she has created her own line of junior golf clothing called Birdseed Golfwear after finding it difficult to purchase junior golf clothing for her daughter.
2015 AWGA State Amateur champion - match play and 2014 AWGA Player of the Year Saki Iida of Gilbert and 2015 AWGA State Amateur champion - stroke play Alexandrea Haun will be competing in the 19-23 age bracket. Hunter Pate, 15 of Las Vegas, Nevada who was the 2014 Drive, Chip and Putt Champion at Augusta National will be competing in her 3rd Silver Belle as well.
Established in 1971 by founder Joanne Winter, the Arizona Silver Belle was created at a time when there were few opportunities for young women players to compete in tournaments. Joanne’s vision was to give girls the chance to experience the thrill and excitement of participating in a tournament. She wanted to encourage all young female athletes to pursue their athletic dreams. In the inaugural year there were only 23 players – compared with this year’s field of 96. The tournament has grown over the years from a local tournament to one of the premier internationally recognized amateur events. Points earned during the championship go toward the players’ World Amateur Golf Ranking.
Former Silver Belle participants who have gone on to play in the LPGA include Paula Creamer (nine tour victories, 2005 LPGA Rookie of the Year); Danielle Ammaccapane (seven tour victories); Pat Hurst (six tour victories); Brandie Burton (five tour victories); Emilee Klein (three tour victories).
Joanne Winter Arizona Silver Belle Champions who went on to play in the LPGA include Mary Bea Porter-King (1973); Jenny Lidback (1981); Danielle Ammaccapane (1984); Debbi Koyama (1985 and 1987); Emilee Klein (1991); Hilary Homeyer-Lunke (1997); and Yani Tseng (2005).
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