Spyglass Hill Yardage – Championship
Poppy Hills Yardage – Championship
Spyglass Hill Yardage – Senior
Poppy Hills Yardage – Senior
June 16, 2015
Alameda resident Carly Childs got exactly what she needed from her caddie, and did the rest of the work herself.
Playing the new course for the first time, Childs, a senior at Cal, shot a final round 1-over 73 Tuesday at par-72 Poppy Hills Golf Course to win the annual NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship by three over runner-up Sara Banke of Danville.
“It feels good,” said Childs, who finished the 36-hole event with a total of 1-over 146. “I’ve been working hard on my swing with my coach, and it paid off.”
Also paying dividends was using her friend Will Brueckner, who has played the new Poppy Hills in both NCGA and Junior Tour of Northern California events, as her caddie. While Childs had played the old Poppy Hills, Tuesday marked her debut on the recently renovated layout.
Nevertheless, the 20-year-old Public Health major posted an impressive 1-over 73, tallying a birdie to go with two bogeys and 15 pars. Not bad considering that the second round stroke average at Poppy Hills was 82.56.
“Will (Brueckner) helped me a lot with the angles and where to put the ball, but most importantly he helped me stay calm,” Childs said. “It was weird. I kind of felt at home on the new course, but I’ve always loved Poppy Hills.”
The JTNC Girls’ Player of the Year in 2012, Childs joins her sister Emily as an NCGA Women’s Amateur champion. Emily, who now plays on the Symetra Tour, a feeder circuit for the LPGA Tour, won the title in 2010.
“I’ll definitely be calling her,” Childs said with a smile.
Having entered the final round two shots behind Banke after carding an opening round even-par 73 at Spyglass Hill, Childs was simply steady. She’d open with eight straight pars, and while she’d bogey the 9th, she quickly got back to even par with a birdie on the 10th.
A bogey on the 12th pushed her back to a total of 1-over, but she’d card all pars the rest of the way.
“I was consistent, and I putted really well,” said Childs, who was the East Bay Golfer of the Year in 2011 while at Alameda High. “I just felt confident. I was completely focused on my game.”
While Childs was in cruise control, Banke couldn’t get anything going. The 23-year-old Danville resident, who won this year’s San Francisco City Women’s Championship, slipped back to second place at 149 after carding a 78.
A day after penciling in five birdies at Spyglass Hill, the former UC Irvine standout could only muster three. Hurting Banke the most, however, was a trio of double-bogeys on holes No.5, No.7 and No.12.
“I didn’t drive the ball that well Monday. Today, a few just totally got away from me,” said Banke, who plans on playing at LPGA Tour Q-School in August. “Carly played great though, too. She’s a great player.”
Finishing in third place at 151 was e-Club Fresno member Camille Orito, who carded a day-low 72 that featured five birdies, three bogeys and a double-bogey.
Samantha Hutchison, who’s headed to UC Davis in the fall, took fourth at 152 following a 73.
In the Senior Championship, there was also a comeback.
Pat Cornett, a former U.S. Curtis Cup captain (2012) and Curtis Cup team member (1978, 1988) who lives in Mill Valley, shot a stellar 3-over 75 to overcome a two-stroke deficit and win by three over runner-up Lynne Cowan of Rocklin.
For Cornett, it was her record third NCGA Senior Women’s Amateur victory. The 61-year-old also won the title in 2009 and 2010.
Along with defeating Cowan, the defending champion, Cornett also beat two-time champ Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz and 2004 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship winner Corey Weworski.
“It’s been a bit of a gap here since my last win, so it’s exciting,” said Cornett, who finished with a two-day total of 7-over 152. “Beating those three is special because they’re so good.”
While she still plays in tournaments, Cornett doesn’t compete nearly as much as she used to. As a practicing doctor (oncology and hematology), she has to use vacation time to play in tournaments.
In the final round, she’d post two birdies to go with five bogeys.
Woodruff was in it until the par-3 11th, where she’d card a triple-bogey 6 after her tee shot bounded through the green into the back bunker. Cowan, who recently won the California Senior Women’s Amateur at Poppy Hills, got within one of Cornett with a birdie on No.11. A hole later on the 12th, however, she’d card a triple-bogey after her drive went right and out-of-bounds. A final round 80 left her with a total of 155.
“I made the birdie on No.11 and thought I was ready to turn it around,” said Cowan, who lost the lead after a front-nine 41. “Then I get the triple on No.12. I think I hit one good shot all day. My timing was just off. Pat made a lot of clutch putts and had a solid round. She deserved to win.”
Woodruff fell to fourth place at 162 after an 86. Weworski placed third at 158 following a 77.
June 15, 2015
Former UC Irvine standout Sara Banke is halfway home to her second big victory of the year.
Banke, 23, jumped to the top of the leaderboard at this week’s annual NCGA Women’s Championship, carding a 2-under 71 Monday at par-73 Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Back in April, Banke won the women’s title at the annual San Francisco City Championship.
