PLAYING MARKER ROLE INVALUABLE FOR WHALEY
For the second time in four years, Suzy Whaley of Cromwell, Connecticut, got a chance to play inside the ropes at a KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. And it couldn’t have happened at a better time for the PGA of America Vice President. She qualified two weeks ago to compete in the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, July 12-15, at Chicago Golf Club – just 28 miles away in Wheaton, Illinois.
With an odd-numbered field (73) set for twosomes Saturday, that meant Thailand’s Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras was temporarily without a playing partner. Whaley received a call Friday night at 10 p.m., inviting her to serve as a Playing Marker for the third round. She last was a Playing Marker in the third round of the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club. Whaley had the opportunity learn more about what the world-class field is facing this week at Kemper Lakes Golf Club.
“I think (Chief Championships Officer) Kerry Haigh has got it set up super fair. It is long, but it’s fair,” said Whaley. “I think they like the challenge. This is a major and it’s supposed to be challenging. They want the best player in the field this week to take home the title.
"For me to have the opportunity to challenge myself without the fear of score was great. Because I could get in some shots I’ve been working on for my tournament play the next couple weeks and see how that was inside the ropes. I know where my weaknesses were today. I know what I needed to work on.
“I’m looking forward to two weeks from now. The golf course certainly won’t be the same yardage. It will be shorter, but pressure is pressure and it’s also a major.”