2nd Annual Marilynn Smith Arizona Senior Women’s Open and Pro-Am Set For April 24-26, 2023

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2023

Media Contact: David Bataller, Director of Communications
(602)-944-3035 | [email protected]

Player Contact: Amy Fruhwirth, Programs Manager
(602) 944-3035 | [email protected]

SCOTTSDALE – The Arizona Golf Association today announced the 2nd Annual Marilynn Smith Arizona Senior Women’s Open and Scholarship Pro-Am, set for April 24-26, 2023, at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa. The exciting week of golf will feature 120 players joining 30 professionals in the Scholarship Pro-Am on Monday, April 24. The following day, a sold-out field of 80 players (comprised of 40 two-woman teams) will compete for a $60,000 purse, with the winning team taking home $15,000.

“We are excited to bring back the Marilynn Smith Arizona Senior Women’s Open and Scholarship Pro-Am after a successful inaugural event in 2022,” said Joe Foley, Executive Director of the Arizona Golf Association. “The list of confirmed players, including Hall of Famers and Tour Legends, shows the excitement building for women’s golf in Arizona and across the country.”

“Marilynn Smith lived her life as a trailblazer, uplifting, befriending and making a difference for others, especially for women,” said Debbie Waitkus, President of the Golf It Forward™ Foundation. “I’m sure she’s smiling about the success of her annual Scholarship Pro-Am and amazed that the Arizona Women’s Open purse is larger than the $50,000 overall LPGA payout in 1950!”

The Marilynn Smith Arizona Senior Women’s Open field is full, and includes 2024 World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee Sandra Palmer, LPGA Hall of Famer JoAnne Carner, 2021 and 2022 U.S. Curtis Cup Captain Sarah Ingram, 2013 European-winning Solheim Cup Captain Liselotte Neumann, Danielle and Dina Ammaccapane, Brandie Burton, Kay Cockerill, and defending champions Lisa DePaulo and Rosie Jones. For a full list of players, click here.

On Sunday, April 23, the community is invited to attend Sunday Tea at Papago Golf Club in Phoenix. Joe Passov, award winning Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA) award-winning journalist Joe Passov will interview players, including Tournament Honoree and 1991 World Golf Hall of Inductee Pat Bradley, 2022 World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee Susie Berning, Palmer and Carner. Guests will enjoy refreshments, an expo and an incredible memorabilia display. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the Sunday Tea, the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am and Arizona Women’s Open, ranging from Presenting Sponsor to General Benefit Sponsorships. For more information on sponsorships, please contact Chris Montgomery by email at [email protected], or by phone at (602) 872-7011.

On Monday, April 24, the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am will see amateurs tee it up with special guests and professionals playing in the Arizona Senior Women’s Open, with proceeds going to the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund. The MSSF provides scholarships to female high school seniors who plan to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. In 2022, the Pro-Am funded 15 of the overall 24 awarded and the 2023 goal is to fund fifteen more $5,000 scholarships. Registration is currently full, please contact Amy Fruhwirth at [email protected] to be added to the waitlist.

For all information on the Marilynn Smith Arizona Women’s Open, visit

About Golf It Forward Foundation

GOLF IT FORWARD™ is the public face of the Marilynn Smith and Founders’ Legacy Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. The journey of the 13 founders of the LPGA started with a hope to introduce more woman to the game of golf and provide opportunities for those women to compete. Along the way they forged friendships, found a family and fueled a motivation to make a difference. Golf It Forward carries on the legacy of the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund, which, since 1999,has awarded more than $1 million to over 200 young women to pursue their collegiate academic dreams and further their golf careers. For more information, visit

About The Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund

Marilynn Smith Scholarships are granted annually through The LPGA Foundation. A founding member of the LPGA in 1950, Marilynn established the fund in 1999 with the proceeds of a golf tournament she organized. The objective of the Marilynn Smith Scholarship is to provide a scholarship to a female high school senior who has played golf in high school or in her community and is planning to play golf at an accredited college or university in the United States. The Marilynn Smith Scholarship is awarded to high school seniors who will play golf at the collegiate level. To date, more than $1 million has been granted to over 200 young women.

About Arizona Golf Association

The Arizona Golf Association has been serving amateur golfers in Arizona since 1923 when it held the first State Amateur Championship. Today, it is licensed by the United States Golf Association to provide handicapping and course rating services to member clubs, to provide tournament and rules expertise and to oversee the application of amateur status.

