Three-Time Senior Women’s Amateur Runner-up Toni Wiesner Dies
July 28, 2009
By Rhonda Glenn, USGA
Toni Wiesner, 62, who was runner-up three times in the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, including 2008, died of cancer Monday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Wiesner was an accomplished amateur whose competitive record included four Women’s Texas Amateur Championships, the 1997 British Senior Women’s Amateur, the 1981 Women’s Southern Amateur and the 1993 Jones-Doherty Championship, a featured tournament on the Florida winter women’s amateur circuit. In 1987 and ’92 she won another event on the winter tour, the Hollywood International Four-Ball, with her partner, Carol Semple Thompson.
Toni Wiesner was a three-time runner-up in the USGA Senior Women's Amateur. (Steven Gibbons/USGA)
Wiesner fired the lowest Senior Women’s Amateur qualifying scores in history at the Golden Horseshoe G.C. in Williamsburg, Va., in 1998. Her 18-hole score of 67 and her 36-hole total, 135, today stand as records for that championship.
A 1980 graduate of Texas Christian University, Wiesner was the only left-hander among nationally prominent women amateurs. She qualified for more than 50 USGA national championships and was one of only two players (Semple Thompson was the other) to have played in all 22 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. She reached the quarterfinals in that championship in 2002 and 2003.
Selected as a member of the Texas team for the USGA Women’s State Team Championships in 1995, 2001, 2003 and 2005, she led her team to a runner-up finish in the inaugural 1995 event.
Wiesner did not begin playing golf until the age of 23 but by the time she turned 50, her competitive instincts had been honed to the point where she was a threat in any senior golf competition she entered. In the USGA Senior Women’s Amateur, she reached the finals in 1997, 2000 and 2008. She was a semifinalist in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2006.
Last year at Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club, she lost to Diane Lang, 6 and 5, in the Senior Women’s Amateur final after defeating medalist and fellow Texan Carolyn Creekmore in the semifinals. Wiesner, who had tried so hard for so long to capture the gold medal, believed that she may have put too much pressure on herself in the match.
Possessed of a keen sense of humor, Wiesner, if she played badly, claimed that “my evil twin sister” had taken over her golf swing. When she lost to budding superstar Brandie Burton by a large margin in a final match of the Broadmoor Ladies Invitation, she accepted her runner-up prize by saying, “Good luck on the LPGA Tour, Brandie.”
Wiesner is survived by her husband, Robert Wiesner, who often caddied for her in big tournaments. No funeral arrangements have been announced.
Rhonda Glenn is a manager of communications for the USGA. E-mail her with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.