Guest Author - Letta Meinen
While Annika Sorenstam had a sponsor's excemption which allowed her to play in the May 2003 Colonial game, Suzy Whaley earned her spot the old fashioned way. She became the first woman to do so since 1945, when Babe Didrikson Zaharias qualified for a spot.
Suzy doesn't have grand ambitions to win the tournament. While other tour members make the game of golf their life-long focus, Suzy is more mindful of her kids getting to camp than to her practice tee time. That's the way she likes it. But she's proud to have earned her spot in this PGA stop. She is dedicating her time there to the March of Dimes.
Suzy is the head professional at Blue Fox Run in Avon, CT.
The Greater Hartford Open has been part of the tour for 52 years.
January 2, 2007 - Update
It seems LOGA women golfers have always tried to compete in the PGA but having to qualify is another matter. If you earn your way in you deserve to be there. If it is just as a Sponsor exemption it usually is for publicity as happened to Annika in the 2003 Colonial Event in Fort Worth, Texas. Babe Didrikson Zaharias in years past was a great athlete in many sports so she could compete with the men and hold her own. It is also know that Women's golf tournaments were few and far between. Babe was a great athelete and could compete with any one and loved the sport.
Michelle Wie gave it a try but it did not prove to be successful. Someday maybe it will happen but our Men golfers are getting better and the equipment is also improving. Golf is a game everyone can play and enjoy and not desire to be a professional golfer. We will praise anyone with high hopes of improving their game and competing in PGA and LPGA tournaments.
The Ladies Professional Golf Association is improving every year, with the likes of many younger golfers it is more fun to watch these women play. We have had many great women golfers in the past and some can still compete. One of my favorites was Nancy Lopez and she continues to be a great person as well as great golfer. Playing with the men is a challenge but does not prove anything to yourself or to the Men's Professional Association.