About Longbow Golf Club

Longbow Business Park and Golf Club is a 330-acre, mixed-use development, being developed by Daedalus Real Estate Advisors, that incorporates office, light industrial, retail, hotel and residential uses surrounded by desert vegetation, a main street transportation design and features the award-winning Longbow Golf Club. Troon managed Longbow Golf Club was originally designed by Ken Kavanaugh in 1997. In 2003, Daedalus commissioned Kavanaugh to execute a complete redesign of the golf course creating a complete refresh layout. For more information on Longbow Golf Club, visit or call (480) 807-5400.


Team AGA Defends Open Division of 61st Bob Goldwater Cup at Phoenix Country Club

PHOENIX- On Monday at Phoenix Country Club, the Arizona Golf Association competed against Southwest Section PGA at the 61st Bob Goldwater Cup. For the second year in a row, the AGA won the Open Division, while SWSPGA took the Senior Division title.


The Goldwater Cup started with Four-Ball matches, followed by singles matches. Winning teams earned a point for each match win, or a half point split between the teams in the event of a tie. In the Four-Ball matches, in which the teams of Chris Kamin and Grant Cesarek (2&1) and Shankar Natarajan and Kurt Watkins (4&3) kept the AGA alive in the Open Division.

Facing a two-point deficit, team AGA won or tied in nine of 12 singles matches to secure the comeback victory by a final score of 10-7.5. The largest margins of singles victory came from Nick Juszczak and Judson Choate, who both won 4&3.


Wooster Defends Women’s State Senior Stroke Play Championship

Brandon Genson, AGA Communications Manager

RIO VERDE- Three days of stroke play at Tonto Verde Golf Club ended with Sue Wooster (+2) atop the leaderboard for the second year in a row. Wooster’s title defense was dominant, as she won the tournament by an impressive 12-stroke margin.


Wooster shot the tournament’s best rounds one and two scores (73-73) and had a four-stroke lead over second place finisher, Robin Krapfl, headed into the final round. Krapfl struggled in round three (+8), as Wooster shot the only even par score of the tournament to secure the victory.

Wooster’s championship win on Friday afternoon caps off a magnificent stretch of play over the last two months. At the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Qualifier this past July, Wooster (-3) was the low scorer and amateur. She also qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur in Anchorage, Alaska, where she came up just short in the championship match.

In addition to Wooster’s overall championship, other golfers were honored various awards:

State Senior Field Flight (Gross) – Field Division: Susan Hartwell
State Senior- (Net) – Championship Division: Claudia Pilot
State Senior- (Net) – Field Division: Susan Hartwell
The Legends Championship Trophy (Gross) – Legends + Masters: Ardis VanDenbos
The Legends Championship Trophy (Net) – Legends + Masters: Carolyn Suttles
Mo Cruikshank Memorial Trophy: Shannon Kennedy, Sue O’Connor and Susan Wooster
Mary Lou Sauer Memorial Trophy: Linda Selegue, Molly Baker and Paula Lambkin
Dr. Ann Pittman Memorial Trophy: Jeannie Lallensack and Linda Selegue


Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Announces Class of 2022

September 7, 2022


David Bataller
Director of Communications
[email protected]
(602) 944-3035


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Arizona Golf Hall of Fame Committee is proud to announce the four inductees to the 2022 Class. Three modern candidates were selected by the Voting Delegates: Geri Cavanagh, Del Cochran and Missy Farr-Kaye; and one Legacy candidate was chosen by the Selectors Committee: Alice Cooper. The dinner and induction ceremony will be held Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

Invitations and RSVP’s to the ceremony will be available at a later date.


Geri Cavanagh, Amateur and Philanthropist


An accomplished golfer, businesswoman, philanthropist and volunteer, Geri Cavanagh’s contributions to the game of golf go well beyond her own achievements on the course. Her dedication to the game helped her capture numerous accolades, but perhaps more importantly, countless golfers have benefitted from her generosity over the last 50 years.

