“When my parents died in October 2010, I was talking with my head coach at Southern Mississippi, Julie Gallup, and she suggested that we do something in their memory,” said Judson, who will be a redshirt senior for the Golden Eagles this upcoming fall. “I was immediately on board with the idea and now it’s turned into a golf tournament that involves women’s mentoring and leadership.”
The stroke play event will bring together 30 of the top Legends Tour players, including Nancy Lopez, Pat Bradley, Betsy King, Jan Stephenson, Kathy Whitworth and challenge co-host Rosie Jones, who has won 13 LPGA titles in her career and was captain of the 2011 Solheim Cup United States team. They will join up with 60 collegiate players from around the country over the four days. The first day will consist of a Pr- Am with teams of one Legends player, and a combination of college and amateur players. The second day will feature teams consisting of a Legends player and two college players in an individual stroke play format with a team best ball for an added challenge. The final two days will be a stroke play competition among the college players.
“This is a special opportunity that young players rarely get the chance to have playing with the legends of the game,” Judson said.
“The younger players get to look at the history of women’s professional golf,” said Jones. “Some of us have been professionals for more than 20 years and been in extreme situations winning major tournaments. They will learn about the responsibilities of being a member of the community, some tutoring on golf shots and how to operate your own business as a pro.”
Prior to the golf action, there will be a leadership workshop on July 11 to promote the JCI Foundation’s mission to strengthen and enrich the mental well-being of children and young women through positive mentorship, education and sport. The event will feature special guest speakers from the Atlanta business community.
“This is a fun week for the Legends’ players to come back and play with the collegiate women,” said Jones. “It’s an opportunity to give back and bond with the younger players, answer all of their questions about golf beyond college and become a part of our network.”
The Challenge will benefit the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s initiative, Strong 4 Life. “This is a great opportunity for us to connect with the community and women athletes,” said Lucy Klausner, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships Childhood Wellness with CHOA. “We will have tents and promotions at the event to promote nutrition and an overall healthy message.”
The Roswell community has embraced the event and prominent political figures such as Roswell mayor Jere Wood, Georgia State Senator John Albers and State Representative Harry Geisinger were present at the media day festivities last week.
“The business community of Roswell has been amazing in supporting us,” stated Jones. “Even the members of the Country Club of Roswell have gotten involved, serving as volunteers and donating items to us. You can’t have an event like this without the community and a great cause.”
More information about the Challenge is available at Judsongolf.com