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Natarajan Goes Wire-to-Wire for 2022 AGA Short Course Victory

BY: ALEX GELMAN, USGA P.J. BOATWRIGHT INTERN

Shankar Natarajan won the 2022 AGA Short Course Tournament hosted by Augusta Ranch Golf Club in Mesa, finishing the two-day event at -8 overall.

“The best part of my game was my short game,” said Natarajan. “I had some crucial up and downs early that kept my lead and on a lot of shots, I kept it away from trouble and set myself up.”

Mike Louden finished in second place, -6, two shots back of Natarajan, followed by Sam Engle, -5, who finished third.

Natarajan followed up his first round -6 (55) with a -2 (59) Sunday to top a standout leaderboard. He carded 11 birdies over the weekend and just three bogeys.

This is the first time Augusta Ranch Golf Club has hosted to the AGA Short Course Tournament. Playing as a par 61, players noted the 3,846-yard course was in great condition over the two days of golf. Made up of seven par 4’s and twelve par 3’s, the field needed a solid strategy to navigate Augusta Ranch.

“I think the course played really well,” said Natarajan. “It was in great shape and there were some really tough pins.”

Natarajan is looking to follow the same path of friend Sean O’Donnell, who won the 2021 Short Course tournament en route to 2021 AGA Player of the Year honors. The AZ Short Course was O’Donnell’s first victory of the year, similarly to Natarajan.

“I would like to (win AGA Player of the Year) – I play with him (Sean O’Donnell) a lot,” said Natarajan. “We won the Phoenix City Team Championship last month. I felt like if I could get off to a good start, then we’ll see what happens later in the year. Try to get some major wins.”

Natarajan’s next AGA event will be the 2022 San Tan Amateur, scheduled for February 26-27 at Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes.

Link to full results: www.golfgenius.com/pages/3320651

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World Handicap System, Multi-Member Account Setup Recommendations

For golfers who host multiple WHS-roster affiliations, it is a player requirement to have all scores logged to all WHS-records at all times, in order to assure that an official WHS Handicap Index® is being assigned through each outlet. Please note that if multiple independent records are currently in the WHS (GHIN) database, the ability to streamline this dual-record management IS available by requesting a merge/link of all your WHS accounts together. To accomplish this request, please issue the following information to: [email protected], dependent upon where your secondary WHS record is housed (U.S. vs. Canada-based roster):

Secondary Record ALSO from United States

If BOTH records are being assigned from United States-based WHS roster(s), identify the ‘GHIN’ member numbers assigned to each, then provide them to AGA staff ([email protected]), further indicating if you have a preference of which member number should be retained in the forthcoming record ‘merger’. Once accomplished, you’ll then just retain a singular/shared account with all new score and Handicap Index assignments reflected mutually across ALL U.S.-based WHS roster affiliation(s). Note*– For dual-members from: Wisconsin State Golf Association, Chicago District Golf Association or Indiana Golf Association each do not use ‘GHIN’ handicap software locally), please reach out to your out-of-state Association staff contact and request your ‘Handicap ID’ assignment, used for this merger process but may be different than the assigned WSGA/CDGA/IGA ‘member number’ on the localized handicap technology platform in use within these regions. The ‘Handicap ID’ will be the value needing to be issued to the AGA to formalize the merger.

Secondary Record from Canada
RELATED: Arizona/Canada WHS Account Linking Recommendations

If your secondary WHS-account is from Canada, although we cannot fully ‘merge’ these records together, there is an ability to setup a background ‘link’ within each account to accommodate the sharing of all new score postings/handicap index assignments moving forward. To accomplish this US-Canada account ‘link’ setup, please complete the following (4) steps, in this preferred order:

Step 1- Confirm that your Arizona Golf Association-based record is currently in ‘Active’ status and retrieve your ‘GHIN’ number assignment, needed for step 2.

Step 2- Contact your Provincial Golf Association staff in Canada and supply them with your Arizona-based GHIN number, requesting that they add it as a Canada-US ‘link’.

Step 3- Ask your Golf Canada staff to also provide you with your designated ‘NETWORK ID’, the value that is used for these linking purposes and is often times an alternative 6-9 digit value that may be different than the standard Golf Canada Member Number personally in use (link will not function without the ‘NETWORK ID’, in particular).

Step 4- Supply Arizona Golf Association staff ([email protected]) or your AZ-based club administrator with the ‘NETWORK ID’ that Golf Canada staff has confirmed is assigned to you. In turn, that ID will be input in the background of your GHIN record to complete the two-way linking process.