As a player, Cavanagh notched the first of her 12 Paradise Valley Country Club Championships in 1974. In all, she won 18 PVCC tournaments, eventually serving as the club’s President. She also served as President of White Mountain Country Club, and held board positions for the Arizona Women’s Golf Association (AWGA) and Phoenix Country Club. Cavanagh won five Arizona State Amateur Championships, three Phoenix City Championships, two Navapache Opens and one AWGA Amateur Stroke Play title – and once qualified as an alternate for the U.S. Women’s Open. At age 32, Cavanagh joined the golf team at Arizona State University and played in the 1983 NCAA Championships at age 36.

Although Cavanagh no longer plays golf competitively, her passion for the game has never wavered. In recent years she has turned her attention and energy into enabling others to thrive. She co-founded the PING Banner Health LPGA Tournament, and alongside her late husband, received the Turquoise Award for their contributions to the tournament and cancer prevention. Over the past 23 years, Cavanagh has donated nearly $1.2 million to junior golf; assisted with and contributed to the development of the ASU Karsten Golf Course; and contributed more than $300,000 to the Silver Belle Championship, LPGA Foundation, Marilynn Smith golf tournaments, PING Junior Golf University and the AWGA.

In 2011, she was awarded the Dorothy Pease Achievement Award – the AWGA’s highest honor. With her induction, Cavanagh joins her late husband, Harry, in the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame.


Del Cochran, Industry Leader


In 1963, Del Cochran made his first trip to Arizona, saw his first palm tree, smelled the orange blossoms, and decided this is where he was going to live. Raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Cochran “headed West” to Arizona eight years later, working as an assistant professional at Apache Wells and Dobson Ranch before a two-year stint at El Paso Country Club, in Texas, working under renowned PGA Professional Bill Eschenbrenner. However, his love for Arizona was powerful, and he returned for good to become the first head professional at Pinnacle Peak Country Club from 1977 to 1981. During that time, he served on the Board of Directors of the SWSPGA with his final year as President of the section.

In 1992, Cochran joined his friend Gregg Tryhus to form the team that developed and operated Grayhawk Golf Club. They believed if something was good for golf, for Scottsdale, and for Arizona, they wanted to be at the forefront. Under their leadership, Grayhawk became one of the must plays in Arizona golf and remains so today.

A member of the Thunderbirds for 33 years, Cochran also spent 20+ years serving on the board of directors for Experience Scottsdale. In 2010, the American Junior Golf Association awarded Cochran the Digger Smith award, “honoring longtime service and dedication to junior golf.” Additionally, Grayhawk hosted the PGA Junior League Championship for six years, and is hosting the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Golf Championships from 2021-2023.


Missy Farr-Kaye, Arizona State University Women’s Golf


Lifelong Arizonan Missy Farr-Kaye has continuously left her mark on golf in her home state over the last four decades. After a standout career at Xavier Preparatory Academy and playing junior golf at Papago Golf Course, Farr-Kaye played at Arizona State University. Shortly after her playing career, she joined ASU’s coaching staff as an assistant, and eventually became the program’s head coach in 2015. In each of her roles at ASU, Farr-Kaye brought the program to new heights.

In 2017, Farr-Kaye led the Sun Devils to the program’s nation-leading eighth NCAA championship. This was her first national championship as a head coach, which completed the rare feat of becoming a three-time NCAA national champion: winning the first as a player in 1990 and the second as an assistant coach in 2009. Over her tenure on the coaching staff at ASU, Farr-Kaye has led her teams to 16 NCAA Championship appearances, two Pac-10/Pac12 titles and a myriad of team and tournament titles.

Academically, her golfers have won the Edith Cummings Mason Award, given to the top female golfer who is both a playing All-American and Academic All-American. She has had four golfers named Pac-12 Scholar Athlete of the Year, and her 2015 team had the highest grade-point average (3.65) within Sun Devil Athletics. Although Farr-Kaye solidified her legendary status by helping her student-athletes flourish during and after college, her own accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. Among them are being named the ASU Alumni Achievement award, as well as four different Coach of the Year awards following the 2017 national championship season.

Most admirably, Farr-Kaye is a three-time cancer survivor and continued to coach through each bout, inspiring everyone around her with her perseverance and strength. For that, she was awarded the Kim Moore Spirit Award by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association in 2009, the first and only coach to receive the honor typically reserved for student-athletes.



Alice Cooper, Philanthropist


Already a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Alice Cooper made the Valley his home as a teenager and can now add Arizona Golf Hall of Famer to his resume. In the midst of a flourishing career on the stage, he has found solace on the golf course and has since used the game to benefit others through his philanthropic efforts.

