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Kathleen Sumner

Twin States from page 28 “I go every year to the tourna-

ment because it is special,” DiSantis said. “I’m excited about the anniver- sary because 50 years is a long time.” That’s why so many past champi-

ons will be returning. Recent winners such as Victoria Allred (2011), former pros such as Brandi Jackson (1996), and N.C. State coach Page Marsh (1979, 1981-82) have made plans to attend the celebration. DiSantis said she tracked down every former champion – no small feat given how many no longer live in the Carolinas – and some 10-15 will be making the trip.

“I think it helps to make the girls

today aware of the history of what it is they’re playing in,” DiSantis said of the celebration. Marsh said she is looking for-

ward to seeing old friends and also celebrating an event that was special to her entire family. Marsh’s mother, Linda, who helped run the Twin States for many years, passed away last year. “She enabled junior golf for so

many of us at the junior level for over a decade before she moved up to the USGA Women’s Committee and served women’s amateur golf at the national and international level,” Marsh said. “Vicki has done so much for junior girls golf.” The Twin States was Marsh’s

first junior victory. She remembered her entire family being there to see her, as well as her future golf coach


Photo: Carolinas Golf Association

at UNC, Dot Gunnells. Winning a tournament like the Twin States came about thanks to “a collective effort of so many people,” Marsh said, as well as learning and maturing on the course. “To win, one has to learn so many

things about the game and about one- self,” Marsh said. “I remember put- ting together so many of these small pieces of the puzzle on that last day. I remember I didn’t hit the ball particu- larly well, but I figured out I didn’t need to play the game well. It was about being in the moment and mak- ing the most of each ‘imperfect’ shot.” Watts expects up to 70 girls to

try to seize the moment at this year’s tournament. Kathleen Sumner, a ris- ing senior from Charleston, S.C., won last year’s event with a 69-74–143, edging rising junior Gracyn Burgess of Lexington, S.C., by one shot. From its humble beginnings in

Pinehurst, into the hands of women like Kuhn and DiSantis, and then the CGA, the Twin States has become one of the crown jewels for junior girls in the Carolinas. Clearly, there is much to celebrate this year. “We wanted this year to be memorable for these girls,” Watts said. “So many of the past champi- ons went on to play college golf or professional golf, and many of them are still involved in the golf industry. This tournament was just so special for so many of the players because it was just the jumping-off point for so many of their golf lives.”

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