Title IX: Nine (or so) to know on the 50th anniversary

Compilation photo of title IX pioneers Billie Jean King, Venkayla Haynes, Tatyana McFadden, Sedona Prince, Rebekah Bruesehoff, Patsy Mink, Annie Clark, Andrea Pino, Bunny Sandler, and Justine Siegal
Getty Images

By Risa Isard

Fifty years ago, Title IX changed the landscape for women across the United States – on sports fields and in classrooms.

Before President Richard Nixon signed the law forbidding sex-based discrimination at all federally funded educational institutions, women accounted for less than 10% of all medical and law school graduates while fewer than 4% of girls played high school sports. What’s more: it was legal for schools to deny women classroom opportunities, reject them from colleges just for being women, prevent them from competing in athletics, discriminate against pregnant students, sanction hazing and sexual harassment, and retaliate against those who advocated for equality.

Title IX’s impact has been prolific (albeit the progress imperfect and unfinished), with some calling it the most important legislation for women in America after the right to vote. As part of On Her Turf’s celebration of the landmark civil rights law, we recognize these nine (or so) to know who paved the way for Title IX, have championed its transformative legacy, and given women a sporting chance.

I. The Title IX Starters: Dr. Bunny Sandler, Rep. Edith Green, Rep. Patsy Mink, and Sen. Birch Bayh

It was 1969 and Dr. Bernice “Bunny” Sandler had recently earned her doctorate from the University of Maryland. Her department had seven openings but failed to consider her for any of them. When she asked a colleague about it, he told her “Let’s face it, you come on too strong for a woman.”

Sandler’s then husband helped her understand that there were plenty of strong men in the department and therefore, this was sex discrimination. “It was the first time I had ever thought of myself as having been discriminated against,” Sandler, who died in 2019, recalled decades later.

But just because Sandler had a term for the discrimination she encountered didn’t mean the discrimination itself was against the law.

Over the next few years, she amassed an impressive team and launched a master strategy for change. Some of her most notable teammates: Rep. Edith Green (D-Ore.), Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii), and Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.) in Congress.

Green chaired the Special Subcommittee on Education, sponsored Congress’s first-ever hearings on sex discrimination in education, and ultimately drafted Title IX and sponsored it in the House.

She was joined by Rep. Patsy Mink, the first woman of color in Congress. Mink would become one of Title IX’s strongest voices, leading the bill to be ceremoniously re-named ‘the Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act’ after her passing.

Meanwhile across the Capitol, Sen. Birch Bayh launched a parallel effort in the Senate, where he was also busy authoring the Equal Rights Amendment.

Dr. Bunny Sandler
Dr. Bernice “Bunny” Sandler was considered “the godmother” of Title IX (J.M. Eddins, Jr./Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Collectively, “the Starters” and their other behind-the-scenes colleagues – including Pauli Murray and Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-N.Y.) – fought for a law that they believed would do the most good and be the most inclusive.

Between Sandler’s awakening in 1969 and June 23, 1972, when President Nixon signed Title IX into law, the bill had several starts and stops. There were efforts to limit its application, delay its implementation, and defeat it in its entirety. Given that the bill’s origins stemmed from Sandler’s experiences on the job market and the fact that the conversations in Congress focused on academic employment and admissions, the potential impact on sports was largely ignored.

“One member of the Senate needed reassurance that women would not be allowed to play football, but that was it,” Sandler wrote in 2007.

“By 1972, when Title IX was close to passage, there were about five or six of us (plus Rep. Green) who realized that Title IX would cover sports and athletics, but again, we had no idea of how bad the sex discrimination was in the world of college sports or in K-12,” Sandler continued.

“My understanding of Title IX’s impact on sports was something like this: ‘Isn’t this nice! Because of Title IX, at the annual Field Day Events in schools, there will be more activities for girls.’ If those of us close to Title IX did not fully realize its impact, especially on sports, how could others have known what it would be?”

RELATED: Title IX is 50 years old. Why aren’t schools complying with the law?

II. The Superstar: Billie Jean King

Tennis great Billie Jean King was as formidable on the court (39 grand slam titles, anyone?) as she is off it. Her playing career started long before Title IX, so as a college athlete in the early 1960s, she watched as the men’s team members received scholarships while she worked two jobs. Shortly after Title IX passed, King bested Bobby Riggs in the famed Battle of the Sexes, demonstrating to the 90 million people watching worldwide that women deserved equal opportunity in sport.

