A total of 43 players took part in the opening round of stroke play qualifying at Olympia Country & Golf Club, in Olympia, Washington, all with their hopes set on capturing the 59th Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship. After both shot rounds of even-par 72, it was Naomi Ko of Victoria, B.C. and Alisha Lau of Richmond, B.C. who claimed co-medalist honors, besting the rest of the field by 3 strokes. Ko got hot on the backside when she birdied three of her last five holes coming in to get back to even par. Lau made an impressive seven birdies on the day, including a stretch of four consecutive beginning at the difficult uphill 5th. She made the turn at 3-under, and again found herself there after consecutive birdies on holes 14 and 15. Unfortunately, she would play the remaining holes at 3-over par and finish tied with Ko.
The cut to qualify for the 16-player championship flight fell at 9-over par 81, with the remainder of the field being placed in flights of 8. Match play begins tomorrow morning at 8:00am with the championship flight playing first.
The rich history of the PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship has included past champions and PNGA Hall of Famers, Jo Ann Washam, Peggy Conley, Joan Edwards-Powell, Mary Budke, and JoAnne Gunderson-Carner. Other past champions include LPGA Tour Players Paige Mackenzie and Jimin Kang.