Brittany Kwon of Bremerton, Wash. defeated Marianne Li of Bellevue, Wash. 1-up in the final match to win the 59th Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship, which was held this week at Olympia (Wash.) Country & Golf Club and conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Kwon, 13, birdied the par-5 18th to win the hole and the match over Li, who had won the 17th hole to square the match. At no time during the tightly-contested 18-hole match did either player have more than a 1-up lead.
When asked how it feels to win the championship, Kwon said, “It feels real good. It was fun playing with Marianne.”
With the match all square entering the 18th hole, both players hit their tee shots under some trees and both had to punch out. Kwon then hit her approach to within four feet of the hole while Li’s shot rolled through the green. Kwon rolled in her putt to seal the win.
Kwon has made it past the local qualifier of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship and will compete in the subregional qualifier later this month. Watch Kwon’s post-round interview here.
Both players had easily won their semifinal matches the day before to reach today’s final match. Li had won the final five holes to close out her match against Alisha Lau of Richmond, B.C. to win 6 and 5, while Kwon birdied four of the last six holes in her match against Michelle Kim of Surrey, B.C. to win 4 and 3.
For Li, this is the second time she has made it to the final match in this championship and finished runner-up. In 2012, she lost the final match to Jordan Ferreira of University Place, when the championship was held at Sunland Golf & Country Club in Sequim, Wash. Li, who attends Bellevue’s Newport High School, has already committed to play golf for the University of California.
For complete final results, including match play brackets, please visit www.thepnga.org.
The rich history of the PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship has included past champions Jo Ann Washam, Peggy Conley, Joan Edwards-Powell, Mary Budke, and JoAnne Gunderson Carner, all of whom would later be inducted into the Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Fame after storied amateur and professional careers. Other past champions include current LPGA Tour players Paige Mackenzie and Jimin Kang.
The Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur is one of 16 regional championships conducted annually by the PNGA.