Favorite Swanson withdraws from Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women's tournament Jun 8, 2013  (6 years ago)

By Randy King
Jun 8, 2013, 08:36



Meredith Swanson’s withdrawal shakes up the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame event.

Meredith Swanson has won the Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women's tournament six times, and the past three in a row, but she had to withdraw before this year's event teed off. The Roanoke Times | File 2012

The script for the 27th Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women’s championship changed drastically with one phone call Friday.

Roanoke Country Club’s Meredith Swanson, who has dominated the event in recent years, called RCC head professional Tim McAfee and informed him that she was withdrawing from the tournament due to a death of a close family friend in Atlanta.

Swanson, who just finished her college career at South Carolina last month and is turning professional later this summer, has won the title six times in the past nine years, including the past three straight. Barring a return to the amateur ranks, Swanson’s chances of breaking Dot Bolling’s record eight titles are history.

“It only seems appropriate that I won’t catch Dot, who is the all-time queen of Roanoke Valley women’s golf,” Swanson said via cellphone.

With Swanson out, the door is now wide open for the rest of the field, especially high school hotshots like Lyndsey Hunnell, Katie Turk, Kristin Hearp and Meagan Board.

“I’m so upset that Meredith is not going to be there because I really wanted to see where my game needs to be and how much better she is,” said Hunnell, 17, who has committed to playing college golf at Virginia in 2014.

Meredith Swanson receives some putting advice from her caddie and father on the 17th green at Blacksburg Country Club during the opening round of the 2012 Roanoke Valley Golf Hall of Fame women's championship The Roanoke Times | File 2012

Hunnell, who won the Roanoke Valley Women’s Golf Association City-County title last year, has finished second in the HOF the past two years by sizable margins.

I would love to finally win it one time!” Hunnell said.

The rising Lord Botetourt senior will have competition , however. Bolling, who last won in 2009, plus former champions Sara Cole (1989, 9’92) and Valeta Pittman (2002) head the list of veterans in the 32-player field. Sara Moir, a rising sophomore at Washington and Lee, Blacksburg’s Carin Wollmann and Leigh Lacy, and Ole Monterey’s Sue Smith also pose as possible threats.

The loss of Swanson also puts a serious dent in RCC’s hopes of winning a fifth straight team title and its seventh in the past eight years .

Still, a short-handed RCC team that includes Pittman, Hearp, Board and Moir still ha s to rate as the favorite in the competition that starts today at Blacksburg Country Club and finishes Sunday at Ole Monterey.







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