LIAO WINS USGTF-SPONSORED U.S. PRO HICKORY CHAMPIONSHIP

It was one for the history books. Doing her best imitation of Joyce Wethered, Orlando’s Ki Shui Liao used some precision golf to secure the John Shippen Trophy at the United States Professional Hickory Golf Championship held February 20 at Temple Terrace Golf & Country Club in Tampa, Florida. Liao’s 75 was four shots clear of Tampa’s Jeff Leonard. The Temple Terrace course, opened in 1922 and laid out by noted architect Tom Bendelow, proved once again to be a severe test for the century-old clubs for which it was designed. Liao’s score was the best turned in by a female professional in the seven-year history of the event. It is also the third-best winning score of all time.

This year’s Ladies Championship goes to Jennifer Cully of Apollo Beach Golf Club.  On the Amateur side of things, Winter Spring’s Bill Geisler dethroned two-time champion Will Peterson of Orlando by one shot, 75 to 76. Geisler’s name will be affixed to the Oscar Bunn Trophy that is on permanent display in the Temple Terrace clubhouse. In the Heritage division, Jim Wilhelm tied with Larry Denney, and in a hotly contested coin flip, Wilhelm made the right call, just as the New England Patriots did in the Super Bowl.

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