That traditional Wayne County Men’s Amateur champions photo taken in front of the sponsor board will look different this summer.
The snapshot will include a women’s champion for the first time in the event’s 22-year history.
In an unprecedented and long-awaited move, the Wayne County Golf Association agreed to conduct a two-day women’s tournament in conjunction with the men’s three-day event.
The inaugural women’s battle, which will last 36 holes, will take place July 25-26 at Goldsboro Municipal Golf Course.
“Honestly, we should have done it a long time ago,” said Parker King, vice president of the Wayne County Golf Association.
“Our ladies at Lane Tree were very happy about it, and within the community, I’ve heard most people are happy about it. No one individual put this [idea] forward. This just seems like the right year with us restructuring.”
The committee reorganized the association and applied for a tax identification number with the federal government. The main goal is to receive and accept applications online, and have tournament participants pay their registration fees by credit card.
King noted it would take at least 30 days to approve.
That wasn’t the WCGA’s major concern.
The recent COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic raised questions about when to contact sponsors, email registration forms and tackle other expenses associated with the amateur.
“We’ve got to be aware of it, got to see how this thing changes,” said Jeremy Joyner, WCGA president. “If it changes tremendously within the time before we meet next month then we probably need to make sure we’re taking a proper stance. We’ve got to make some tough decisions one way or the other by the next meeting.”
The committee agreed to roll out email registration forms by May 1 regardless if the association’s new website is operational.
The three-day portion of the men’s amateur tees off July 24 at Southern Wayne Country Club. Round two is July 25 at Lane Tree and championship day is July 26 at Walnut Creek Country Club.
Kyle Best is the reigning Open Division champ. Lionel Sutton (Senior), John Zambelli (Super Senior) and Howard Tyndall (Masters) are expected to defend their respective titles.
“I feel confident we are going to have it,” said King. “I think by the time July rolls around, people are going to need an ‘out,’ need something to release themselves from all of this.”