Coral Springs' Wendi Christensen turns 50 in June so why not get a jump on that celebration by winning the 50th annual Broward County Women's Amateur Golf Tournament at Lago Mar Country Club in Plantation?
Christensen, 49, fired a first-round 74 to take a five-shot lead over Weston's Diane Lang, and both carded second-round totals of 79 to give Christensen her second championship in three years with a 153 total.
“That was my goal, 100 percent,” said Christensen, who finished fifth last year. This year's total was better than the 162 she she shot in winning her first year and the 168 last year.
“I did not play my best last year and it was a bit disappointing.” Christensen said. “I was a little bit nervous being the defending champion last year and also my game wasn't in great shape.”
Christensen believed she was better prepared this year and planned to attack the golf course. She played well on the back nine of the tournament on both days.
“I just said to myself, every hole I am going to make birdie,” Christensen said. “I feel good. I have some tournaments coming up. I love playing in this tournament and I love playing at Lago Mar.
“This kind of kicks my season off,” she continued. “I have some USGA qualifiers this summer and some FSGA events too. This tournament was a great way to get those repetitions in and being able to pullout a win against Diane is not easy, so I am happy with that.
Christensen, a certified public accountant, grew up in Broward County and won two state High School in 1990 and 1991.
After winning the state championships at
Taravella, along with Emma Leonardi
director of instruction at Lago Mar
Country Club, Christensen went to the
University of Florida and helped the
Gators win the SEC Championship in
Lang, is a six-time winner of the
championship, including the last time in
2016. wound up with a 158 total over the
two days. Lang also won in 2004-2006,
2008, and 2012.
“I love this tournament and I love Lago
Mar,” said Lang, a 3-time U.S. Senior
Women's Amateur Champion, and a
three-time Senior Amateur Champion
“For me to be able to get three practice
rounds in and two rounds of golf- 1love
Lang, who said she'll play in about 15 to
20 tournaments a year, changed putters
after the first round going from a short
putter back to her long putter for the
“I brought it out of the closet for the
second round and it saved my life,' said
Lang, who won the Senior Division
championship. “Yesterday, I hit shots, but
couldn't make a putt and today, I missed
shots, but I made the putts. It was like a
“On the practice rounds, I am fine with
the short putter, but in tournaments, l
struggle with it,” added Lang, who has
peen working with former Chilean pro
golfer Tomas Aravena for the past eight
months and said her game has improved
‘If I had used the long putter yesterday, I
think I could have been par or better was just sliding the ball by the hole.”
Plantation's Ann Fulginiti and Vilma Sapp were a distant third in the Championship Flight as they both carded 168s for the two days.
Weston's Veronica Trigo won the Overall Handicap Flight Championship for the second straight year. She shot a two-day total of 165.
“It's a great group of ladies,” Trigo said “Here we play an individual game and every stroke counts. I tried to enjoy myself and leave the pressure on the side. I had some very nice foursomes and we had a lot of fun.
“This was amazing and for me, this is the
most important tournament of the year,” she added. “I play in a lot of team things, but this was individual. It's in such great shape and has such challenging holes.”
Southwest Ranches' Darren Lupo was able to three-peat winning the First Flight Division Gross title for the third straight year as she carded a two-day total of 177.
“This was amazing and for me. this is the most important tournament of the year,” she added. “I play in a lot of team things, but this was individual. It's in such great shape and has such challenging holes.”
Southwest Ranches' Darren Lupo was able to three-peat winning the First Flight
Division Gross title for the third straight
year as she carded a two-day total of 177.
Tournament chairwoman Liz Porter, who
helped stage the event along with
tournament director Linda Davis, said the
tourney couldn't have been as successful
without the generosity of club owners
Sharon Keefe and Mary Chris Smith. This
year's tournament featured 110 players in
nine flights. They had a waiting list for the
first time in tournament history.
‘We had 112 players but lost a couple due
to injury and work, but we added players
from our waiting list,” Porter said. “It's the
first time we had a wait list since Linda,
and I have been running the tournament
“t's cool,” she added. “It is a lot of word of
mouth, and we have grown an event that
people like to come to. It's not just the
golf, Lago Mar is a beautiful venue, and
the golf course is in perfect condition. We
have cocktail parties, and we do fun
things… we have great food.” Porter said she had never run a championship golf tournament prior to 2014 and said they are learning as they go, listening to what the competitors would like to see.
“You just take care of the players and if
you do that everything falls into place,”
she said. “Every course we have played at
has been great to us and they (Lago Mar)
have embraced the side of the
community and we are really
comfortable, and the women are
The tournament contributes to several
local foundations – The First Tee, Fore
Life, as well as USGA girls golf. She said
they are involved in events they have
throughout the year “It's everything,” Porter concluded. “It's our job to grow the next generation teaching the value of golf is so important in teaching the values of life. It's an
Other winners included: Overall Handicap
Flight Net Champion: Kathleen Burke (142
net); Senior Division Low Gross: Jackie Cox
(176 gross, age 65-plus from handicapped
flights); Senior Division Low Net: Ann Poe
(144 net, age 65-plus from handicapped
Teams: Low Gross – Lisa Powell, Marjorie
Adis, Ann Fulginiti, Brittany Giuliano,
Anabel Nogueiras (4 best of 5) (141 over
par); Low Net – Nikki Calhoun, Wendi
Christensen, Susan Parce, Holly Wright-
Munoz, Monica Nocerini (4 best of 5) (38
Low Net from Championship Flight:
Ann Fulginiti (148); Senior Champion (age
65+ from Championship Flight): Diane
Lang (158); Low Net Flight Champion –
(Low Net score from handicap flights).
Eileen Van Selow (141); Senior Division
Champion – Low Gross (low gross from all
senior players (age 65+) in all handicap
flights (47) – Chantal Lafreniere (173);
Senior Division Champion – Low Net (low
net from all senior players (age 65+) in all
handicap flights (47)- Jackie Vaughn
First Flight Low Gross: 1. Darren Lupo
(177 gross); 2. Lisa Powell (178); First
Flight Low Net: 1. Sandi Green (156); 2.
Maureen Mahoney (158); Second Flight
Low Gross: 1. Kathy Beard (174); 2.
Danielle Frechette (179); Second Flight
Low Net: 1. Diana del Cid (152); 2. Judy
Grastorf (154); Third Flight Low Gross: 1.
Sharon Keefe (175); 2. Jackie Cox (181);
Third Flight Low Net: 1. Lucie Alain (151)
(scorecard playoff); 2. Rebecca Schiff
(151); Fourth Flight Low Gross: 1. Carol
Parker (180); 2. Ronnie Hall (188); Fourth
Flight Low Net: 1. Karen Leedy (148); 2.
Rona Rosenblatt (159); Fifth Flight Low
Gross: 1. Maggie Tawil (184); Lorraine
Turcotte (194); Fifth Flight Low Net: 1
Debra Shore (152) (scorecard playoff); 2.
Leslie Sponder (152); Sixth Flight Low
Gross: 1. Tonia Wood (195); 2. Ellyn Seifert
(206); Sixth Flight Low Net: 1. Pauline
Levesque (155); 2. Susan Geers (157);
Seventh Flight Low Gross: 1. Linda Oliver (203); 2. Laurie Villa (213); Seventh Flight
Low Net: 1. Susan Parce (151); 2. Elise
Dillard (160) (scorecard playoff); Eighth
Flight Low Gross: 1. Lisa Lamarca (217); 2.
Dee Wrage (226); Eighth Flight Low Net: 1.
Lajuan Messer (152); 2. Karen Harris-
Garcia (160) (scorecard playoff).