Bradenton’s Nelly Korda leads area hopefuls in Monday’s U.S. Women’s Open qualifier

Nelly Korda tees off during the U.S. Women's Open sectional qualifier on May 16 at Bradenton Country Club. HERALD FILE PHOTO
Nelly Korda tees off during the U.S. Women's Open sectional qualifier on May 16 at Bradenton Country Club. HERALD FILE PHOTO

The United States Women’s Open sectional qualifier is scheduled for next week at Bradenton Country Club. The 36-hole tournament features a field that is a mix of professionals and top amateurs vying for a place in the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on July 13-16.

Several Manatee County golfers are attempting to advance. Bradenton’s Nelly Korda is back after qualifying from Bradenton Country Club last year and narrowly missing the year before. The LPGA Tour rookie is ranked No. 112 in the latest Rolex Women’s Rankings. Manatee High School alumna Jennifer Neville and Braden River alumna Kristin Swindell are competing, too.

The U.S. Junior Amateur qualifier is set for next week, too. The qualifier is Thursday, June 15 at the Longboat Key Club. The U.S. Junior Amateur is slated for July 17-22 at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kansas.

Also looming is the Florida Open qualifier at the new Lakewood National Golf Club on Monday, June 19. The Florida Open is scheduled for Lecanto’s Black Diamond Ranch on July 14-16 and has a $100,000 purse.

Pairings and tee times for both qualifiers should be announced later this week.

WFGT returning to Manatee County

The West Florida Golf Tour returns to Manatee County with the three-day Manatee River Classic at Parrish’s River Wilderness Golf and Country Club. The tournament starts Monday and concludes Wednesday. It’s the third tournament of the WFGT’s summer series, which concludes with the 2017 Summer Tour Championship in late September at Palmetto’s Moccasin Wallow Golf Club.

NFPGA Award winners

Longtime area club pro and general manager Kevin Paschall won the 2017 North Florida PGA Professional of the Year award at the recent NFPGA award ceremony. Paschall, who was representing Serenoa Golf Club in Sarasota and Legacy Golf Club in Lakewood Ranch, was one of five Southwest Chapter members to win awards. The others were Sarasota’s Karen Cangero (Amateur of the Year), The Meadows’ Michael Tuohy (Merchandiser of the Year, public), Heritage Oaks Golf and Country Club’s Joe Angelo (Merchandiser of the Year, Private) and Capri Isle’s Mike Cummings (Youth Player Development).

Junior notes

The Sarasota City Junior Championship is set for this weekend at Bobby Jones Golf Club’s British Course. The two-day, 36-hole tournament features juniors between the ages of 8-18 competing. Tee times are set to begin at 8 a.m. each day.

University Park Country Club is holding four-day junior golf camps throughout the summer for golfers 6-16 years old. The camp dates follow a Monday-Wednesday (9-11 a.m.) and Friday (9-11:30 a.m.) rotation for each session, and run June 12-14, 16; June 26-28, 30; July 10-12, 14 and July 24-26, 28. The cost is $140 per camper for each four-day session, and advance registration is required. To do so and for more information, contact the pro shop, 941-355-388 ext. 236.

Bradenton’s Baining Wang won the girls 14-18 year old division of the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour’s 54-hole Challenge at Celebration tournament recently. She carded a 17-over-par 233 total for a two-shot victory over Celebration’s Katya King at Celebration Golf Club.