WSNGAWSNGA’s Southern Nevada Amateur Is Can’t Miss Tournament

April 21, 2022by Brian Hurlburt0

If you’re a WSNGA player, you’ve probably got June 20-21, 2022, circled on your calendar. The reason: It’s the weekend of the Southern Nevada Amateur, one of the biggest tournaments of the year for the women. Add in the fact it’s the qualifier for the South’s Silver Cup team and it’s one of those must-play events. –Bill Bowman, Las Vegas Golf Insider staff.

The tournament will be played at Reflection Bay Golf Club.

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For the women, it’s the perfect weekend to make a name for yourself.

Just ask Sherry Jackson.

Jackson, the WSNGA’s Tournament Director, won the 2005 Southern Nevada Amateur and has played in the event for 20 years.

“It’s the biggest Southern Nevada women’s tournament that occurs,” Jackson said. “And the fact it is also the qualifying for the Silver Cup makes it that much bigger.”

The Southern Nevada Amateur dates back to 1971 when Ellen Alderett won the inaugural event. Last year’s winner was Annick Haczkiewicz, who was a senior at BYU. She beat Aliyah Williams of UNLV on the third playoff hole.

Haczkiewicz and Williams

Jackson said the tournament always brings out the best players.

“The Southern Nevada Amateur is usually won by the younger players,” Jackson said. “The Southern Nevada Amateur and the state events feature a lot of junior golfers because they can play on the weekends. The Silver Cup usually has the older women because they can take time off.”

Jackson said her victory is certainly one she will never forget.

“It was certainly exciting,” she said. “For any amateur, this is a huge event.”

Looking back on the event, she knew she was playing solid golf. She just wasn’t sure where she stood.

“There are no leaderboards,” she said. “You just have to go out and play well. Like the pros say, play your best and your score will take care of itself. You also have to assume it’s tight and not get ahead of yourself.”

In the end, Jackson said players are in two groups when it comes to this high-profile weekend.

“The older players are trying to make the Silver Cup team while the younger players are trying to win the Southern Nevada Amateur,” Jackson said. “The younger players are just starting out on their golf journey and this title would add a lot to their resume. Plus there are a few more of them in the field because it is being played in the summer and more of them are able to play.”

Laurie Johnson, who no longer lives in Southern Nevada, is the all-time leader with 10 victories in the Southern Nevada Amateur.

“She left town to give the rest of us a chance to win it,” Jackson said with a laugh.

This will be the second straight year the Southern Nevada Amateur/Silver Cup Qualifier event has been held at Reflection Bay Golf Club.

Jackson said the course has been a perfect fit for the last two years.

“This year the Silver Cup will be at Reflection Bay (Oct. 4-6) so it will give us another event on the course,” Jackson said. “And last year, Reflection Bay was as close to Arrow Creek (the site of last year’s Silver Cup in the North) as anywhere else we could play.”

The Silver Cup pits 20 women from the South against 20 women from the North. Jackson said the main reason the college players aren’t attempting to qualify for the Silver Cup is they are in school and taking part in college tournaments.

In total, 176 players from Southern Nevada have played in the Silver Cup which started in 1973 with the North winning. Brenda Knott (on the team 19 times) and Doe Emes (on the team 18 times) have teed it up the most times for the Southern squad.

The two teams have alternated victories over the last five years with the North currently holding the trophy.

Jackson said the event is one that is at the top of everyone’s bucket list when it comes to golf.

“This tournament really turns it up a notch for everyone,” Jackson said. “It’s not only the Amateur but it’s the Silver Cup qualifying. If you make the Silver Cup team, you’ll work from June until the Silver Cup week to get ready. It’s a really big deal for everyone to get on that team.”

For Eric Dutt, Reflection Bay director of operations, hosting prestigious events like this is what courses should do and he and his staff welcome the ladies.

“We enjoy hosting major amateur events and we are excited about having the top women players out here again,” says Dutt. “We look forward to watching the best women amateurs play our Jack Nicklaus course. Reflection Bay is a great test of golf and we are always honored to be the location for prestigious tournaments such as the Southern Nevada Amateur and Silver Cup qualifier.”

Brian Hurlburt

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