“I wanted King/Riggs to change the hearts and minds of people to more closely align with the legislation of Title IX,” King reflected decades later. “I was afraid if I did not win we would give people a reason to weaken Title IX. It was definitely a pressure-packed moment.”

In a symbolic victory lap, King co-founded the Women’s Tennis Association, as well as the Women’s Sports Foundation, an organization that continues to be integral to expanding opportunities in women’s sports and enforcing Title IX.

III. The Athlete-Advocate: Tatyana McFadden

Tatyana McFadden is a force. Between 20 Paralympic medals, becoming the first person to achieve a marathon “Grand Slam” (followed up by doing it for the next three years), and running the Paralympic marathon followed by five marathon majors last fall, her place as an athlete is cemented. Her legacy out of competition is perhaps even more important, though.

As a ninth-grade girl in Maryland, McFadden was supposed to be protected by Title IX – but as an athlete with a disability, she still faced discrimination. Notably, she was prohibited from racing alongside her able-bodied teammates and competitors.

“All I wanted to do was join high school track, but I was denied a uniform, I was denied (the opportunity) to race alongside others, and was practicing separately as well,” recalls McFadden. “I just thought, ‘We are in the 21st Century and I am 100% being discriminated against as a female athlete with a disability.”

McFadden and her mom sued the Howard County Public School System and won. Three years later, Maryland passed the Maryland Fitness and Athletes Equity for Students with Disabilities Act (also known as “Tatyana’s Law”). Five years after that, the US Department of Education issued a national mandate requiring equal access to extracurricular activities for students with disabilities.

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Tatyana McFadden, then 15, trains for the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games. (Photo by Preston Keres/The The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The mandate has been called the “Title IX for people with disabilities.” It’s a fitting name. Thanks to McFadden, all kids with disabilities have a right to equitable sport.

IV. The Organizers: Dana Bolger, Alexandra Brodsky, Annie Clark, and Andrea Pino

While Title IX is often best known for its impact on women’s sports, the law is also integral to expanding opportunities for girls’ education (looking at you, shop class) and other school-affiliated activities, protecting survivors of sexual assault and harassment, and guaranteeing rights of pregnant students and those who are parents.

Perhaps no movement has transformed campus cultures in recent years than the one Dana Bolger, Alexandra Brodsky, Annie Clark, and Andrea Pino started in the 2010s, connecting universities’ obligations under Title IX to their handling of sexual assaults.

After finding each other through mutual connections and related news stories about student survivors of assault, Bolger, Brodsky, Clark, and Pino, then students or recent alumnae from three different universities across the country, worked together to make noise about Title IX violations at their alma maters and nationwide. Clark recalled connecting with Pino, “We started talking and realized that this was not an isolated incident, that it was a national epidemic and no one had really connected the dots because we had been looking at these cases in isolation.”

The four organizers shared strategic notes with each other, started conversations on campus, and filed suits against their universities. As their stories reached students across the country, they received countless notes of support and requests for advice, leading them to sit at the helm of a growing network and serve as informal consultants to survivors nationwide, in part through social media.

'The Hunting Ground' Screening And Discussion At The Coolidge
Title IX activists Annie E. Clark, left, and Andrea Pino, right, during a Q&A session in 2015. (Photo by Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

“You don’t need to be in a survivors’ group meeting to hear these stories anymore…the human connection is the same, but social media lets you do it on a completely different scale,” Bolger told the New York Times in 2013.

They formalized their collective work with the launch of national organizations Know Your IX (Bolger & Brodsky) and End Rape on Campus (Clark & Pino). In the years since, they have contributed to new legislation and authored books We Believe You (Clark & Pino) and Sexual Justice (Brodsky). Bolger, Brodsky, Clark, and Pino’s collective voices, persistence, and impressively self-taught legal acumen led to policy changes and advanced the understanding that campus sexual assault is a Title IX issue.

“If you have a campus that has rampant sexual assault, there is no equal access, mainly because female students do not feel safe going to libraries, they do not take night classes, they do not feel safe walking home at night. And because of that the campus itself is not equal,” explained Pino.

