LPGA taps former Middle Atlantic titlists

Cindy Davis of Owings Mills and Paula Wagasky, formerly of Odenton, are in the national golf spotlight as a result of recent announcements by the Ladies Professional Golf Association.

Davis has been named executive director of the LPGA's Teaching Division, a newly created position, and one where the job description appears written for a person of her skills. Wagasky, a teaching professional at Buffalo Grove (Ill.) Golf Club, has been named LPGA National Golf Professional of the Year.


The two are best remembered in this area for their competitive excellence, as they are among six women to have won consecutive Middle Atlantic Women's Amateur championships, and Davis added a third Middle Atlantic, plus Maryland State and Women's District titles.

Wagasky, 38, won her Middle Atlantic titles in 1973-74, graduated from Salisbury State, and played the minitour circuit for five years. "I won a couple of events, but got tired of the travel and not having any money," she said yesterday by telephone from her club, about 45 miles northwest of Chicago.


"I was out here, hitting balls one Saturday afternoon, and I noticed there were no teachers. I asked the pro, Carmen Molinaro, about it, and he said he could use me. That was 10 years ago, and I'm still happy with it. It's a busy area, and I'm teaching five-six days a week."

Wagasky is a past winner of the Midwest Sectional Golf Professional of the Year award, and her victory in last summer's Midwest Sectional tournament qualified her for the LPGA Championship, due at Bethesda CC May 14-17.

In past years, the Teaching Division of the LPGA has been administered by volunteers, but such has been the growth of the organization and the importance attached to it by Charles Mechem Jr., LPGA commissioner, that the addition of a staff member became imperative. Kerry Graham of Phoenix, Ariz., president of the Teaching Division, has been its supervisory head.

As director, Davis will oversee the business of the 600-member organization, including education, marketing, employment development and membership services. She will assume her new duties after the first of the year.

Davis, 29, has been employed by American Credit Indemnity Co. of Baltimore, a subsidiary of the Dun & Bradstreet Corp., for the past year, serving as director of marketing, support and communications.

In her background is a bachelor's degree in economics from Furman University, a master's degree in marketing and finance from the University of Maryland, and two jobs in Connecticut where she worked in sales, marketing and public relations prior to accepting the local position.

"We feel fortunate that Cindy Davis has accepted the position," Graham, chairman of the selection committee, said in making the announcement. "She has excellent organizational and marketing skills that, combined with her golf knowledge and industry awareness, makes her the perfect choice."

As a player, Davis was a member of the Furman women's team for four years, serving as captain her senior year. She turned professional and played on the minitour for a year, before returning to her parents' Mitchellville home to pursue her master's degree.


"It has always been my intent to build my business career with the goal of eventually combining my marketing and golf experiences," Davis said yesterday. "Golf has provided a lot of opportunities for me and I view this as an opportunity to give something back. I'm especially interested in the Teaching Division, as it specializes in educating and communicating the game to the public."

Davis first heard of the position from a friend about the time the search began several months ago. At the same time, her name was recommended to the selection committee by two people -- one of her former management superiors, and another friend -- and as Graham said later, "The committee was especially pleased with the number of highly qualified candidates, and now, at an important time for the division, we have chosen one to get us to another level as quickly as possible."


Miscellaneous: When Rolling Road member Rick Sovero had a hole-in-1 with a 5-iron shot at the club's 171-yard fourth hole recently, it completed a 1991 sweep for the male side of the family, as sons Ricky and John previously had accomplished the feat. . . . The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America has selected Tom Watson to receive the Old Tom Morris Award, given annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding lifetime contributions to the game of golf. . . . The annual conference of the Maryland Turfgrass Council will be held Jan. 6-7 at Festival Hall in Baltimore. . . . Tickets for the 1992 Mazda LPGA Championship will be available at a 50 percent discount through Jan. 31. Information is available from (202) 337-GOLF.