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Top Seeds Advance at PNGA Women’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur; Canadians Ko and Proteau march on through match-play bracket

At the 115th Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur and 15th Pacific Northwest Women’s Mid-Amateur, medalists Naomi Ko (Women’s) and Christina Proteau (Women’s Mid-Amateur) handled their early matches fairly easily.

The two championships are being held concurrently on the Prospector course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum, Wash. After two rounds of stroke-play qualifying, the field was cut in both championships, to the low 32 in the Women’s Amateur and the low 16 in the Women’s Mid-Amateur.

Ko, of Victoria, B.C., and Proteau, of Port Alberni, B.C., had both earned the No. 1 seeds in their championships. In the Round of 32 of the Women’s Amateur, Ko easily handled Kayla Monroe of Tumwater, Wash., 8 and 7; while Proteau dispatched Catherine Chamberlain of Mercer Island, Wash., 9 and 8 in the Round of 16 of the Women’s Mid-Amateur.

Ko then played an afternoon match, the Round 16, against Lindsey Gullikson of Tacoma, Wash. who gave a battle to the No. 1 seed. A back-and-forth match, with 10 lead changes, Gullikson built a slim 1-up lead with a birdie on the 388-yard par 4 13th. Ko immediately birdied the next hole, squaring the match, and then won the 17th and 18th holes to win, 2-up.

In 2015, Gullikson had led the Bellevue College women’s golf team to the Northwest Athletic Conference team championship title. Ko, meanwhile, has been a dominant force recently in the region’s women’s amateur golf scene, having earlier qualified for the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open. Ko was also named the 2014 PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year.

Others to advance in the Women’s Amateur are Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C. and Princess Superal of Sun City, Calif.

Keel and Superal tied with Ko in the two rounds of stroke-play qualifying, but Keel had won the second playoff hole for medalist honors and the No. 1 seed.

Superal, of Sun City, Calif., won the 2014 U.S. Girls’ Junior, the 2016 Hong Kong Ladies Amateur, and was medalist at the 2016 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball (with partner Pauline del Rosario) where she made it to the semifinals.

Keel, of Coquitlam, B.C., recently won the BC Women’s Amateur, and was twice named the PNGA Junior Girls’ Player of the Year (2011, 2012).

It’s looking like some combination of these three players are headed for a showdown in an upcoming match over the next two days.

For both championships, the quarterfinal and semifinal matches will be held tomorrow, July 22. All matches will be contested over 18 holes. The final match for both championships will be held on Saturday, July 23, with the Women’s Amateur match being contested over 36 holes and the Women’s Mid-Amateur over 18 holes.