V. The Influencer: Sedona Prince

Equity in women’s sport sometimes comes in small packages, like a 37-word statute (Title IX) or a 38-second TikTok video. Sedona Prince, then a redshirt sophomore forward for the University of Oregon’s women’s basketball team, noticed disparities between the weight rooms for the men’s and women’s “March Madness” tournaments (fun fact: the women’s tournament in 2021 was not even officially branded March Madness because that was against the rules). They sent a TikTok and tweet that amassed more than 13 million views, ignited outrage, and eventually resulted in the NCAA undertaking an equity audit.

The results of that investigation were damning.

Visible changes were made ahead of the 2022 NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, including equalizing the number of teams in the two tournaments, providing identical swag bags, equalizing pay for referees, and finally giving the women the right to use March Madness branding – something Prince celebrated by – how else? – posting a video to TikTok.

Of course, other systemic issues remain, like “the unit.” For every game a men’s basketball team won at the 2022 NCAA tournament, their conference received over $338,000. That money will be paid out in six years with a true value of $2.03 million. Women’s basketball teams, however, received nothing – not for making the tournament, not for winning a game, and not even for winning the NCAA title.

But thanks to Prince, disparities like these have become more visible. And her contributions are only more impressive because she managed to indict an organization that technically doesn’t even have to adhere to Title IX (the NCAA is not federally funded, while its member organizations are).

“My video was the first domino to fall and the wave it produced is still rolling,” Prince reflected to USA Today in a March 2022 essay. “What it also helped me realize is if we want change for women in sports, we have to demand it. Change is not going to come from the top. It has to start with us.”

VI. The Momentum-Maker: Justine Siegal

Justine Siegal is witnessing a watershed moment. While girls’ participation in sport has increased by nearly 1000% (thanks to sports like basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, swimming, tennis, golf and others with widespread support), many still consider a sport like baseball to be a “boys’ sport.”

That’s now how Siegal sees it, though.

Siegal grew up playing baseball. The most important advice she did not listen to came at 13 years old when her coach told to switch to softball because she was a girl. As she recalled, “It didn’t matter that I was one of the best players on the team, that I loved baseball, or that I practiced a lot more than any of my male friends. It only mattered that I was a girl.”

It’s a conversation too many girls still have, even though baseball and softball are different sports, requiring different skills, and Title IX requires schools offer girls the chance to try out in some circumstances.

“The day my youth baseball coach told me to quit was that day I decided to play baseball forever,” she told ESPN. She has made good on that promise to herself, making history many times over as the first woman to coach a professional men’s baseball team, to throw batting practice for an MLB team, and to coach for an MLB affiliated team.

It’s not just about her, though. As she is known to ask any chance she gets, “If you tell a girl she can’t play baseball, what else will she think she can’t do?”

Girls having access – and encouragement – to play baseball is a social justice issue that her nonprofit Baseball for All (BFA) has been tackling since 2010.

BFA started with a single all-girls team and now boasts players from 48 states and five countries that represent the organization in tournaments across the United States and compete against one another in the annual national tournament. Some of those players go on to play at the college varsity level on men’s teams, as a record six women did last year.

Others go on to take the field for their colleges in the newly launched Women’s College Club Baseball Championship. University of Washington took home the inaugural trophy in March 2022, but the proliferation of opportunity for girls and women to play baseball is the true victory.

Wherever they’re playing, Siegal and colleagues remind anyone who will listen, “When people ask, “Is that a girl?” Tell them it’s a baseball player.”

Sharp with the questions, Siegal wants to know: “More than 100,000 girls play youth baseball, but only 1,700 girls go on to play high school baseball. Their love of baseball – and their talent – didn’t just go away. So what happened to those other 99,000 players?”

VII. The Educator: Venkayla Haynes 

Venkayla Haynes is determined to stamp out gender-based violence, especially within marginalized communities. A survivor of abuse and assault, Haynes has spoken openly about how those experiences have shaped her work.

“I just felt like a lot of me was taken away,” she told The Nation. “What I wanted was for when I reported my freshman year was for me to be relieved, for me to be taken care of, and for my Title IX rights not to be violated.”

As an alumna of Spelman, a historically black women’s college, she personally confronted the added complexities Black survivors of sexual assault face, “We always come to these situations where we can’t come forward because we want to protect Black men or protect our Black brothers because they’re already fighting against a system that further criminalizes them.”

