Lewiston (Idaho) Golf & Country Club is set to host the most talented female amateur golfers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond for the 113th Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur and 13th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships, which will be conducted concurrently by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) on July 7-11.
The women’s amateur championship begins with 36 holes of stroke-play qualifying held on July 7-8, followed by a cut to the low 32 players who will advance to single elimination match play.
This year’s field is headlined by several notable contenders, including defending champion Jennifer Ha of Calgary, Alta. Ha just finished her junior year at Kent State University, where she was the 2013 Mid-American Conference Golfer of the Year. She is a member of the Canadian National Team.
Challenging Ha this year will be Aaren Ziegler of Canby, Ore. who won this championship in 2011 and will be a senior in the fall playing for the University of Wisconsin; Jordan Ferreira of University Place, Wash. who won the 2012 PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur and was named the 2012 WSGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year, and who two weeks ago won the Washington Women’s State Amateur; Alivia Brown of Gig Harbor, Wash., a former high school teammate of Ferreira who finished second to Ferreira in the recent Women’s State Amateur; Tyler Barker of Caldwell, Idaho, who earlier this year won her second consecutive Idaho Women’s Four-Ball State Championship, teaming with her sister, Gabrielle; Cali Hipp of Caldwell, Idaho, the 2008 Idaho Women’s State Amateur champion who just finished her junior year at the University of Oregon; and Kendall Gray of Federal Way, Wash., the reigning Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur champion who has qualified for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship to be held July 14-19, the second year in a row she has qualified for that championship.
First held in 1899, Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur Championship is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. Past champions include Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers who made up the Golden Age of female golfers in the Northwest such as Joanne Gunderson Carner, Jo Ann Washam, Pat Lesser Harbottle, Edean Ihlanfeldt, Violet Pooly Sweeney, Marcia Fisher, Betty Jean Hulteng, among others. Past champions also include many who would later go on to the LPGA Tour, such as Jimin Kang, Peggy Conley, Ruth Jessen and Shirley Englehorn.
In the Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, Kareen Markle of Meridian, Idaho will return to defend her title. Markle is coming off a remarkable 2013 in which she also won the IGA Women’s Match Play and the IGA Women’s Mid-Amateur and qualified for both the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur championships. She was named the 2013 PNGA Senior Women’s Co-Player of the Year. Markle has won this championship three times (also winning it in 2005 and 2007).
Lisa Smego of Olympia, Wash. was the other Senior Women’s Co-Player of the Year for 2013, and will be challenging Markle for the title this week. Smego was the medalist in qualifying for last year’s U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur.
Also in the field is Amanda Jacobs of Seattle, who finished runner-up in last year’s championship, losing the final match 1-up to Markle.