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Lawley, Ingram and Werhnyak crowned TGA champions at Richland


NASHVILLE, TENN. — After two days of hot competition, the Tennessee Women’s Senior and Tennessee Women's Mid-Amateur has come to a close at Richland Country Club.


Finishing first on Thursday morning was the Mid-Am tournament. Defending champion Jesse Lawley claimed first place by 10 strokes. The first day she shot an even-par 72, which included birdies on holes five, 17 and 18. She shot even for the second round as well, with a birdie on hole eight, an eagle on hole five and a second eagle on the par-five 18th to finish out the tournament.


“It feels good. This course is fantastic, in great shape and they did a great job hosting,” said Lawley. She brought some exciting news to the awards ceremony, stating “I’ll be at the four-ball with my partner Ashleigh Whisenant out of Memphis and that may be it for me with amateur status. I may turn pro and pursue my Class A, but I’ll also be playing in the State Open in, I guess, two and a half weeks.”


“I hit a lot of greens and a lot of fairways and obviously that leads to good scores.” The head coach for women’s golf at Lipscomb University is hoping to use this win as motivation for her team and left the course with one final comment - “Go Bisons.”


Following in second place was Lady Volunteers’ golf alum Teleri Hughes. Hughes, who won the inaugural Tennessee Women's Mid-Am title in 2017, finished the tournament at 10-over par, carding an eight-over-par 80 for the first round and a two-over-par 74 in the second round.


Kayla Murrell, a graduate of Chattanooga, came in third with a total 16-over-par 160. She shot a six-over 78 on Wednesday with three birdies and a 10-over 82 on Thursday with one birdie.


The next set of trophy-winners to come off the course was the Senior Division. Taking home the first place trophy was Sarah Ingram of Nashville. The three-time U.S mid-amateur champion and 2021 Curtis Cup team captain finished the tournament at three-over par with a total of 147 strokes. She shot an even 72 and held second place on the first day with four birdies, then shot a three-over-par 75 on the second day with two birdies.


“It feels great to win. I’ve been back to golf over the last two years and been working on my game. It’s been really fun playing competitively and this is my first win,” said Ingram. “My wedge game was really good these past few days and my putter was mostly working well.”


Kelly Morris of Franklin finished runner-up after holding a two-stroke lead at the conclusion of the first round. She went two-under 70 on Wednesday and finished Thursday with a five-over 77 for a three-over-par finish of 148.


In third was Ellie Teed of Hendersonville. She finished at 12-over-par after shooting a four-over 76 on day one and an eight-over 80 on day two.


The last division to close out the tournament was the Super Seniors. Darlene Werhnyak of Rossville took home the championship trophy after finishing with a 21-over-par 165. She carded an 11-over 83 in the first round and a 10-over 82 in the final round.


“This was a surprise because I haven’t really been playing real well and I had some disastrous holes yesterday, but the rest of them were pretty good so it’s just exciting to be able to come out here,” said Werhnyak. “I had a wonderful threesome today- very competitive but very relaxed and it was just so much fun.”


“I would have to say the chipping was pretty good, the short game was pretty good.” She then closed out the tournament by saying “I just want to thank the TGA for such a wonderful tournament and having us here at such a beautiful venue and running it so well. It’s really nice for us old ladies to have something to play for.”


Lynn McGee of Chattanooga finished runner-up in the Super Senior with an 11-over 83 on Wednesday and a 13-over 85 on Thursday to total a 24-over 168.


Nashville’s Barbara Richards finished second runner-up with a total 25-over-par 169 strokes after splitting with a 14-over 86 and then an 11-over 83.