The importance of centering and supporting Black women, LGBTQ+ survivors, undocumented immigrants, and those with disabilities shines through in her work to teach college students their rights under Title IX. “Our understanding of sexual violence and survivorship needs to be intersectional, expansive, and continue to evolve,” she wrote for Forbes.

Specifically, she emphasizes connecting marginalized survivors with organizations that intentionally focus on their community. In addition to partnering with universities – including HBCUs— Haynes has collaborated with the Biden Foundation, ItsOnUs, and Know Your IX.

VIII. The Full Circle Legacies: Ginny Gilder and Ann Meyers Drysdale

While women’s pro sports don’t fall under the protection of Title IX, some of the law’s first beneficiaries – including Ginny Gilder and Ann Meyers Drysdale – have ensured that the intentionality of the legislation continues when athletes graduate from college.

Just two years after Title IX was signed into law, Meyers was among the first women to receive an athletic scholarship. At UCLA, the California native was a four-time All-American basketball player. She also knows the legislation still hasn’t lived up to its full potential.

“Fifty years later after Title IX, we know that a lot of schools – the majority of schools – are not in compliance with Title IX,” Meyers Drysdale said on the new NBC Sports podcast Hardwood Herstory. “But it’s become the calling card of women’s sports.”

A year after graduating from UCLA, she became the first (and still only) woman to sign an NBA contract. She didn’t make the team – but her time in professional basketball was just getting started. She was the first woman to work an NBA broadcast for one of the three major networks and when the WNBA launched in 1997, NBC approached Meyers Drysdale to serve as their main analyst. She worked as a broadcaster for a decade, before joining the Phoenix Mercury as a General Manager and leading the franchise two its first two WNBA championships. Today Meyers Drysdale serves as a VP for the Mercury and their NBA counterpart the Suns.

Four years after Title IX’s passage, Ginny Gilder and her Yale rowing teammates were still afterthoughts. Most glaring: while the men took hot showers after practice, the women’s boathouse didn’t accommodate showers, so they sat on the bus waiting for the men.

Yes, even in the dead of winter.

When enough was enough, 19 team members marched into the athletic director’s office, stripped out of their sweats to reveal their bodies naked except for “TITLE IX” handwritten in marker across their backs and chests, and read a statement with a now-memorialized first line: “These are the bodies that Yale is exploiting.”

The demonstration paid near-immediate dividends – and set a template of teamwork for Gilder to follow years later. In 2008, Gilder and business partners Dawn Trudeau and Lisa Brummel bought the Seattle Storm in order to keep the team in Seattle.

New Seattle Storm Owners Attend Press Conference
The Seattle Storm ownership group of Anne Levinson, Dawn Trudeau, Lisa Brummel, and Ginny Gilder is introduced on January 8, 2008 (Photo by Terrence Vaccaro/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Seattle Storm has won three WNBA championships under their leadership and revolutionized what community impact could mean when they became the first sports team to partner with Planned Parenthood.

“It’s probably not a tremendous coincidence that I’m now part of the ownership group of the Seattle Storm of the WNBA,” said Gilder in 2012. “After the [Title IX] protest I learned an important lesson: Don’t take no for an answer. Don’t let people tell you your dreams can’t come true.”

IX. The Young Activist: Rebekah Bruesehoff

As a 10-year-old in 2017, Rebekah Bruesehoff took to the New Jersey streets. With purple hair pulled back, slim jeans, a pink coat and matching shoes, she carried a sign: “I’m the SCARY TRANSGENDER person the MEDIA WARNED you about.”

In the years since, the legislation attacking trans kids – and trans girls in particular – has only become more vicious. In fact, in a hate-fueled turn of events, fifty years post-Title IX, nearly all legislation around girls’ and women’s sports focuses on exclusion – rather than inclusion.

Now 15 years old, Bruesehoff’s voice has only grown louder. She’s passionate about field hockey and knows that the laws banning trans girls from sport hurt trans girls and cis girls alike. That’s not a future she’s willing to accept, leading her to share her story as part of the Human Rights Campaign’s efforts to protect trans girls’ right to sport. She’s also testified in support of laws that require schools to include the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ people in the curriculum.

If Title IX’s greatest legacy has been its evolution to protect gender equity in all its forms, Bruesehoff, her family and friends are well poised for the fight.

