Poppy Hills/Spyglass Hill
June 18-19, 2012
June 19, 2012
PEBBLE BEACH – The final round wreaked havoc on the leaderboard at the 8th Annual NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship at Spyglass Hill on Tuesday, but one player in the final group was able to keep calm and edge out a one-stroke come-from-behind victory.
Andrea Wong, recent graduate of Saint Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, entered the day tied for second after an even-par 72 in the first round. She coupled her steady first round with a second-day total of 74 to finish 1-over for the championship. In total, she rolled in 25 pars, six bogeys and five birdies including a front-nine 34 in the final round.
Wong credits her play on the greens for the surge to the top to claim the trophy.
“Yesterday, I shot even par and I just hit lots of greens both days, so it was just a really solid two rounds of golf,” she said. “My speed was really good. These greens are really tough, so I definitely think it was the putting.”
Wong entered the day in a four-way tie for second and teed off with the last group of the day. While her playing partners faltered with rounds in the 80s, Wong looked to her contingent of friends walking the course with her to keep her calm through the final nine holes. The top scorers were tightly packed heading into the day and gave Wong confidence that her total tally of 146 would prove to be solid, but she knew there were other good rounds to be had from the field.
“I knew there was some solid players right ahead of me who were just one back to start the day so I just wanted to play steady,” said Wong, bound for UC-Davis in the fall. “But I just knew that I played pretty well so I would be right there.”
Coming in second in the championship division was Tiffany Lim of YOC Santa Teresa Junior GC, who posted a 72-75–147 for the silver medal. A three-way tie at 152 between Lauren Salazar of Castlewood CC, Holly Bare of eClub Fresno and NCGA Association club member Amy Alston rounded out the medalists.
Marianne Towersey went for the wire-to-wire victory in the senior division after coupling yesterday’s 73 with a 76 to sail to a 7-stroke victory. Towersey of Monterey Peninsula CC punctuated her win with a closing birdie on the 36th hole, a 332-yard par 4.
“It was a downhill, probably 15-foot slick putt and just tapped it on the toe of my putter and it rolled right in the heart of the hole. A good way to end it off,” Towersey said with a smile. “I was rather surprised to win because I have had an injury and I was having a hard time breaking 80, which I seem to have overcome.”
Holding firm in second place was Terry Mayes of Las Margaritas GC, with a 75-81–156. The bronze medal went to Sally Krueger of Cypress Point Otters after she turned in a 79-78–157. Defending champion Sandra Woodruff, who began the round in third place, slipped to sixth after carding a second-round 86 to finish at 76-86–162.
Next year’s NCGA Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateur Championship will take place at Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay June 10-11, 2013.
Tournament Video Recap
June 18, 2012
PEBBLE BEACH – Only one red number was seen during Monday’s opening round of the 8th Annual Women’s and Senior Women’s Amateur Championship and it belonged to the one wearing the red block “A” at Poppy Hills GC. University of Arizona junior-to-be and Pacific Grove native Haley Andreas capitalized on a stellar day with her short game to fire a 2-under 70 and take a two-stroke lead over the field.
Starting off on the 10th tee, Andreas found herself in the black after a bogey on 13. She converted a five-foot birdie try on 16 that was followed with a one-foot putt for birdie on the par-3 17th hole to gain momentum heading into the turn and put her in the red for good. Andreas added birdies on holes one, two and four with the help on a strong showing with her short irons.
“Even though I’m technically a local, the course was set up pretty tough so I had to hit good golf shots,” Andreas said of her high school home course. “The greens were really tough and you had to be making putts today. You had to be hitting fairways and greens. If you weren’t, it wasn’t easy.”
Andreas is no stranger to tomorrow’s closing course either, as she won the NCGA Junior Championship at Spyglass Hill in 2009. In fact, her 36-hole score of 3-under 143 in the Junior Championship stands as the current record in the tournament. She’s expecting to face a stiff test tomorrow in order to maintain the lead and notch her second NCGA major championship victory.
“Spyglass is a good track, so it will really test how I’m playing,” Andreas said. “I have the same game plan as today – fairways, greens, hopefully make some putts.”
If Andreas isn’t on her game, there is a quartet of players nipping on her heels, tied for second. Tiffany Lim, Carly Childs, Ashley Noda and Andrea Wong all finished the round at even-par 72 and a cluster of four more women are tied for sixth at 1-over.
Two-time winner Lynne Cowan (2006, 2007), the only former champion in the field, turned in a first round score of 5-over 77 to tie for 15th. Also of note, Sagee Palavivatana of North Highlands rolled in a hole-in-one on the 172-yard par-3 15th. She stands tied for 13th at 4-over 76 after recording the only eagle of the day in either division.
The top spot on the leaderboard of the senior women’s division was captured by Marianne Towersey of Corral de Tierra CC. Towersey started the round on a rollercoaster, alternating bogeys and birdies through the first four holes before a tough stretch on the front nine saw her drop three strokes on holes six through eight. She regained her birdie form on the back nine, where she was 3-under in her first four holes. Her birdie on No. 11, a 150-yard par-3, was the only one rolled in the senior division. Towersey finished the round with a 2-stroke lead over the senior field after posting a 1-over 73.
Terry Mayes of Las Margaritas GC came in at 3-over 75 to take sole possession of second, one stroke ahead of Sandra Woodruff, last year’s senior division champion. Woodruff, of Pasiatiempo GC, played a steady round with no birdies and four bogeys on her card to stand at 4-over 76. Incidentally, the first-round top three matches the 2011 finish, with Woodruff winning, Towersey as runner-up and Mayes in third.
Tomorrow’s final round begins at 7:30 a.m. at Spyglass Hill, with pairings determined by first-round scores.