Grand Blanc alum to compete in John Shippen National Invitational golf tournament

GRAND BLANC — Former Grand Blanc golf standout Shasta Averyhardt will be competing in the John Shippen National Invitational, June 27-28 at the Detroit Golf Club.

Averyhardt, a 2004 graduate and former all-state golfer at Grand Blanc, is a current LPGA Symetra Tour player with five professional wins. As a member of the Jackson State University women’s golf team (2004-2008), she won nine collegiate golf tournaments and four individual SWAC conference championships.

Averyhardt played on the LPGA tour in 2011 and 2013, becoming the first African American golfer on the LPGA Tour since 2001 when she qualified in 2010 for the 2011 tour. She also qualified for the Women’s U.S Open as an amateur in 2010.

The John Shippen National Invitational, a new tournament created by Intersport, in collaboration with Rocket Mortgage, Trion Solutions, Dow, The Children’s Foundation and Sommer Woods (co-founder of Woods and Watts Effect), will showcase the nation’s top Black male and female professional and amateur golfers. Winners from the men’s and women’s fields will qualify for upcoming PGA and LPGA tournaments in Michigan.

The men will compete in a 36-hole individual stroke play event for an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Rocket Mortgage Classic (July 1-4), while the women will play in a two-person format for exemptions into the LPGA’s Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (July 14-17), which is also played as a team event.

The John Shippen National Invitational is named in honor of John Shippen, Jr., the first American-born golf professional and the first Black golf professional in the United States. Shippen, an original trailblazer for Black golfers, played in five U.S. Opens from 1896-1913 and was posthumously bestowed PGA of America membership in 2009.