The 2016 Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club Invitational tournament drew a full field of 144 golfers on Tuesday, May 17, at Rancho Bernardo Inn in northern San Diego County.

2016 Invitational-veterans

VETERANS HONORED — U.S. military veterans honored during the Invitational luncheon were, left to right, Chris Polkoski, Sonja L. Stevenson, Gene Pearl and Marianne Waldrop. Also honored but not present for the photo was Sonya Brown-Conner.

In keeping with the Invitational theme, “America the Beautiful,” five veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces were honored for their service: Gene Pearl, Captain, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, served in North Africa and Italy during World War II and will celebrate her 100th birthday in May; Marianne Waldrop, Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps, retired, 24 years; Chris Polkoski, Commander, U.S. Navy, retired, 33.9 years; Sonja L. Stevenson, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, retired, 28 years; Sonya Brown-Conner, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy, retired, 23 years.

Golfers began the day with a breakfast on the Rancho Bernardo Inn patio, then proceeded to their starting-hole assignments for an 8 a.m. shotgun start. After the round, players gathered in the Bernardo Room for a lunch of watercress salad with jicama, shaved vegetables and pomegranate vinaigrette; guava honey-glazed chicken breast with grilled pineapple and chili salsa; wasabi mashed potatoes; baby carrots; and crème brulee with fresh raspberries and blackberries.

A dedicated group of volunteers planned and produced the 2016 tournament. Donna Dahl served as Invitational Committee chair. Other committee chairs included Judi Berlin, registration; Smokey Sutherland, prizes; Melissa McBratney, tee sponsors; Joyce Dubuque, breakfast; Karen Okey, decorations; Sallie Britzman and Verna Nickel, handicaps; and Diane Borden, communications. More than 20 other RBIWGC members volunteered to serve on the various committees.

Among the Rancho Bernardo Inn staff who contributed to the success of the tournament were Bryon Penfield, director of golf; Matt Loflen, tournament director; Trevor Woods, tournament coordinator; Nolan Schmuckle, first assistant; John Sullivan and Calvin Nollner, banquet managers; and all golf outside staff.

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club was founded in 1963. The first Invitational was held in spring 1964 and has since grown into one of the premier women’s golfing events in San Diego County.