Marsha Bordas of Lexington, a self-described goal-oriented person, made it her mission to play in 50 consecutive women's State Amateur golf championships.
In 2006, Bordas underwent back surgery in early May and she told her doctor she wanted to play in the State Am in six weeks. "He told me, 'Good luck with that,'" Bordas recalled. "But I played."
In 2009, Bordas, battling breast cancer, had a double mastectomy in late March. Undeterred, she competed in the State Am three months later.
But Bordas isn't invincible.
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She broke her left wrist a few weeks ago, and the injury will prevent her from competing in the State Am for the 49th year in a row. The tournament will be played at Lexington's Lakeside Golf Course next week.
"I had back surgery and breast cancer, but I made it through those to play," she said. "This time, though, one arm just won't do it."
Bordas lost her balance on some steps on June 6, and when she fell backward, she tried to break her fall and wound up breaking her wrist. She knew the consequences immediately.
"I was sitting there on the ground, and I looked up at John (her husband) and said, 'I guess I won't get to 50 consecutive State Ams.'"
Bordas, accompanied by her mother, Ruby Bird, participated in her first State Am in 1966 at Paintsville Country Club. Ruby also played in the tournament for decades.
Marsha and her mom attended 44 State Ams together, with Ruby serving as Marsha's ride-along caddy in later years. She died in 2011.
Bordas' best showing in the State Am was a runner-up finish in 1992. She has qualified for the championship flight all but a handful of times, and she's made it to six semifinal matches.
Bordas was a math teacher for 37 years, the last 25 at Lafayette High School. She retired in 2010.
She also was the University of Kentucky women's golf coach in 1974-75, and she successfully recruited Myra Van Hoose out of Lafayette.
Bordas has always loved golf, and she has been one of Central Kentucky's most successful, and enduring, players. She won Lexington's City title in 1984 and '99, and the Marion Miley in 2007 and '09.
The State Am has always been a special event to her, which is why she's disappointed she won't get to play this year at Lakeside.
"But it's right here in town, and I'm on the tournament committee, so I'll feel like I'm still part of it," she said.
And Bordas is determined to resume her State Am quest next summer.
"I will get to 50 even if they have to drag me and pull me there," she said with a laugh. "I set these goals for myself, and I have to reach them."
■ The 88th Women's State Am begins Monday at Lakeside with an 18-hole stroke play qualifier. Match play begins Tuesday and runs through Friday's championship match, which is scheduled to start at 9:45 a.m.
Defending champion April Emerson, a former Eastern Kentucky University golfer, will try to win her fourth title in six years.