Golfers Head to Ypsilanti for the Shirley Spork Invitational Tournament

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Golfers Head to Ypsilanti for the Shirley Spork Invitational Tournament

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The Western Michigan Golf Team Sets Course for 2023 Shirley Spork Invitational

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Western Michigan golf team is gearing up for the 2023 Shirley Spork Invitational, hosted by Eastern Michigan at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti.

This year’s tournament will include a lineup of 11 competitive teams, including Akron, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy, Eastern Michigan, Green Bay, Oakland, Ohio, Purdue Fort Wayne, and, of course, Western Michigan. The action kicks off with the first two rounds on Monday, followed by the final round starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

For live scoring updates, you can visit www.golfstat.com. The course for this year’s event measures 6,159 yards and plays as a par-72.

The Shirley Spork Invitational is a tribute to Shirley Spork, a golf legend who became the first female inductee into Eastern Michigan’s Hall of Fame in 1981. Spork’s golf journey began at a young age, wielding only a putter at age 10. Her remarkable achievements include three victories in the Women’s District Match Play Championship during her time at then-MSNC. In 1947, she claimed the inaugural National Collegiate Championship for women’s athletics and won the 1949 Michigan Amateur.

After graduating, Spork initially pursued teaching in Detroit public schools but eventually returned to her true passion, golf. She turned professional in 1950, contributing to the establishment of the LPGA Tour as one of its founding members. In collaboration with Marilynn Smith, Betty Hicks, and Barbara Rotvig, she founded the LPGA’s Teaching and Club Professional Division in 1959.

Spork’s influence extended globally as she conducted golf clinics in foreign countries, earning her recognition as a two-time LPGA Teacher of the Year (1959, 1984). She chaired the LPGA T&CP Division from 1960-66 and received the Meritorious Service Award in 1989. Her accolades include the 1994 Byron Nelson Award, the 1998 LPGA Ellen Griffin Rolex Award, and induction into the inaugural class of the LPGA Teaching & Club Professionals Division Hall of Fame in 2000. In 2002, she entered the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame and earned a place in the 2019 Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of America Hall of Fame. (Courtesy of Eastern Michigan Sports Information)

The Shirley Spork Invitational holds a special place in the Broncos’ fall schedule, with Alissa Fish claiming the individual medalist title in 2021. Fish, a native of Clarklake, Mich., dominated the competition, winning by a staggering 11 strokes with a 54-hole total of 210. She recorded an impressive 13 birdies, leading Western Michigan to a fifth-place finish.

Reference:

https://wmubroncos.com/news/2023/10/1/womens-golf-golf-heads-to-ypsilanti-for-the-shirley-spork-invitational.aspx

https://goldengrizzlies.com/news/2023/10/1/womens-golf-golden-grizzlies-set-for-shirley-spork-invitational.aspx

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