Benton Named Recipient of 2019 Dinah Shore Trophy
Courtesy of Fernando Carrasquillo, LPGA Foundation
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., May 11, 2019 – Kaylee Benton of the University of Arkansas has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Dinah Shore Trophy, cementing her status as one of the top collegiate female players who has made an impact on the golf course through her leadership and also on society through charitable endeavor.
Administered by the LPGA Foundation, the Dinah Shore Trophy Award recognizes female collegiate golfers who excel in both academics (3.2 on a 4.0 scale) and athletics – playing in at least 50 percent of the team’s scheduled events – while maintaining a 78.00 or less scoring average. In addition, nominees must demonstrate outstanding leadership skills and community service.
A two-time All-America Scholar at Arkansas, Benton has represented the Razorbacks women’s golf team since August 2016, helping them rank in the top-5 nationwide each year. In her senior year (2018-19), she led the team with a single-season scoring average of 72.15 and finished runner-up in the SEC Championship. She posted nine rounds of par or better and recorded a team-best three top-five finishes. She has earned a World Amateur Golf Ranking of 88th.
In April this year, Benton competed in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur but missed the cut. In 2018, she advanced to the semi-finals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur and competed in the U.S. Women’s Open. As a junior at Arkansas, she won the deciding match on the 18th hole to secure the Razorbacks’ first Southeastern Conference title in the program’s history, before helping guide the school to its first NCAA Regional title with a T-4 finish.
Benton has not only been a major contributor to her golf team but is also heavily involved in community engagement. She has worked as a volunteer on the Hurricane Harvey Canned Food Drive, the Boys & Girls Club, the Children’s Ministry at The Rock Church and also at Book Hogs, where she encouraged children to read books and pursue their academic endeavors.
Benton is the third Razorback to win the Dinah Shore Trophy. She joins former Razorbacks Stacy Lewis and Emily Tubert who each won in their senior season.
The Dinah Shore Trophy Award is a joint effort between The LPGA Foundation, Friends of Golf (FOG) organization and the ANA Inspiration – one of the LPGA’s five major championships and the largest contributor to the Dinah Shore Scholarship Fund. As part of the Dinah Shore Trophy Award, a $10,000 grant will be awarded to the women’s golf program at the University of Arkansas.
Former winners of this prestigious award include: Furman University’s Alice Chen (2018), Stanford University graduate Casey Danielson (2017), Columbia University’s Jackie Chulya (2016), East Carolina University alum Katie Kirk (2015), University of Arkansas’ Emily Tubert (2014), Michigan State University’s Caroline Powers (2013), North Dakota State alum and current LPGA Tour player Amy Anderson (2012), University of California graduate Pia Halbig (2011), University of Central Florida alum and Symetra Tour player Katie Detlefsen (2010), Duke University grad Amanda Blumenherst (2008, 2009), University of Arkansas alumna and 2012 Rolex LPGA Player of the Year Stacy Lewis (2007), and University of South Carolina’s Erica Battle (2006).
The LPGA Foundation announced the Dinah Shore Scholarship Fund in March of 1994 in honor of the late Dinah Shore, a Vanderbilt University graduate and an honorary member of the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame. The Dinah Shore Trophy Award has contributed more than $184,000 to women’s collegiate golf programs, including this year.
About the contributing organizations:
Friends of Golf (FOG) is a fundraising organization founded and administered by Eddie Merrins, golf professional emeritus at Bel-Air Country Club in Beverly Hills, Calif. FOG contributes annually to collegiate, high school and junior golf programs throughout the country, and Dinah Shore was considered the “First Lady” of FOG.
A part of the LPGA Tour since 1972 when it was founded by entertainer Dinah Shore, the ANA Inspiration (initially the Colgate-Dinah Shore Winner’s Circle and more recently the Kraft Nabisco Championship) was designated as a major in 1983. Three-time champion Amy Alcott began a winner’s tradition of jumping into the lake at the 18th hole after her victory in 1991. The event was called the Colgate Dinah Shore from 1972-81 and the Nabisco Dinah Shore from 1982-99. Dinah Shore’s legacy and heritage is preserved with the “Dinah Shore Walk of Champions” at the 18th hole at Mission Hills Country Club. In addition, a statue of Dinah Shore, serving as the walk’s focal point, was created by noted sculptor George Montgomery, who was Shore’s former husband.
The LPGA is the world’s leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950 and headquartered in Daytona Beach, Fla., the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 countries. With a vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women’s golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while the Symetra Tour, the official qualifying tour of the LPGA, consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. Additionally, LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management.
The LPGA demonstrates its dedication to the development of the game through The LPGA Foundation. Since 1991, this charitable organization has been committed to empowering and supporting girls and women through developmental, humanitarian and golf community initiatives, including LPGA*USGA Girls Golf, the LPGA Women’s Network and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association.
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