It’s simple for Rebekah: “This is so important to me because I would believe that everyone deserves access to be part of their school community. And that means being in sports.”

There is much to celebrate as Title IX turns fifty – and many more than nine (or so) to thank for the progress made thus far.

There’s also more to fight for. There are still fewer girls playing sports today (50 years after Title IX) than there were boys playing sports when Title IX was passed. And though Title IX has changed the game for countless girls across the country, the progress has been unequal: girls of color still have just one-third the number of sports opportunities as white boys.

The gift of this anniversary then is to simultaneously celebrate and commit to a brighter future. To advocate and act. To chart a path forward by looking back.

Risa Isard is a writer, consultant, and expert in the intersection of sports, gender, LBGTQ+ and social issues. She is a Research Fellow with the Laboratory for Inclusion and Diversity in Sport at the University of Massachusetts, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in the McCormack Department of Sport Management in the Isenberg School of Business. She has also written for espnW, Quartz, AdWeek, and Global Sport Matters. Follow her on Twitter @RisaLovesSports.

On Her Turf editor Alex Azzi contributed to this report. 

Justine Wong-Orantes’ atypical path to becoming one of the best liberos in the world

Justine Wong-Orantes hits the ball in the women's semi-final volleyball match between USA and Serbia during the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Getty Images

It’s been 20 years since the same nation held both the Olympic and world volleyball titles at the same time, but libero Justine Wong-Orantes is looking to help lead Team USA accomplish that very feat at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands and Poland. Competition began on Friday and the U.S. is currently 2-0 after group play wins against Kazakhstan and Canada.

“We’re trying to win, for sure,” Wong-Orantes told On Her Turf. “I think, especially with the new turn of the program and the new year of the quad, we just have a really nice blend of veterans and also newcomers on the team.”

The 14-woman roster for Team USA, which is ranked No. 1 in the world and won its first Olympic title last summer, features six players from that gold-medal-winning team. And while Wong-Orantes is among the 2021 U.S. Olympic team veterans, she’s still a relative newcomer to international play.

The Southern California native enjoyed a notable junior career – she was 12 when she became the youngest female to ever earn an AAA rating in beach volleyball – and was a standout collegian at Nebraska, where she was a member of the 2015 NCAA championship team. But Wong-Orantes followed a different path upon graduation, initially choosing not to go overseas to play professionally.

While she was first selected for the U.S. national team in 2016 and played a handful of international tournaments in the following years, it wasn’t until she started playing professionally in Germany in 2019 that she saw the potential to elevate her position on the roster. In particular, the pandemic-delayed Tokyo Olympics gave her an additional year of overseas experience, which she calls “a blessing in disguise.”

“I just felt like I was still in that developmental stage,” she said. “And a whole year postponement allowed me to go overseas and really get all the touches, all the repetitions, and just kind of expose myself to international volleyball another year. So I was, in hindsight, pretty thankful for that COVID season because I got an extra year under my belt, and I think that just gave me a ton of confidence.”

Ahead of the Olympics, Wong-Orantes earned “best libero” honors at the 2021 FIVB Volleyball National League in Rimini, Italy, which helped secure her spot on the Olympic roster. In Tokyo, she followed up with another standout performance and was named best libero of the Olympic tournament.

As to how the Wong-Orantes transformed into one of the world’s top liberos, she points to her background as a beach volleyball player. She began competing at age 8, and her first partner was Sara Hughes, a star on the AVP Pro Tour who also won two NCAA titles with USC.

“I think having that background and just the court awareness that beach volleyball forces you to have allowed me to really have a good read on the game,” said Wong-Orantes. “I think that’s what makes a great libero is just reading and always being reactive towards the ball.”

Wong-Orantes also credits the assistance of mental coach Sue Enquist, a former UCLA softball coach and U.S. national team coach, who now helps teams work on their culture and relationships. Enquist began working with the U.S. volleyball team during the pandemic and has continued in her role ever since.

“We just worked on a lot of stuff within ourselves, within our program, how to communicate with each other off the court, and I think that honestly propelled us into such a high, high level with how we worked with each other, and then that transferred onto the court,” explained Wong-Orantes, who noted the team has Enquist on speed dial while at the World Championship. “I really commend Sue. I just really give a lot of praise to her because I think our culture was never bad, but I think [she] just transformed into a different level.”

