Niagara Gazette — LEWISTON — An estimated 40 young women golfers from Western New York and worldwide will convene at Niagara Falls Country Club this week for the first-ever Women's Porter Cup.
Participants will arrive on Tuesday to register and take in a pracrice round. Assuming the weather cooperates, the first round of competition in the three-day, 54-hole tournament will begin Wednesday, with the champion crowned on Friday.
While the Porter Cup has enjoyed a long, successful run with the men's and seniors' tournaments, the man chairing the inaugural women's event admits this is still quite possibly an experiment.
"I think we're cautiously optimisitic about the future of the tournament," said tournament director Brian Oakley. "It's a trial balloon that we're just putting out there to see if we get the reaction. I'll have a much better feel after the tournament's over."
For a first-time tournament, organziers feel they've recruited a decent pool of competitors. Among the players are some talents from across the U.S. including Grace Na of Oakland, California, a two-time All-American at Pepperdine University, and Casie Cathrea, who has committed to Oklahoma State and, even before beginning her NCAA career, has qualified for the U.S. Women's Open.
"These are the up and coming stars," said Oakley. "Some of these girls are regional champions, high school champions... we've got a well-rounded field of people that are sophomores and seniors in the college ranks as well."
There are also several Western New Yorkers slated to compete including Ashleigh Frieday (Grand Island), Gaelin Carrig (Buffalo), Katharine Creighton (Buffalo), Rene Sobolewski (Buffalo), Chelsea Dantonio (Lancaster), Catherine Peters (Clarence Center) and Michelle Hanes (Elma). There are also a handful of competitors from just across the border, with Kendra Bishop of Niagara Falls, Ont. and Lauren Wardrope also committed to play.