June 10, 2014
It was all about Audra at the 10th NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Audra Kepler, an All-America from CSU-Monterey Bay, fired an impressive 1-under par 72 in Tuesday’s final round to finish with a 4-under par total of 142, the only player to finish under par for the tournament.
Playing out of Buchanan Fields GC, Kepler began the round tied with Holly Bare of Sunnyside CC after both carded 2-under 70s on Monday at Del Monte Golf Course. The two were even through seven holes, but bogeys by Bare on Nos. 7, 9, 10 and 12, coupled with a birdie by Kepler on No. 13 led the Pleasant Hill native to a commanding four-shot victory.
A caddie at both Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach, Kepler played confidently all day and no doubt relied on her own local knowledge of the course.
“I feel like that was a big advantage and another huge positive since I know and walk these courses. I just stayed in the moment and took one shot at a time, that’s all I could ask for, “ Kepler said after her win. Her future plans include turning pro after attempting to qualify for this year’s U.S. Women’s Amateur.
“I’ve really grown a lot as a player the last six months,” Kepler said.
Second place honors went to Sagee Palavivatana of E-Club Sacremento GC, whose final-round even-par 73 tied for the second lowest round at Spyglass. Palavivatana finished with a two-day total of 146 after an opening round 73 at Del Monte. Amanjoty Sangha of Green Hills CC finished in sole third place with rounds of 72-75 and a total of 147. Bare finished in sixth place after a final round 79.
NCGA Senior Women’s Amateur
The day’s most dramatic finish belonged to the NCGA Women’s Senior Championship, which needed a one-hole sudden death playoff to crown Lynne Cowan of Sierra View CC as it’s champion over Sandy Woodruff of Pasatiempo GC.
Paired together in the day’s final group, Cowan made a steely 12-foot birdie on the final hole, forcing Woodruff to get up and down from over the green to force a playoff.
Cowan’s third birdie of the day gave her a final round of 77. Cowan opened with a 1-under 71 at Del Monte, while Woodruff shot back-to-back 74s to tie at 148. Woodruff had a spectacular run on the front nine at Spyglass, holing out for an eagle-2 on the 299-yard fourth hole, and making birdie on the par-3 fifth hole, on her way to a 1-under 35 on the front nine.
The playoff however proved to be less dramatic after Woodruff’s tee shot found tree trouble, allowing Cowan to need only a bogey 5 to capture the championship. It is the second major senior title for Cowan in as many months. In May she captured the California Senior Women’s Amateur at Poppy Hills. Cowan also won the NCGA Women’s Amateur in 2006-2007. She is the first player to win both titles.
Final round playing partner Patricia Cornett of The Olympic Club finished a shot out of the playoff and finished alone in third after rounds of 71-78 and a total of 149.
Video Highlights – Second Round
Photo Gallery – Second Round
June 9, 2014
This year’s annual NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship is shaping up to be a thriller.
Former CSU-Monterey Bay standout Audra Kepler and Sunnyside Country Club member Holly Bare got things going Monday at par-72 Del Monte Golf Course, forging a tie atop the leaderboard with a pair of solid 2-under 70’s.
Kepler, who just wrapped up a stellar career at CSUMB by earning All-America honors from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association, made her move by carding three birdies to go with just one bogey. Playing out of Buchanan Fields GC, Kepler’s biggest push came on the back-nine, where she shot 2-under 34.
Bare, a former Fresno State standout who is now an assistant for the Bulldogs’ women’s golf team, had the exact same kind of day. She’d open with a bogey on the 4th but later rebounded with three birdies coming on No.8, No.15 and No.17.
The two have a number of players right on their heels.
Kiran Sangha, still only a freshman in high school, is just a stroke back following a sturdy 1-under 71. Sangha’s older sister Amanjoty, meanwhile, is one of three players who are just two off the lead after opening with rounds of 72.
Kiran Sangha had an up and down day. She’d shoot a front-nine even par 36 with a pair of bogeys and two birdies. On her back-nine, she’d pencil in two bogeys but also three birdies, including back-to-back birdies on holes No.17 and No.18 to close out her day.
