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Wanda Sowell Hendrix - 1972, 1973 Champion

The year before winning the first of her two consecutive WTGA State Amateur Championships, Wanda Sowell Hendrix considered not returning to the competition after failing to win in her previous six attempts.  She had advanced to the Women’s Intercollegiate semi-finals in 1959, won the Texas Publinx Championship in 1960 and 1961, and won the Louisiana State Championship in 1963, but the Texas title had eluded her.  She fell to future champion Jeannie Butler Kalencki in 1960, and lost in the final match in 1961 to Mary Ann Morrison.  It may have been good sportsmanship that cost her the 1961 title.  After a commanding win in the semi-final match, Hendrix learned that her finals opponent, Morrison, had been injured in her match.  Hendrix insisted that match be postponed in order to give Morrison time to recover.  She recovered and defeated Hendrix two weeks later.  She again reached the finals in 1965 only to lose to State Junior Champion Kathy Ahern.  

Following a disappointing loss in 1971, Hendrix reported that she had “vowed that she would never come back to the Women’s Texas Golf Association annual Championship Tourney…she felt that she couldn’t win the prestigious event.”  Unfortunately for the rest of the field, Hendrix changed her mind and marched to the championship.  Along the way she had to defeat Mary Lou Dill, 1967 US Women’s Amateur Champion, and Brenda Goldsmith Hocott who would go on to play on two Curtis Cup teams.  Once she had finally gotten “over the hump”, Hendrix kept winning.  She successfully defended her title in 1973, and earned medalist honors in 1974.



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Golf really does promote good sports(woman)ship! Golfers are the classiest of all!
Posted by Kyle on January 27, 2016 @ 4:04 pm

Wanda was a great player and had a terrific short game. Remember both of her wins in the State Amateur and how excited Martha Westmoreland was. I lost to her in the semis in 1973 at Colonial CC 1 down. It was a fantastic match on my favorite golf course. Might add, all of her defeats were to stars of the day, not a slouch in the group.
Posted by Preston Crow on January 27, 2016 @ 3:53 pm

I worked for Paul and Wanda Hendrix at Briarwood Country Club in Tyler the summer of 1969 and remember seeing Neil Armstrong walk on the moon from their living room TV before running outside to look a full moon. Wanda was a Harvey Penick disciple and could chip and putt lights out. I once played 9 holes with her just before dark when she hit no greens but shot one under. That's right, 8 up and downs and one chip-in. Once while I was practicing my chipping, she stopped me to ask why I always gave myself a perfect lie -- "put the ball down in a low spot and practice those, too," she said. Wanda is a Texas treasure, a fine Christian woman who still teaches in Tyler and passes on her love for the game to a new generation. That she won one of her state amateurs at Colonial is something I think it wonderful since it is one of my all time favorite courses.
Posted by Pat Wheeler on January 27, 2016 @ 11:54 am

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