Marianne Li of Bellevue, Wash. won the 23rd Washington State Women’s Amateur, Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C. won the 7th Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur, Lisa Smego of Olympia, Wash. won the 17th Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur and Karen Madison of East Wenatchee, Wash. won the 3rd Washington State Super Senior Women’s Amateur.
The four championships were held concurrently at Sunland Golf & Country Club in Sequim, Wash. and were conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA). The Women’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur championships were contested over 54 holes of stroke play, while the Senior and Super Senior championships consisted of 36 holes of stroke play.
Li came from behind in today’s final round to win by two shots over second-place finisher Lauren Atkinson of Bow, Wash. The outcome was decided when Atkinson double-bogeyed the par-4 16th and Li birdied the par-3 17th.
“It was great to play in the final group with Lauren,” Li said. “I didn’t have my ‘A’ game and was shaky off the tee and on the greens, but I grinded hard out there and played smart.” Li’s 25-foot birdie putt on 17 came after Atkinson’s birdie attempt missed.
Li just finished her freshman year playing for the University of California-Berkeley, and qualified as an individual for last month’s NCAA Women’s Championship, held at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.
Li was the top-ranked junior golfer in Washington while at Newport High School, qualifying for five USGA national championships and winning the 2014 Pacific Northwest Junior PGA Championship. She was a semifinalist in the 2012 Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur, which was also held at Sunland G&CC. She now joins an elite list of past champions of the Washington State Women’s Amateur – Paige Mackenzie (2002), Erynne Lee (2011), Jimin Kang (1999), and Kelli Kamimura (2001), among others.
Murdoch also came from behind to win the Mid-Amateur by three shots over Shawn Farmer of Renton, Wash. and Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash. Folsom has won this championship in 2012 and 2013.
“I must say this is quite a bit of a surprise to me, given the strength of the other players in the field,” Murdoch said. The momentum changed in the final round at the ninth hole. “I pushed my drive into the trees,” she said, “and then I actually skipped my second shot across the water, then chipped onto the green and sank a 40-footer for a par, and I thought, ‘Well, okay, you’re still in this thing, so let’s keep plugging away.'”
Murdoch was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame in 2013. She is a five-time PNGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year. She has twice won the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur (2010, 2014).
In the Senior Women’s Amateur, Smego sank a 20-foot par putt on the first playoff hole for the win.
This is the fourth title in this championship for Smego, having previously won in 2006, 2007 and 2013. She has also twice won the Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur (2010 and 2011).
“I’d been having some back problems,” Smego said, “but my good friend Ginny (Burkey) was nagging me to come up and play. So I came up (to Sequim) and stayed together. I had a pretty good week, but I can’t say that anyone played particularly well today; I’m not sure why, because the course was set up fairly, but the scores just weren’t out there today.”
Paired with Kathy Provazek-Ross of Mercer Island, Wash. in the final round, Smego said she knew she was close to the lead in the end, and was offered to be told what the scores were while playing the last few holes. “But I declined,” she said. “I knew Kathy was playing well on the back nine, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that she and I were in the playoff.”
Smego defeated Provazek-Ross in the playoff, after Kathy had bogeyed the par-5 18th hole in the final round to fall into a tie with Lisa.
Madison was the only player in the Super Senior Women’s field to break 80 in both rounds, and found herself seven shots clear of second-place finisher Carol Dick of Lakewood, Wash. who had won this championship in 2014.
“Well, this is a great event,” Madison said. “It’s a great opportunity for those of us over 65 to be able to compete in it, so thanks to the WSGA for this. (Sunland) is a beautiful course, the greens were very fast.”
Madison had only played the course just once prior to the championship, in the practice round. “I didn’t hit very many greens in regulation,” she said, “but I did chip and putt pretty well, and I hit a lot of fairways, which is important on a course like this.”
Last year, Madison won the Pacific Northwest Super Senior Women’s Amateur, on her way to earning the 2015 WSGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year honors.
2016 Women’s Mid-Amateur – More Results