Gabrielle Barker of Caldwell, Idaho cruised through her first two matches to advance into tomorrow’s quarterfinals of the 114th Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur, while several past champions of the 14th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur advance.
Barker was the medalist in the Women’s Amateur qualifying rounds, earning the No. 1 seed in the match play bracket. In the Women’s Mid-Amateur, Elston was the medalist in the qualifying rounds, which earned her a bye into tomorrow’s quarterfinals.
The two championships are being held concurrently at BanBury Golf Course in Eagle, Idaho, and are conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
The international field includes players representing California, Idaho, Oregon, Utah, Washington, British Columbia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
For tee times, match-play bracket results and to follow along with live scoring, visit www.thepnga.org.
Barker, who recently won the 2015 Idaho State Women’s Amateur for the second time (she also won it in 2013) and just finished her freshman year playing for the Texas Tech University women’s golf team, defeated Jessica Young of Wedderburn, Ore. in this morning’s Round of 32 match, 7 and 6; and in the afternoon’s Round of 16 she defeated Chelsea Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho, 4 and 3.
In other matches, two heavyweights were pitted against each other in this morning’s Round of 32, as Gigi Stoll of Tigard, Ore. faced Alivia Brown of Gig Harbor, Wash. Both players are on a roll this summer, with Stoll being the 2014 PNGA Women’s Player of the Year and repeating as champion of the Women’s Oregon Amateur a few weeks ago, and Brown winning the 2015 Washington State Women’s Amateur last month. In a steady match in which no player had more than a 1-up advantage, Stoll stood on the tee of the par-5 18th hole 1-down to Brown, needing to win the hole to extend the match. And she promptly did, with a birdie. The match went to extra holes, with Brown winning it on the 20th hole with a birdie of her own.
In something of an upset, Brooklyn Hocker of Provo, Utah defeated Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines, 1-up in this morning’s Round of 32. Superal is the reigning U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur, a win that exempted her into the 2014 and 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateurs. The match was all square after 14 holes, then Hocker birdied 15 and 16 for a 2-up lead and held on for the win. Hocker is a native of Idaho Falls who just finished her sophomore year playing on the women’s golf team at BYU.
The marathon winner of the championship so far is Bree Wanderscheid of Goldendale, Wash. The sophomore at Washington State University took 19 holes win her Round of 32 match against Lindsey Gullison of Tacoma, Wash., and 20 holes to win her Round of 16 match against Kristin Strankman of Richland, Wash.
In the Women’s Mid-Amateur, several past champions have advanced to tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Kareen Markle (2005, 2007, 2013) of Meridian, Idaho; Amanda Jacobs of Seattle, the defending champion; and Alison Murdoch (2006, 2008) of Victoria, B.C. all survived their Round of 16 matches. Murdoch’s win was the most impressive, as she came back from being 4-down after 10 holes against Georgia Hutchinson of Sun Valley, Idaho, rallying by winning four of the next five holes to tie, then winning the match on the 20th hole.
First held in 1899, the 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, and Betty Jean Hulteng, among others. Past champions also include many others who would later go on to the LPGA Tour, such as Jimin Kang, Peggy Conley, Ruth Jessen and Shirley Englehorn.
BanBury Golf Course is located just outside of Boise in Eagle, Idaho. The course has a long connection with the PNGA after hosting several PNGA championships, as well as the 2005 U.S. Girls’ Junior Amateur. The course’s architect, John Harbottle III, was the son of Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers, Dr. John and Patricia Harbottle.