Athlete of the Week: Senior Amateur golfer Pamela Chesla
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The United States Golf Association has now hosted a championship tournament in all 50 states with the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur teeing off at the Anchorage Golf Course this week, and Alaska’s lone competitor was thrilled to be a part of history on her home course.
“I saw it at 10:30 at night and I screamed in the house and woke up the other half and, ‘What’s going on? what’s going on? I made it, I made it! I am in!’ So it was very exciting,” Pamela Chesla, of Hope, said after finishing her round on Sunday. “Everyone thought I would get in, but you just never know.”
The 61-year-old Chesla, who previously lived in Anchorage for about 40 years, is the only woman in a field of 132 who hails from Alaska and was an ambassador for her sport and state throughout the 60th annual event.
“It meant the world to me,” Chesla said of being a representative. “I mean, Alaska is home and will always be home. It’s such a beautiful state and I am glad that we could showcase it and show the world what we are all about ... Yesterday we had an eagle land on number five on the tee box, so we had a nice show for that.”
Though Chesla was most familiar with the course, her two-day score of 188 total did not qualify for match play. However, she had the most fanfare, as a group of supporters followed her until the 18th and final hole on Sunday.
“Oh that means everything,” she said. “I mean, the golf women up here, we are like a tight-knit family, we love each other, we support each other and it meant the world and I think my playmates enjoyed it today too.”
With the stage and spectacle a platform like the USGA provides, Chesla hopes it encourages more women to pick up a club and tee off.
“I surely hope that this really brings more of the ladies out and sees that we can showcase it,” Chesla added. “We’ve really lost a number of players over the years up here, the women’s group is a little less than it used to be in the 90′s and early 2000′s, so I hope that it really brings more people out and wants them to play.”
Though Chesla’s time in the tournament is over, her time on the golf course is far from it.
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