BEAUMONT, Texas — The Beaumont Emergency Hospital Babe Zaharias Open brought 82 professional golfers to Beaumont from all around the world.
In the fourth and final round 82 was reduced to 34, and one golfer came out of the tournament with a $15,000 prize.
Miranda Wang, who is originally from China, shot four under par on Saturday and finished the open 11 under par taking first place.
In second place was Lamar golf alumnus Julie Aime. Aime is originally from France. She shot one under par in the fourth round and was eight under par in the tournament.
Aime won $7,200 in prize money.
Kathleen Scavo from Benicia, Calififonia placed third in the tournament. Scavo shot even on Saturday, finishing the open at seven under par. She earned a $5,000 prize.
To make the tournament possible, families around the Golden Triangle opened their homes to golfers for a week. One couple said they took in five athletes this year.
For some involved being a host family is their favorite aspect of the open, because it creates lasting memories for the women they host. The families say it feels like the athletes leave with a special piece of Beaumont.
"In Beaumont, Texas, one week a year, we all have the opportunity to create those relationships with folks from other countries," said tournament director Roni Stephenson. "We have Norway here. We have folks from Hong Kong, Switzerland, I mean you name it, right here in Beaumont, Texas. This is that one week the host families are like, 'Oh my gosh, can you imagine in five years, I may be watching TV, and one of the ladies that I had the chance to house for a week, they're actually playing on television.' So, it's been a very great week."
The Women's All-Pro Tour has hosted the Babe Zaharias Open for three years straight. They say with every year it has gotten better and attracts more players.
"This is really a special event," said K&G Sports' Gary Deserrano. "Roni and her crew have made it that way and we've seen the growth, not only with the amount of girls coming to Beaumont, but also in the size of the purse. We're proud to say this is the biggest purse we've ever had on the WAPT."
This year's purse, an estimated $80,000, represents the growth the tournament has seen.
"It's just been amazing to watch over the last three years, this tournament grow," said Deserrano. "Roni and her committee has done a fantastic job. They seem to create something new and interesting each year and I'm happy to say we're coming back next year. I'm looking forward to seeing the girls back next year. We don't want to see all of them 'cause we want to see them at the next level."