New Sneakers for Dad
Meghan Stasi has her name engraved on the Mildred Prunaret Women's Mid-Amateur Championship Trophy three times, most recently for her 2010 victory. Not long ago, the staff at the USGA Museum asked her to donate some items from her victories for display in the Museum's collection.
When Stasi went through all the memories of her three championship wins, she kept coming back to one constant - her father, Mike Bolger. Mike was his daughter's looper for all three of her Women's Mid-Amateur victories.
"I don't know if you can ever -- you just can't describe it," said Stasi in 2010, when asked about having her dad on the bag. "It's an incredible experience to share with him."
The defending champion traditionally gives the keynote speech at the pre-championship players' dinner. In Stasi's speech, she mentioned the USGA Museum's request and unveiled her donation; she plans to ship her father's old, beat-up sneakers to Golf House. She then pulled her dad up to the stage and presented him with a box of brand-new kicks.
But the old ones aren't on their way to New Jersey just yet. Mike is giving them one last go-round here at Bayville.
"They're for next time," said Stasi following her first-round match on Monday night. "He's going to wear them in a little bit more."
Keeping The Memories Alive
Toni Wiesner was a fixture in the senior women's golf world prior to her death in 2009 after a battle with cancer. A three-time runner-up at the Senior Women's Amateur, she took home the 1997 British Senior Women's Amateur title along with a host of other victories. Her 18- and 36-hole qualifying scores at the 1998 Senior Women's Amateur at Golden Horseshoe G.C. in Williamsburg, Va., still stand as championship records. Wiesner qualified for the first 23 Women's Mid-Amateurs, although she sadly passed away before she could compete in the 23rd championship at Golden Hills Golf and Turf Club.
She was also extremely close with her fellow Texas golfers, particularly Mina Hardin and Carolyn Creekmore, who were both in the field at Bayville.
"We call ourselves The Three Musketeers," said Hardin, "because we've known each other for 100 years."
Toni's husband, Robert Wiesner, is doing his best to keep his late wife's memory alive. Robert, who caddied for his wife on many occasions, came to Bayville to loop for Carol Martin, another member of the Texas contingent. When Martin failed to make it to match play, Hardin asked Robert to continue on and carry her bag.
"We were very sad that Toni passed," said Hardin, "but we're fortunate that Robert comes out and supports us and is now here, so I'm delighted.
"It was just my good fortune to have Robert on the bag. It was a pleasure."
Back To School
Margaret Shirley graduated from Auburn University in 2008, marking the end of a stellar collegiate career in which she competed in four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships. Following a brief stint as a professional golfer (she regained her amateur status in 2010), Shirley went back to school as an assistant coach at the University of Georgia, Auburn's SEC rival.
But now she's returned home. Two months ago, Shirley accepted the position of assistant golf coach at her alma mater and is already fitting right in with her new team.
"I've gotten a few text messages. They're pulling for me," said Shirley following her first-round victory over Jill Johnson. "They're keeping up with it.
"I've got to do well because I don't, I'm going to hear about it! A little extra pressure."
Christina Lance is a coordinator of championship communications for the USGA. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.