Looking back as she prepares for her 50th appearance in the Women’s State Amateur, Lexington’s Marsha Bordas always knew she would live a life that rotated around golf.
Since picking up a club when she was 8 years old and practicing at the driving range while her parents played, Bordas has always been enthused by the sport.
“Well, I just love the game. When I went to college, I went into the education department and I asked them, ‘What teaching job can you always find a job in?’” Bordas said. “Because I knew I wanted to have my summers off to play golf.”
The summers off for the now-retired math teacher allowed Bordas, 67, to compete in 48 straight Women’s State Amateur Golf Tournaments before a wrist injury kept her from playing in 2014. Even so, back problems and a fight with breast cancer could not stop her from competing in 49 of the last 50 tournaments as she prepares for her 50th appearance this week.
I mean 25 years had passed and I hadn’t missed one, I thought, ‘Well I just don’t ever want to miss one.’
Marsha Bordas, 50-year veteran of the Kentucky State Amateur
“She never really lets adversity get to her, in general,” her son Jay Bordas said. “I think that’s one of her strengths because on the golf course she’s the same way.”
While the goal wasn’t always to reach 50, soon after starting to play in the event with her mother, Ruby Bird, Bordas realized that her spot in the field would be an almost definite for years to come. “I mean 25 years had passed and I hadn’t missed one, I thought, ‘Well I just don’t ever want to miss one,’” Bordas said.
Long removed from her best finish as runner-up in 1992, Bordas has come to enjoy the tournament for more than the competition.
Bordas believes that the friendships formed and people she has met throughout her 51-year run have been the most rewarding aspect. “I could have a flat tire any place in the state of Kentucky and I’d know somebody to call,” she said. “You know, because I’ve met them from all over.”
Along with some of the other regulars, Bordas also gets to play with some of the rising young players in golf. Being a fan of the sport, she has taken notice of the evolution of the game. Everything from improvements in swing mechanics to equipment have allowed golf balls to be hit harder and the tournament to be more competitive.
As the executive secretary for the State Am, Bordas knows the field better than anyone, and it looks to be a promising one.
I thought last year was our best field, but this year has even surpassed it.
Marsha Bordas, executive secretary of the State Am
“We don’t have as many players this year because we have a lot of competition with other events,” Bordas said. “But the quality of the golfers is just incredible. I thought last year was our best field, but this year has even surpassed it.”
The smaller field of 39 golfers, compared to the 75 to 100 the event has attracted in recent years, features 16 golfers with handicaps under five and three with plus handicaps. Last year’s runner-up, Ellen Kehoe of the University of Louisville, is among the favorites.
The State Am tees off Monday at Elizabethtown Country Club with an 18-hole qualifier. Match play starts Tuesday and will run until Friday’s championship round.
Women’s State Am
Where: Elizabethtown Country Club