Bristol NH Crash Victim was standout Golfer and Retired LPGA Player
The woman who died in a head-on car crash on Route 3A on July 20 was a former All American golfer.
Bristol police have identified Margaret “Peggy” Kirsch, 60, of North Port, Fla., as the victim and are continuing to investigate what caused the accident that was reported at about 7:10 p.m.
Police said Kirsch was heading south in a white Cadillac sedan when she lost control on a curve and crossed into the opposite lane and struck an oncoming GMC Yukon.
While a resident of Florida, Kirsch spent the past four summers and falls giving golf lessons in New Hampshire.
Bristol Police Chief James McIntire said there is no indication Kirsch suffered a medical event. As is protocol in all fatal accidents, blood was drawn for toxicology testing, he said.
The woman’s family and friends told investigators they believe there may have been a mechanical issue with her 2001 model year car. Their theories ranged from a stuck accelerator to brake failure.
Investigators tried to download information from the car’s black box but it was so old it had not captured any data, according to McIntire.
The vehicle was damaged so extensively that it may be impossible to determine whether there were any mechanical problems before the crash.
While attending the University of Alabama on a golf scholarship Kirsch was a two-time runner up in the Minnesota Women’s State Amateur in 1978 and 1979. She graduated from Duluth East High School.
Kirsch went on to play in nine U.S. Women’s Open tournaments and competed on the LPGA Tour in the 1990s before suffering a career-ending achilles injury playing tennis. She became a golf pro in her native Minnesota and coached at Duluth Marshall and the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
In 1979, she was named an All American, a recognition that brought her accolades from University of Alabama football coach Bear Bryant and a standing ovation from 85,000 fans at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
In 1992, she set the record for the lowest nine-hole score in an LPGA tournament with 28 strokes at the Jamie Farr Classic in Toledo, Ohio.
According to her obituary, she loved golf and especially enjoyed teaching junior golf, which she was doing the day of her death.
Her motivational cheer for any student that successfully executed a shot was, “Don’t cha love it,” her obituary said.
She is survived by five brothers and three sisters.
Celebrations of life will be held on Aug. 22 at Pine Needles Golf Resort, Southern Pines, N.C., at 6 p.m. and on Sept. 22 at Ridgeview Country Club in Duluth, Minn., at 3 p.m.