Match play began today with Round of 16 matches at the 58th Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship being held at The Links Golf Club in Post Falls, Idaho. In a rare match play occurrence, the first round saw the higher seeded player win every match, as the top 8-seeded girls all moved on to the Quarterfinals.
Stroke-play qualifying medalist Aleana Groenhout of Redmond, Wash. made two birdies on the day as she advanced with a 4 and 2 victory over Celia Beyke of Federal Way, Wash. No. 2 seed Kathy Lim of Langley, B.C. survived a scare from her good friend Lauren Rutherglen of Kelowna, B.C. with a 1 up victory. In the match, Rutherglen took an early 4-up lead through five holes but Lim battled back making three birdies, nine pars and just a lone bogey over the final 13 holes to prevail on the 18th green.
Tomorrow’s upper bracket Quarterfinal matches will feature Groenhout against Kendall Gray of Federal Way, Wash. and Annie S. Lee of Surrey, B.C., versus Lindsey Gullikson of Tacoma, Wash.
The bottom half of the bracket will see Lim face off against Avril Li of Port Moody, B.C. and Bree Wanderscheid of Goldendale, Wash. against Amy Hasenoehrl of Lewiston, Idaho. Championship Flight matches begin tomorrow morning at 7:30 a.m. followed by the remaining flights.
The championship is conducted by the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA).
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 PNGA Hall of Fame after storied amateur and professional careers. Other past champions include current LPGA Tour players Paige Mackenzie and Jimin Kang.
To be eligible for the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship, contestants must not have reached their 18th birthday by the final day of the competition. This is one of 16 regional championships conducted annually by the PNGA.