Seahawk makes major LPGA tour debut

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WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Former UNCW women’s golfer Ashley Tait Wengert makes her major LPGA Tour debut early Thursday when she competes in the 2022 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

Tait Wengert competes against 155 of the world’s best golfers Thursday-Sunday June 23-26, 2022. The field for the $9 million event is led by defending champion Nelly Korda, with first place paying $1.35 million .

The tournament will be televised Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on The Golf Channel and Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on NBC.

The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship is the second oldest major tournament in women’s golf after the US Women’s Open presented by ProMedica. Since 1955, the tournament has been played in 14 different states. Maryland is hosting this year’s championship for a record 12th time.

The 68th edition will be contested on the Congress blue course at Bethesda. The 6,831-yard course features a par of 72. Maryland’s most recent major champions are Anna Nordqvist (2009), Yani Tseng (2008), Suzann Pettersen (2007), Se Ri Pak (2006), and Annika Sorenstam (2005). ).

Tait Wengert, who started playing golf at the age of five under the watchful eye of her father, Patrick, a PGA professional, started her career at Tulane before transferring to UNCW following to the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.

From 2006 to 2010, Tait Wengert propelled the Seahawks to the 2007 and 2008 Colonial Athletic Association championships, was a runner-up in 2009 and finished third in 2010.

Tait Wengert was a two-time All-CAA First Team selection (2008, 2009), a two-time All-CAA Tournament selection (2008, 2009), and a three-time WGCA All-Scholar Athlete (2007, 2008, 2009) honored . She also earned All-CAA Second Team honors in 2007 and was named Most Outstanding Performer at the 2007 CAA Championships.

“There is no doubt that my time in Wilmington was formative and defining,” Tait Wengert recently wrote. She recorded seven top-10 finishes during her career with the Seahawks and was a medalist at the 2007 CAA Women’s Golf Championships in Hot Springs, Virginia.

“You don’t just grow as a golfer in college – you also grow a lot as a person as you try to figure out the next stage of your life.”

Tait Wengert’s path to Congress has been a roller coaster ride. After earning a business (finance) degree in 2010, Tait Wengert qualified for the Epson Tour, playing from 2012 to 2017. In 2013, she appeared in 20 events and made 14 cuts, including a second-place finish to the Decatur-Forsyth Classic.

The 2009 CAA Women’s Golf Scholarship Athlete of the Year later retired from playing to work as a financial advisor before returning to the sport she loves.

She started teaching golf in high school and was offered a job as an LPGA pro and an instructor at the Baltimore Country Club. Tait Wengert qualified for this weekend’s tournament last year and is looking forward to it.

“I don’t have extremely high expectations going into the event,” she wrote. “I want to soak it all up and can’t wait to catch up with old friends and have a good time. For my almost 2-year-old son Charlie to see his mum birdie would be a nice bonus.”

In amateur play, Tait Wengert won the Colorado Women’s Golf Association stroke play championship in 2008 and was a runner-up a year later.

Tait Wengert won first place at the 2011 Texas Women’s Open and finished second at the 2011 Michigan Women’s Open. She also had a pair of Grasshopper Tour victories in 2013.

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