Mariah Stackhouse on meeting idol Renee Powell: 'She's one of my biggest inspirations'

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. - Mariah Stackhouse met her idol Renee Powell after her final round on Sunday at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.

Powell was the second Black woman ever to play on the LPGA and is currently head professional at her family's Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio. Clearview is the first golf course in the U.S. that was built, owned and operated by an African-American.

“For kids, for minorities in the sport, she's one of my biggest inspirations, and I always say that,” Stackhouse said Wednesday before the Women’s PGA. “I recognize everything that she endured through her time at the LPGA to make my experience so much better and a lot easier than it would have been for herself.”

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When Powell was a rookie on the LPGA, she received death threats from people who did not want to see a Black woman playing golf and was often denied entry to stay inside the official tournament hotels. 

“I had met Mariah’s mother before, but I’ve never met Mariah and the videos Mariah has done have been so impressive,” Powell said, referring to Stackhouse’s #DriveOn story.

“Her feeling of everything came out and the words she used,” Powell continued. “To see her, I felt like I knew her already but to be able to embrace her and to thank her too for what she is doing to take things forward, so I think we have a mutual admiration.”

KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Full-field scores | Full coverage

Stackhouse is a graduate of Stanford University and a four-year All-American. She became the youngest African-American woman to earn a spot in the field at the U.S. Open. In 2014, she became the first African-American woman to make the Curtis Cup team, which the U.S. won that year.

She started in the final group at the 2019 ShopRite LPGA Classic before finishing T-5, a career-best. Stackhouse shot 2-under 70 in the final round of the Women's PGA.