The PGA of America has elected its first female officer in the organization's history. Suzy Whaley, a former LPGA golfer, will likely become the first female president of the PGA in 2018.
The PGA elected Whaley during the PGA's annual meeting in Indianapolis. Whaley received 52.63 percent of the vote, Russ Libby got 33.33 percent and Michael Haywood 14.04 percent in the secretary's race.
''It's an incredibly special day for me, my family, the Connecticut section and our members,'' Whaley said. ''Our association has a long-term strategic plan and I'm excited to part of implementing that plan. We have so many opportunities to bring diverse groups into the game, that's what I'm excited about.''
According to a report by the AP, in 2016, Whaley will become vice president, then serve a two-year term as president and two more years as honorary president. The positions are voted on, but are considered to be a technicality.
Whaley's election drew rave reviews from those in attendance. Reports say that she even forgot to insert her own name into the oath during the swearing-in ceremony, she was so overwhelmed.
I am so proud to be a PGA member and so honored to serve all of you," she said as her voice cracked.
Derek Sprague will take over as president and Paul Levy as vice president. Allen Wronowski received a two-year extension as honorary president to fill the void left by ousted president Ted Bishop.
"I think it's great to have a woman in a national leadership position because I think it opens the door for women in other leadership positions," Sprague said. "It can only inspire other women to get into leadership positions."
Whaley was the first woman in 58 years to qualify for a PGA Tour event when she qualified for the 2003 Greater Hartford Open. She played on the LPGA Tour in 1993 and is an LPGA Teaching and Club Professional.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.