Starting on the 10th tee, Amanjoty Sangha, one of the top players on the Junior Tour of Northern California circuit, got going with a front-nine 35 that included a birdie on the 13th. On her back-nine, Amanjoty, who finished tied for second in two Junior Tour of Northern California back in March, went 1-over with two birdies and three bogeys.
The other two players at 72 are Santa Catalina High (Monterey) star Chloe Corriveau and New Mexico State sophomore-to-be Camille Orito. Corriveau, who made it to the CIF State Girls’ Championship last fall, had two birdies and two bogeys on her round. Orito, a former standout at Clovis West High in Fresno, also had two birdies and two bogeys.
Nine players are tied for seventh at 73 including San Jose resident Sabrina Iqbal, who currently holds the No.1 spot in the JTNC Girls’ points standings, and Valley Hi Country Club member Emily Laskin.
Things are also tight in the Senior portion of the championship, where Rocklin resident Lynne Cowan and Olympic Club member Pat Cornett are tied for the lead following rounds of 1-under 71.
Cowan, who won the recent California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship held at Poppy Hills Golf Course, had three birdies and two bogeys. Cornett, the captain of the 2012 USA Curtis Cup team, penciled in four birdies (including back-to-back on holes No.1 and No.2) and three bogeys.
In at 74, alone in third place, is defending champion Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz. Las Margaritas GC member Terry Mayes is in fourth place after a 76, while San Francisco’s Dr. Sally Krueger is six behind the leaders after a 77. Krueger was the second female to play in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, following pro Nancy Lopez.
Tuesday’s second round of both championships will be held at par-72 Spyglass Hill.
Photo Gallery – First Round
June 5, 2014
Last year, it was all Paige Lee.
Playing out of eClub Sacramento, Lee took control of the 2013 NCGA Women’s Amateur with an opening round 1-under par 72 at Spyglass Hill. A day later, she’d wrap up the tournament title with a 2-over 75 at The Links at Spanish Bay. Lee’s 36-hole total of 1-over 147 was four strokes better than runner-up Taylor Camany of eClub Monterey Bay.
“Both courses remind me of my home course in North Ridge,” Lee said. “Even with the lead I stuck to my game plan and went into the final round as if we were starting from scratch.”
Starting Monday, the women will be back as the 10th NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship gets underway at Del Monte Golf Course.
Lee, however, will not be back. Having just wrapped up her freshman season at UC Davis, Lee is busy preparing for her next big adventure—the upcoming U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst.
Lee recently finished third at 150 (76-74) in the U.S. Women’s Open Sectional held at The Links at Half Moon Bay. It was the same Sectional where 11-year-old Lucy Li of Redwood City made history by becoming the youngest female to ever qualify for the national championship.
Still, even without Lee (and Li), this year’s Women’s Amateur Championship field is stacked.
Among those slated to tee off include 2013 U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier Haley Andreas, former CSU-Monterey Bay standout Audra Kepler and Junior Tour of Northern California standouts Sabrina Iqbal and Jessica Luo.
Andreas, who plays at the University of Louisville, made it to the Round of 16 in the 2010 U.S. Junior Girls’ Amateur. Kepler, meanwhile, just wrapped up a stellar career at CSUMB by earning All-America honors from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association. In earning the honor, she became only the fourth CSUMB player to be named All-American, joining Courtney Soekland (2012), Darcy Lake (2011) and Cicilia Chudivan (2010).
Iqbal and Luo have been forces to be reckoned with on the JTNC circuit. Iqbal is currently the No.1 ranked player on the tour’s points list. Luo is at the No.4 spot.
While the women’s championship is going on, there’ll also be a Senior Championship being played.
There, players to watch include defending champion Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz, Lynne Cowan of Rocklin and Pat Cornett. Cowan captured the recent California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship at the new Poppy Hills Golf Course. Cornett captained the 2012 USA Curtis Cup squad.
Monday’s opening round will be held at Del Monte GC. Tuesday’s final round will be held at par-73 Spyglass Hill.