2004: Newsmakers - Whaley captures another top club pro title
She’s back. Suzy Whaley, the Connecticut club pro who two years ago became the first woman golfer in 58 years to qualify for a spot in a PGA Tour event, has taken another step onto the national stage.
On Sept. 14, Whaley, from Blue Fox Run Golf Club in Avon, became the first woman in the country to win her PGA section’s Club Pro Championship. Playing from forward tees set at 90 percent of the yardage at Shuttle Meadow Country Club in New Britain, Conn., she came from behind with a final-round 68 to eke out a one-stroke victory.
The finish earned her a spot in the Eastern Regional Club Pro Championship at Turning Stone Casino Sept. 30-Oct. 3 in Verona, N.Y., and a chance to go on from there to the National Club Pro Championship next June. Leading finishers from the nationals move on to the PGA Championship in August, though Whaley will not be eligible for a spot in that major since she opted to play from the forward tees.
In 2002, Whaley made headlines when she became the first woman to win her Section PGA Championship, and with it a spot in the PGA Tour’s 2003 Greater Hartford Open, where she missed the cut. Whaley, who played briefly on the LPGA with little success in the early 1990s, parlayed her newfound celebrity into a whirlwind of corporate appearances, exhibitions and speaking engagements, and she continues to maintain a schedule that, in her words, has her on the road “most weekends, and most every week.”
Her schedule and appearances are managed by Peter Jacobson Productions.
Besides playing in occasional tournaments this year, she’s working as an analyst for five LPGA events on ESPN. She also has a golf instructional video in the works and is about to launch her own Web site, www.suzywhaleygolf.com.