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PNGA Player of the Year Ellie Slama wins Oregon Women’s Amateur; Ziegler defeats Tibbits in Men’s final

Bend, Ore. (June 23, 2018) – Robbie Ziegler (Portland, Ore.) and Ellie Slama (Salem, Ore.) won their respective titles at the 109th Oregon Amateur Championship, while Lara Tennant (Portland, Ore.) won her second-consecutive Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur title on Saturday, June 23. Both events were held concurrently this week at Bend Golf Club in Bend, Ore.

The Men’s and Women’s Championship matches consisted of 36-holes, while the Senior Women’s final match was 18-holes.

Slama was named PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016, Tibbits earned the Junior Boy’s honor in 2016. Senior Women’s champion Lara Tennant is the reigning PNGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year.

Ziegler, 28, defeated Spencer Tibbits (Vancouver, Wash.), rising sophomore at Oregon State University, by a final score of 2&1. The match was going in Tibbits’ favor early on, as the 19-year old shot a 3-under 33 on the first nine and was 3-up after 14 holes. Ziegler responded, birdieing the par-3 15th and the par-5 18th to cut the Tibbits lead to 1-up after the first 18 holes.

Oregon Men’s Amateur champion Robbie Ziegler
(All photos courtesy of Oregon Golf Association)

On the third nine, both players shot even-par, going back-and-forth between a 1-up lead for Tibbits and an all-square match. Ziegler leveled the match with a birdie on the par-5 11th, and took his first lead of the day with a birdie on the par-4 14th. He took a 2-up lead on the next hole, then parred the 16th and 17th holes to clinch his 2&1 victory.

“I made a few birdies coming down the stretch, he [Tibbits] made a bogey here and there and the rest is history,” said Ziegler. “He played awesome. Hats off to him. I’m glad he could let an old guy win because he’s so good. He’s going to win a lot of these going forward.”

“Every match, every day is different. Whatever you have that day, you’ve got to play with it and see what happens, so I’m glad I came out on top. I’m super fortunate and pretty thankful that it went my way.”

Ziegler is a former star golfer at the University of Oregon, who previously won the Oregon Junior Amateur in 2006.

In the Women’s Amateur final, Slama, the rising sophomore from Oregon State, played against Jessica Young (Wedderburn, Ore.), the recent graduate of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Slama led 1-up for most of the first 18 holes until down the stretch. Entering the 16th hole all-square, the 19-year old birdied the par-4 16th and won the 17th and 18th with pars, taking a 3-up lead into the second 18.

Oregon Women’s Amateur champion Ellie Slama

Young, 23, made her move beginning on the third nine. She got within 1-up after the 7th hole (the 25th hole played), and finally leveled the match after a birdie on the par-3 12th. Slama again took a 1-up lead, only for Young to tally another birdie – one of eight she made on the second 18 – to take the match back to all-square after their 33rd hole played.

Slama, however, finished strong, birdieing the par-4 16th hole to take a 1-up lead, and winning the match, 2&1, with a par on the 17th.

“It’s amazing,” said Slama. “The Oregon Golf Association puts on great tournaments, and to able to say that I’ve won both the [Oregon Junior Amateur] and Women’s Amateur is really, really special to me.”

Slama won the Oregon Junior Amateur Championship twice, in 2015 and 2017.

The Senior Women’s Championship came down to Tennant, the 2017 champion, and newcomer Sandy Cameron (Redmond, Ore.), the No. 1 seed who earned medalist honors on Wednesday. Tennant was on fire out of the gate on Saturday, tallying two birdies on her front nine and jumping out to a 4-up lead after nine holes.

Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur champion Lara Tennant

Cameron, from nearby Redmond, continued to fight back, halving the next three holes with pars and the par-4 13th with a bogey. However, she wasn’t able to gain any ground on Tennant, and the defending champion won her match 5&4 with a birdie on No. 14.

Tennant, the 2017 OGA Women’s Golfer of the Year, has had monumental success the past two years. She’s now won back-to-back Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur titles and Oregon Women’s Mid-Amateur Championships. Earlier this month, the 51-year-old qualified for the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open, taking place later this summer.

In the Flight I Championship of the Senior Women’s Amateur, Susie Hammitt (Cincinnati, Ohio) defeated Barbara Walley (Bend, Ore.), 4&3.

About The Oregon Golf Association (OGA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit membership association. Founded in 1924, the OGA was originally established with the sole purpose of conducting the Oregon Amateur Championship. Since its founding, the OGA works tirelessly to promote, foster and grow the game of golf providing a multitude of benefits and services to approximately 40,000 individual men, women, senior, and junior members at over 270 member golf clubs and 190 golf courses throughout Oregon and SW Washington.