Early on in his music career, Cooper lived a traditional rock-and-roll lifestyle and in 1982, it led him to a doctor’s visit and a wake-up call for him to change his lifestyle. He stopped drinking, but it meant that he needed to find something else on which to focus. That turned out to be golf. Cooper picked up the game quickly and soon found himself playing 36 holes in a day as often as possible. Since then, he has played golf all around the world, but calls Phoenix Country Club his home club. He’s averaged 250 rounds per year, and with a 4-handicap, he has established himself as one of the best golfers on the celebrity circuit.

Cooper credits golf with saving his life, but he also uses the game as a vehicle to benefit the next generation of artists. He regularly hosts, participates in and performs at golf events that benefit his non-profit, Solid Rock, which he founded in 1995. Solid Rock’s mission is to inspire and challenge teens to embrace excellence and reach their full potential through the arts. Cooper regularly hosts and participates in golf tournaments that benefit his organization.

Through Solid Rock, Cooper opened Solid Rock Teen Centers in Phoenix and Mesa, where teens can discover and hone their talents. Equipped with state-of-the-art studios and equipment, the centers provide teens with free training in music, dance, art, recording, lighting, staging and video production.


About the Hall of Fame Committee
The Hall of Fame Committee consists of representatives from six of the allied golf associations serving golf in Arizona: Arizona Golf Association, Cactus & Pine Golf Course Superintendents, Club Managers Association, Junior Golf Association of Arizona and the Southwest Section PGA.


2022 Divisional Match Play Champs Crowned in Scottsdale

by Brandon Genson
AGA Communications Manager


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.- After five days of competition, Matthew McDougall (Masters Division), Alex Stamey (Senior Division) and Tim Blau (Legends Division) came out victorious at the 2022 Divisional Match Play, hosted by Talking Stick Golf Club.


McDougall’s tournament run started off strong, as he entered match play as the No. 2 seed thanks to shooting two under after 36 holes of stroke play competition. McDougall’s high seed also earned him a first round bye before edging out three players, en route to the championship match.

“It was a good week overall. I played great in the qualifying to get a good seed and then in match play, kept in play, hit a lot of greens and just tried not to make a whole lot of mistakes and try to find the birdies when I could,” McDougall said.

In the final match, McDougall found himself pitted against the reigning AGA Masters Division Player of the Year, Bryan Hoops. Hoops had picked up steam since shooting two over in stroke play and upset higher seeds to advance to the final match. Hoops and McDougall traded birdies through the first seven holes, before McDougall pulled away by two strokes and held onto that lead for his 3 & 2 victory.

McDougall’s Divisional Match Play win comes just weeks after a quarterfinals run at the 98th Arizona Amateur, where he came up just short against the AGA’s reigning Player of the Year, Sean O’Donnell. Friday’s win also marked McDougall’s first AGA tournament win.

“It’s been great,” McDougall said. “I’ve put a lot of time into my golf this summer and it’s nice to come out and play some of these tournaments and have a great week and it was a lot of fun- really enjoyed playing the match play portion as well.”

In the Senior Division, Stamey found himself on the wrong end of a strong start as his opponent, Ray Plewa, had a three hole lead through eight. When it looked like the match might come to an early finish, Stamey sank a birdie on nine and went two under on the back nine. The match was decided on the 18th hole, where Stamey secured his second Divisional Match Play title; he also won in 2020 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club.

“It’s fantastic,” Stamey said when asked what the wins mean to him. “The first one was a surprise, quite honestly, and the second one was a surprise but any time you can win something like this in our AGA tournaments, it’s fantastic. It’s a joy to win it.”

After some tight victories throughout match play, including one over top-seeded Brad Starr, Tim Blau won his championship match in 5 & 4 fashion. Blau’s day was characterized by pars, but it was enough to defeat a struggling Rich Morrison. Blau’s win marks his second ever in Divisional Match Play (2021, 2022) and goes along with his second Divisional Stroke Play title (2019, 2022) he earned back in June at TPC Scottsdale, marking the first time he’s won both in the same year.

RELATED: Ex-MLB pitcher Kyle Lohse hits one-in-a-million shot into golf cart’s cooler during Divisional Match Play qualifying round.