At the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball being held this week on the Pacific Dunes course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C. and Shawn Farmer of Bellevue, Wash. have paired up to play in the inaugural national championship.
The pair had qualified last August for the championship, combining for a round of 2-under par 70 at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
Arriving at Bandon Dunes a few days ago to play a practice prior to the start of the championship, Proteau, the three-time defending PNGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, hadn’t played a single round of golf since December 2014, when she gave birth to her first child. “I was under doctor’s orders not to play,” she said. “I had strained myself playing a lot of golf last fall (during the final months of her pregnancy), and my doctor told me not to swing a club for a while.” Her first round of golf in five months was last Thursday, her first practice round for this championship.
“I’m exhausted,” said Proteau, with a smile.
Farmer and Proteau met at the 2012 PNGA Cup, held that year at Gorge Vale Golf Club in Victoria on Vancouver Island. “We were competing against each other at the PNGA Cup,” said Proteau, who had been selected to play for the British Columbia Golf Association team, while Farmer had been selected for the Washington State Golf Association team. Both players were competing in the women’s mid-amateur division.
Prior to trying to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball, the two had never played together as partners. “It was kind of a mutual agreement,” said Farmer, when asked who asked who to be partner-up in trying to qualify. “I went up to (B.C.) to practice with her a couple times,” Farmer said. “And we played in a local team event at her home course.” But that was it.
Along with being selected to compete in the PNGA Cup (in 2012 and 2013), Farmer is also no stranger to competing in national championships, having been a qualifying medalist for the 2012 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
Proteau has also competed, and competed well, in a national championship, making it to the quarterfinal round of the 2014 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur – all while being six months pregnant. Her finish in that championship has exempted her into the 2015 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, to be held Oct. 3-8 in Choudrant, La.
Have either of them played links golf before? “No,” said Farmer breaking into a grin, after finishing the first round of stroke-play qualifying on the Pacific Dunes course. “It’s great.”
Follow along with live scoring of the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at www.usga.org.