Serah Khanyereri Wins the 49th Annual BROWARD COUNTY WOMEN’S AM At Lago Mar Country Club
Serah Khanyereri was able to overcome a three-shot deficit with five holes remaining and a two-hour weather delay to win the 49th annual Broward County Women’s Amateur golf tournament at Largo Mar Country Club in Plantation. The 24-year-old Miami Gardens resident carded a two-day total of 155 to overtake six-time winner Diane Lang of Weston in her tourney debut.
“It is a great experience for me to come out here and play among these beautiful ladies,” said Khanyereri, a sophomore at St. Thomas University. She is a First Tee Scholarship winner, one of the programs that the Broward Women’s Amateur donates to. “It was so much fun.” She enjoyed playing golf with the more experienced golfers. “It was great,” Khanyereri said. “They are wiser than I am. I love every step of the way. Every word that we have a discussion at I take that very careful and I eternalize it. I reflect on it and I love this experience and the experience of playing with more experienced people.”
Lang, who last won the title in 2016, led by two strokes with six holes remaining when lightning in the area forced tournament officials to halt play. When play resumed, Khanyereri finished with a birdie on 14 and then bogeyed 15 and 18, while Lang birdied 13 before a bogey on 14 and the two doubles to close out the second round. Khanyereri carded an 80 on the first day and trailed Lang by four shots. After opening with a 76, Lang finished with an 81 in the final round. Lang had one birdie in the first round to go along with five bogeys. “Yesterday was three, 3-putts which I could have been 1-under,” Lang said. “Today was not good. I had no birdie putts from inside of six putts. If I could have putted today, I could have done it.”
Khanyereri had three birdies in the two rounds, including two on the second day, to go along with four double bogeys and five bogeys. The Nairobi, Kenya native was named (2021) Sun Conference Women's Golfer of the Month, the week of October 4th after winning back-to-back tournaments for the Bobcats in the fall. She started playing golf in Kenya at the Malaika Golf Academy and when she moved to the United States, she met First Tee coach Katie Rudolph. “Playing golf is a dream come true,” Khanyereri said. “Sometimes it seems so surreal. The process is evolving, and I love that I am getting closer to playing on the LPGA one day. My journey has been great, and I love everything about golf.”
Lang, who also won in 2004-2006, 2008 and 2012, wound up winning the Senior Championship Division gross title, while Donna Pell (140) captured the Senior net championship. Lang said she is rediscovering her game. She won the Women’s Senior Four-Ball Championship in mid-March when she and teammate, Theresa Quinn, carded a two-round total of 145 at the Country Club of Ocala. “I decided I needed to learn to play golf again,” Lang added. “I am on the right track. Just when the year started. No more real teachers, no more running all over for lessons. I decided to work it out myself in front of a mirror…it is going to take time, but I have dedicated this year to me and my golf.”
Event director Liz Porter said the 108 players represented the largest fields. Linda Davis served as tournament director. “It is our biggest field,” Porter said. “It has grown over the years. Last year was a Covid year, so we capped at 80. This year we filled up really fast this year. We opened up registration on January 1st and we were close to capacity in two weeks. That was pretty good. “I think the women are enjoying it,” Porter added. “I think it is (because) more that people want to play golf. They want to get out there. They have been couped up for two years and anything where they can get out, they’re in.”
Porter said the staff at Lago Mar delivered. “They opened their club,” Porter continued. “They opened everything to us. They said we want to be in Community Outreach and women’s competitive golf in our community and so we are supporting you.”
Defending champion Wendi Christensen, a Coral Springs resident, wasn’t able to get much going as she carded a two-day total of 168 (82-86) to finish in fifth place in the championship flight of the tournament that featured 108 golfers. “I actually felt pretty good coming into the week,” Christensen said. “I had just won my first club championship (at Boca Grove), the day before, so I was pretty excited. “I did come in and my iron play wasn’t that great,” she added. “I was still thinking I could score well. It just didn’t work out. It didn’t happen.”
Margaux Majerus (158) won the Overall Flighted gross title, while Julie Healy (139) won the net title. Other winners included: Senior Division: Chantal Lafreniere (162, gross); Sandra Hoke (139, net); First Flight: Darren Lupo (160, gross); Maureen Mahoney (149, net); Second Flight: Genevieve Demers (170, gross); Kathy Beard (149, net); Third Flight: Sylvie Pouliot (182, gross); Heather Weeter (151, net); Fourth Flight: Anabel Nogueiras (182, gross); Brittany Giuliano (147, net); Fifth Flight: Becky Barstow (193, gross); Wendy Sakauye (151, net); Sixth Flight: Ellyn Seifert (189, gross); Jamie Roomy (146, net); Seventh Flight: Debra Mekjian (197, gross); Linda Oliver (144, net); Eighth Flight: Laurie Villa (207, gross); Virginia Bernard (146, net).
An estimated $12,000 in donations have gone to The First Tee. LPGA Girls Golf and Fore Life since 2014. There wasn’t a tournament in 2015 as they were transitioning and in 2020 due to Covid.