Island golf legend competes in women’s open

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Hollis Stacy hits a tee shot during the final round of the 2018 U.S. Senior Women’s Open at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois, July 15. Islander Courtesy Photo: Copyright USGA/Chris Keane

Sports Illustrated writer Curry Kirkpatrick called a 16-year old Hollis Stacy a “pug-nosed, pierced-eared, lemon-lollipop of a sister.”

That was 1970, a long time ago for the part-time Holmes Beach resident who competed in the U.S. Senior Women’s Open Tournament July 12-15 at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois. She tied for 28th at 14-over par.

Stacy is the fourth child of Jack and Matilda Stacy, and she grew up in a big, noisy household in Savannah, Georgia. There were 10 children in the Stacy family, including three golfers. Her brother John, two years her junior, was a junior tournament golfer, as was big brother Tommy. Both parents also golfed, according to Sports Illustrated.

It’s been said Stacy cut her teeth on golfing at the age of 8 after a trip to the Masters in nearby Augusta, Georgia. She took up golfing seriously at 11, after suffering ear problems with her favored sport, swimming.

Now, almost six decades later, the lemon-lollipop is a member of The Legends Tour, along with Pat Bradley, JoAnn Carner, Juli Inkster and more.

She also was in the lead foursome that teed off July 12 at the Chicago course for the Senior Women’s Open, along with Carner, Nancy Lopez and Sandra Palmer.

According to her biography on ThoughtCo.com, as a young competitor, Stacy won three consecutive USGA U.S. Girls Junior Championship titles. The first was in 1969 at 15 — she was the youngest player to ever win.

In 1970, she won the North and South Women’s Amateur Championship and, in 1972, she played on the U.S. Curtis Cup team.

In 1974, Stacy joined the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour. She’s won 18 LPGA tournaments, in addition to U.S. Women’s Open titles while competing on the circuit for 26 years. She won the 1977 U.S. Women’s Open, as well as the championships in 1978 and 1984.

In 2000, Stacy retired from the LPGA and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine in 2012.

Stacy now splits her time between her Holmes Beach residence and a home in Colorado when she is not on tour.

Sports Illustrated said golf great Toney Penna evaluated her swing when she was 14.

“She could play with a broom,” he said about Stacy. But she had another idea about her success as a golfer that grew from her spot in a herd of brothers and sisters.

“I am the middle child among 10 children,” she said. “I had so much psychological warfare — I wasn’t going to lose.”

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