by Brad Ziemer, British Columbia Golf
The Oregon Golf Association (OGA) held serve during the second day’s singles matches to win the 11th PNGA Cup, held at Richmond (B.C.) Country Club. After the first day’s play, the OGA held a one-point lead over the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA), and both teams notched seven points during the singles matches, with the OGA finishing on top by a single point, 14.5 to the WSGA’s 13.5. British Columbia Golf (BCG) finished at 10.5 while the Idaho Golf Association (IGA) finished at 9.5.
This is the sixth title for the OGA, having previously won in 2006, ’07, ’10, ’11 and ’12.
The PNGA Cup was created in 2006 by past PNGA President Dr. Jack Lamey as a way of continuing the friendship and partnership of the region’s allied associations under the PNGA umbrella – BCG, the IGA, OGA and WSGA.
Each association sends 12 of their finest amateur golfers, eight men and four women, to compete in the annual Ryder Cup-style competition, which includes four-ball and foursome matches the first day and singles matches on the second and final day.
For a complete roster of this year’s PNGA Cup participants for all four associations, click here.
For complete final coverage, including results of all matches, please click here.
Oregon held a one-point lead leading into Friday’s singles competition and hung onto it, thanks in no small part to the contributions of Kate Harper and Brie Stone.
Harper and Stone played together on Thursday and swept their four-ball and foursomes matches. And on Friday, they both won their singles matches in convincing fashion.
Stone beat Abby Black of Idaho 4 and 2, while Harper defeated Kareen Markle of Idaho 5 and 3. Harper and Brie collected six of Oregon’s 14.5 points.
“We played well together,” Stone said of her pairing with Harper. “We’re a good team, we had lots of fun, and it was nice for us both to win our singles matches today.”
“You just kind of go out and take care of your own business and hope everybody else does the same,” added Harper. “It was a great golf course and the weather was good, although there was some wind.”
“They were huge,” Oregon captain Brent Whittaker said of Stone and Harper. “We always talk about if our women and senior men can play well, we’ll do well as a team. We have had our chances the last couple of years, but it seems like we have always fallen short. So this is a sweet victory.”
Washington, which staged a spirited defense of its title, won last year at Columbia Edgewater Country Club in Portland, and was led by Bellingham’s Jake Koppenberg, who went 3-0 in his matches.
It looked like British Columbia, which began the day two points back, might make a run when Kelowna’s Norm Bradley and Burnaby’s John Gallacher both won their early singles matches.
Gallacher registered a 1-up win over Idaho’s Jay Sutton, while Bradley beat Oregon’s Dan Pickens 2 and 1. The victories were sweet as Gallacher and Bradley were teamed together on Thursday and lost both of their opening-day matches.
“After not bringing in any points yesterday, we knew if we could both win we’d have two of a possible four points and we’d at least salvage something,” Bradley said.
Port Alberni’s Christina Proteau and Craig Doell of Victoria also won singles matches for B.C. on Friday. Alison Murdoch of Victoria and Lance Lundy of Pemberton halved their singles matches.
Doell had an impressive week, capturing 2.5 of a possible three points. He got off to a hot start on Friday when he birdied his first three holes to take control of his match with Darren Kuhn of Idaho. He eventually won 2 and 1.
“I played reasonably well and helped the team out,” Doell said. “I was happy with the results. They were good.”
But Doell and so many of the other competitors noted the PNGA Cup is about more than winning. There is great camaraderie among the players, who enjoy the match play format.
“There are a lot of familiar faces who we have battled with over the years,” said Doell, who has played in 10 of the 11 PNGA Cups. “And it’s nice to play match play, which we don’t see very often because most of the tournaments are stroke play.”
“We have made friendships with people from all of the other teams over the years,” added Stone of the winning Oregon squad. “It is a great time to get together. It is a lot of fun.”
Even more when you win.