Starting on front-nine, Banke was mistake-free, posting a 34 with birdies on holes No.5 and No.9. After making the turn, she’d double-bogey the 10th and bogey the 13th to fall to 1-over, but quickly righted the ship with three straight birdies from holes No.14 through No.16 for a 37. In August, Banke, who won last year’s California Women’s Championship, plans on taking her chances at LPGA Q-School.
Among those chasing Banke are a pair of Bears.
Carly Childs, a senior at Cal, is two strokes behind in second place following an opening 73. Starting on the back-nine, the 2012 Junior Tour of Northern California Girls’ Player of the Year and the winner of the 2011 California Junior Girls’ State Championship opened with an even-par 37. On the front-nine, she’d get to a total of 2-under with birdies on No.1 and No.5 but later gave those strokes back with closing bogeys on the 8th and 9th.
In third place, meanwhile, is fellow Cal senior Hannah Suh. Suh, the JTNC Girls’ Player of the Year in 2009, was the definition of steady, carding a 74 that featured two birdies, a bogey and 15 pars.
Alone in fourth place at 75 is Cameron Park CC member Kelly Wilson, who finished 20th in last year’s championship.
Others in the immediate mix include Hannah Sodersten, Christina Trujillo and Chloe Corriveau, who all sit T-5 after coming in with matching scores of 76. Corriveau, a former star at Santa Catalina High in Monterey who’s headed to the University of Washington in the fall, was 1-under through her first 10 holes.
Over in the Senior Championship (players age 50 or over), a familiar face is again on top of the leaderboard.
Rocklin resident and Sierra View CC member Lynne Cowan, who won the title in 2014, took the lead in this year’s championship with a 2-over 75. Having recently repeated as winner of the California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, Cowan penciled in four birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-3 3rd hole.
Like Banke, however, Cowan has some competition right on her heels.
Alone in second place at 76, just a stroke back, is two-time NCGA Senior Women’s champ Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz. The winner of the championship in 2011 and 2013, Woodruff also had an up-and-down round, posting three birdies, four bogeys and a double-bogey (also on No.3).
In third place at 77 is another former winner, Pat Cornett. Cornett, who won the title in 2009 and 2010, posted three birdies, five bogeys and a double-bogey. A member at the Olympic Club, Cornett is a former U.S. Curtis Cup team member and captain.
Others in the hunt in the Senior Championship include Sue Stryker and Corey Weworski, who both opened with 81. Stryker recently won the Chardonnay Flight crown at the NCGA Senior Net Championship. Weworski won the 2004 U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship.
The 16th hole at Spyglass Hill, normally a par-4, played as a par-5 for the championship.
Tuesday’s final round will be held at Poppy Hills Golf Course, which will play as a par-72 with the 16th being converted from a par-4 to a par-5.
May 27, 2015
Maybe it was some kind of home-course advantage. Whatever the case, local knowledge was a key in Audra Kepler winning the 2014 NCGA Women’s Amateur.
An All-America from CSU-Monterey Bay, Kepler took the title in last year’s event thanks to an impressive 1-under par 72 at Spyglass Hill in the final round. At the time, Kepler worked as a caddie at Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach.
“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 victory.
Not only did Kepler win the title, she was the only player to finish the tournament with a score under par (4-under 142). In the first round, she’d open with a 2-under 70 at historic Del Monte Golf Course.
This year, Kepler, who has since turned professional, will not be in the field. The 11th annual championship also returns to its roots—with Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills being the two host venues.
As for those who will look to hoist the crystal trophy, there are plenty of names in the mix.
Sabrina Iqbal, the 2014 Junior Tour Girls’ Player of the Year and the leader in this year’s JTNC points standings, is among those slated to compete. So too are fellow JTNC members Ty Akabane, Chloe Corriveau and Samantha Hutchison. Akabane won the Helen Lengfeld Flight at last year’s California Women’s Amateur Championship. Corriveau is headed to the University of Washington in the fall, while Hutchison is on her way to UC Davis.
On the collegiate front, players include Cal junior Hannah Suh and Annie Bowlsby of the University of Delaware. While in high school, Suh won two NCGA/CIF Northern California Individual titles. Bowlsby, a former standout at Santa Catalina High in Monterey, played in the 2009 Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.
Running concurrently with the Women’s Championship will be the 9th annual NCGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship.
There, the field (players age 50 and over) will include defending champion Lynne Cowan of Rocklin and two-time former winners Sandy Woodruff of Santa Cruz (2011, 2013), Marianne Towersey of Pebble Beach (2007, 2012) and Pat Cornett of Mill Valley (2009, 2010).
Cowan just recently captured her second straight California Senior Women’s Amateur Championship title at Poppy Hills.
Play in the championship will begin each day at 7:30 a.m.