In summary, any golfer in the World Handicap System should only ever host a singular scoring record/Handicap Index assignment, even in the case of hosting multiple active club roster affiliations. If both records are resident through US-based rosters, an official ‘merger’ into one record is possible, or if the secondary record is based in Canada, an account ‘link’ may be setup to share all new score postings and Handicap Index assignments. Please contact AGA Staff ([email protected]) to present any linking request or if you have any questions that have been prompted.

More World Handicap System Resources at https://www.whs.com/

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Inaugural LNGA Mid-Am/Senior tees off at Anthem Golf & Country Club

Ladies National Golf Association logo

STASI, JOHNSON LEAD MID-AMATEUR; INGRAM PACES SENIOR AMATEUR
Inaugural LNGA Championships Begin in Arizona

ANTHEM, Ariz. (April 19) – Four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, of Oakland Park, Fla., and Gretchen Johnson, Portland, Ore., both carded even-par 72 to share the lead in the Mid-Amateur Championship and highly decorated Sara Ingram, of Nashville, Tenn., shot 3-over 75 to pace the Senior Amateur Championship of the Ladies National Golf Association (LNGA) Thursday at Anthem Golf & Country Club.
“It a great golf course which tests you,” said Stasi, an eight-time Florida Amateur Player of the Year. “But the wind died down a little today from the practice rounds and I could attack a few more pins.”
Stasi posted five birdies against three bogeys and a double bogey and finished her up-and-down round with two birdies in the last four holes. Johnson, the 2017 and 2018 Oregon Golf Association Tournament of Champions winner, steadied her way around the course with 16 pars and a birdie and a bogey.
“I kept it where the lawnmower goes most of the day,” said Johnson, a semifinalist at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur. “It’s kind of tight, like target golf and I hit a lot of greens and I got it up and down every time.”
Ingram, a 3-time winner of the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion, was three-over through four holes but overcame her early struggles to gain a one-stroke lead over 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Am winner Corey Weworski, of Carlsbad, Calif. Past U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur champion Mina Hardin, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Evelyn Orley, of Cardiff, Calif., trail Ingram by two.
“I had to work hard today,” said Ingram, the three-time USA Curtis Cup team member who will serve as captain of the team in the Match this August in Wales. “It was not an easy 75. I hit some good shots. My game was better than it’s been since coming back two years.”
Lauren Greenlief, of Ashburn, Va., the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion and a semifinalist in 2019, and Dawn Woodard, of Greer, S.C., an eight-time winner of the South Carolina State Amateur and three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur medalist, trailed the Mid-Am leaders by two strokes with two-over-par 74s.
Both championships are 54-hole, stroke-play events in their inaugural year and are conducted by the Ladies National Golf Association. The Mid-Amateur Championship is for players 25-years-old and up with an index in the World Handicap System not exceeding 10.4. The Senior Amateur Championship is for players 50-year-old and up with an index in World Handicap System not exceeding 14.4. The Wilma Cup, in honor of the departed women’s golf advocate and LNGA leader Wilma Gilliland, will be presented to the Mid-Amateur and Senior Amateur champions and remain in their custody for a year. Medals will also be awarded to the runner-up and third-place finisher in each championship.

Scoring link

NOTES
• Ingram is a member of the Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame and the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame. She came back to golf after a long hiatus to serve as the general chairman of the 2018 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship and to serve as Curtis Cup captain. She won the 2020 Tennessee Women’s Senior Amateur.
• Woodard and Stasi will play together at the 6th U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship next week at Maridoe Golf Club in Dallas.

QUOTES
Meghan Stasi: “It is a beautiful venue. The LNGA is doing a great job. It’s fun to have a solid tournament in April.”
“It’s great to be back with friends. We are all talking about where you can go and what you have to do to go anywhere. But, you have to be smart and follow the rules.”
Gretchen Johnson: “Where I’m from in Portland, I’m not used to the grain and the influence of the mountains, but I made a lot of short putts. The firmness of the greens puts a premium on lag putting.
“The goal is to play a little better each day. If I can continue to keep it in play and putt well everything else should fall into place. There are a lot of great players here. It may be a small field, but it is a strong field with a lot of good players.”
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ABOUT THE LADIES NATIONAL GOLF ASSOCIATION (LNGA)
The LNGA is a national volunteer women’s amateur golf association founded in Kansas City Mo. in 1927 to promote amateur golf and good sportsmanship among women golfers and junior girls. Our events are hosted at venues across the United States. The events spotlight the nationally prominent amateur golfer that may be eligible for Curtis Cup team selection along with the skilled players from around the world. The LNGA Amateur, the Women’s Mid-Amateur and the Senior Women’s Amateur are included in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) list of golf championships.

Words by: Pete Kowalski
Media contact: Pete Kowalski, [email protected]; 908-216-8435

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AGA President Bob McNichols named 2020 Golf Executive of the Year by AJGA

Read the full article on the AJGA website

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