Leilani Norman of Eugene, Ore. survived a three-way, four-hole playoff to capture the 29th Pacific Northwest Senior Women’s Amateur Championship. It took three playoff holes for Karen Madison of East Wenatchee, Wash. to win the 4th Pacific Northwest Super Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
The two championships were held concurrently at Everett (Wash.) Golf & Country Club, and were conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
Norman had briefly held the lead in today’s final round with a birdie on the short par-4 16th hole. She then bogeyed the par-4 17th and finished with a par on 18 and headed to a playoff with Ginny Burkey, also of Eugene, and Anita Wicks of Roseburg, Ore.
Norman had a chance to win on the second playoff hole but missed a 4-foot putt. Burkey, who earlier this summer had won the Pacific Northwest Women’s Senior Team and the Washington State Women’s Best-Ball (both with Lisa Smego as her partner) as well as the Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur before qualifying for the U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur, then bogeyed the third playoff hole to fall out of it. On the fourth playoff hole, Norman hit her approach shot on the par-4 to three feet and birdied the hole for the win.
“I know both of them (Burkey and Wicks) very well, we’ve played a lot of golf together,” Norman said. “So that made the playoff very interesting. It’s a shame there could only be one winner.” Because of the shotgun start, all the other players were finished and were watching the playoff in a sizable gallery, and were on hand to witness Norman’s final shot that would win the playoff. “I couldn’t see where the ball ended up,” said Norman of her approach that ended next to the hole. “We were down in the fairway. But I heard the applause.”
Norman caps a great summer season in which she also won the Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur and also was the qualifying medalist in advancing to play in last week’s U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur. “It’s been a fantastic year,” she said. “With today’s win, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.” Norman had finished tied for second in last year’s championship.
Wicks began today’s final round tied for the lead, but shot 6-over par on the front nine. She then shot even-par on the back nine to make it into the playoff.
Madison won the Super Senior Women’s Amateur on the third playoff hole over Sharon Drivstuen of Mukilteo, Wash., who was playing on her home course. Madison had bogeyed the final hole of regulation to fall into a tie with Drivstuen.
“Nobody’s more surprised than I am,” said Madison of today’s victory. “Sharon had me on both the first two playoff holes but she couldn’t get the ball to go in the hole. So, yes, I’m very surprised.” Earlier this summer, Madison had won the Washington State Senior Women’s Champion of Champions. “Lots of lessons and hitting a lot of balls on the driving range,” she said of her success this summer. Prior to both rounds of this championship, Madison was the first one on the driving range, hitting balls. “The whole experience of playing in this event is great,” she said. “Really good players come from all over the region to play in it, and it’s great to see everyone.”