2022-09-26 - FIVB Volleyball Womens World Championship 2022 - Day 4
ARNHEM, NETHERLANDS – Justine Wong-Orantes (far right) poses for a photo with her U.S. teammates after defeating Canada at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship on September 26, 2022. (Photo by Rene Nijhuis/Orange Pictures/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Wong-Orantes said she and her U.S. teammates are on their toes for the world championships, which features twice as many teams (24) as the Olympics and a “more grueling” format.

“It’s going to be a long tournament, and I think we’re really going to need all 14 of us that are here. I’m pretty certain that, at any given moment, someone’s going to be called on and someone’s going to need to step up in big moments.”

2022 Ascendant LPGA: How to watch, who’s playing in Texas’s annual signature event

Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand hits her second shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.
Getty Images

The LPGA make its annual stop in The Colony, Texas, this week for the 10th edition of the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America, where Thailand’s 19-year-old rookie Atthaya Thitikul comes in hot off her second career win and second playoff victory this season at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship.

Leading the 132-player field at Old American Golf Club, located at Golf Clubs at The Tribute, are Texas residents and past champions Cheyenne Knight and Angela Stanford. They’ll compete for the $1.7 million prize purse alongside major champions Nelly KordaLydia Ko and Brooke Henderson. Last year’s Ascendant LPGA champion, world No. 1 Jin Young Ko, will not be defending her title after announcing earlier this month she would be missing several weeks due to a nagging wrist injury.

This past weekend in Arkansas, Thitikul took the lead with a 10-under 61 in the second round and shot 68 in the final round to finish regulation tied with Danielle Kang at 17-under 196. Thitikul, who won the JTBC Classic in March in a two-hole playoff vs. Nanna Koerstz Madsen, drained an 8-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to secure the win over Kang.

How to watch the 2022 Ascendant LPGA 

Coverage of the 2022 Ascendant LPGA from Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas, can be found on Golf Channel, with streaming options available any time on any mobile device and online through NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Friday, Sept. 30: 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Saturday, Oct. 1: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel
  • Sunday, Oct. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET, Golf Channel

Who’s playing in the 2022 Ascendant LPGA

Six of the top 10 players in the Rolex World Rankings are among the field in Texas, including:

  • No. 2 Nelly Korda
  • No. 4 Lydia Ko
  • No. 5 Atthaya Thitikul
  • No. 6 Brooke Henderson
  • No. 7 Lexi Thompson
  • No. 10 Nasa Hataoka

A number of local Texans also are in the tournament, headlined by past champions, Angela Stanford (2020) and Cheyenne Knight (2019), and two junior champions of the Volunteers of America Classic Girls Championship, who are playing on a sponsor exemption: Yunxuan (Michelle) Zhang (2022), a freshman at SMU, and Avery Zweig (2021), a high school sophomore from McKinney, Texas.

Past five champions of The Ascendant LPGA

2021 Jin Young Ko (South Korea) 16-under 268 1 stroke Matilda Castren
2020 Angela Stanford (USA) 7-under 277 2 strokes So Yeon Ryu, Inbee Park, Yealimi Noh
2019 Cheyenne Knight (USA) 18-under 266 2 strokes Brittany Altomare, Jaye Marie Green
2018 Sung Hyun Park (South Korea) 11-under 131 1 stroke Lindy Duncan
2017 Haru Nomura (Japan) 3-under 281 Playoff Christie Kerr

Last time at The Ascendant LPGA

South Korea’s Jin Young Ko carded a final-round 69 to maintain her 54-hole lead at Old American Golf Club and held on for a one stroke win at the 2021 Volunteers of America Classic, her eighth career LPGA tour title. Ko finished regulation at 16-under 268, edging Finland’s Matilda Castren by one stroke.

It kicked off a five-win season for Ko, who had just lost her No. 1 ranking to Nelly Korda the week prior after holding the top spot for 100 straight weeks. She regained the No. 1 ranking back in October 2021, after earning her fourth win in seven starts at the BMW Ladies Championship.

More about Old American Golf Club

Opened in 2010, the Old American Golf Club is one of two clubs at The Tribute, a lakefront resort community on Lewisville Lake in The Colony, Texas. Designed by Tripp Davis and 12-time PGA Tour winner Justin Leonard, Old American plays as a Par 71 and stretches to 6,475 yards on the tournament scorecard.