July 7, 2020
For some players, a double-bogey, bogey start in the final round could lead to an eventual drop off the cliff. San Mateo resident Faith Low stumbled, but never let it get her down.
Low, a Youth on Course and Junior Tour of Northern California member, shook off the early stumble, carding a final round even-par 72 to win the annual NCGA Women’s Amateur on a sunny Tuesday at Poppy Hills Golf Course. For Low, who finished the event with a two-day total of 2-under 142, it was a big relief.
“I’m very relieved and proud to have won,” said Low, a junior-to-be at Futures Academy. “I’ve been working hard on my game. It’s nice to see results.”
Having entered the final round holding a two-shot lead over Miranda Wang, Low came out misfiring. She’d miss the fairway on the opening par-4 10th. Another bogey on the par-3 2nd and she had temporarily lost the lead.
“I just started focusing on the scenery, just to calm myself down. I was extremely nervous,” Low said. “I just needed to settle down.”
She’d do just that. Over her next nine holes, Low went 3-under with three birdies. She’d later bogey the 12th and 13th holes, but her lead never dropped to less than two shots. Birdies later at No.15 and on the closing 18th closed out the win.
“Coming in down the stretch, I was just trying to avoid any mistakes,” Low said. “The course was in wonderful shape.”
Wang, who saw her senior season at Duke University cut short due to COVID-19, was stung both days by double-bogeys on the par-5 4th hole. She’d place second at 147 after a final round 75.
Third place went to Kaleiya Romero at 148 (74-74).
Pebble Beach resident Marianne Towersey had no idea she had a chance to win the title. She was too busy just thinking about her own game.
Towersey shot a solid final round even-par 72 and defeated Itsuko Moridaira in a card-off playoff to claim her third NCGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championship title Tuesday at Poppy Hills Golf Course.The two finished the 36-holes of regulation tied at 7-over 151. Towersey’s back-nine score of 1-under 35 was the difference maker. Moridaira, the first round leader, shot 40 on the back-nine.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had a win, so this feels good,” said Towersey, who also won the event in 2007 and 2012. “I discovered something with my putting that helped me in the 11th hour.”
Through the front-nine of the finale, it was a duel between Moridaira and NCGA Hall of Famer Sally Krueger. Having started on the back-nine, Moridaira was in control but first began slipping when she bogeyed holes 11-14 (Nos. 2-5) in succession. Krueger pounced, taking the lead with a birdie on the 14th, but she’d give that right back with a bogey on No.15.
All the while, Towersey, who began the day three shots off the lead, kept plugging away. Birdies on the 13th and 16th holes, and a crucial par on the par-3 17th helped Towersey forge a tie with both Moridaira and Krueger heading to the 18th.
There, Krueger’s drive landed in the fairway bunker, eventually leading to a double-bogey and a third place finish. Both Moridaira and Towersey reached the green in regulation with each just narrowly missing their birdie tries, leaving them in a tie.
“I had no idea that we were tied going to the 18th. I didn’t want to look at the scores,” Towersey said. “I just wanted to play well and not choke. It’s icing on the cake to beat these great champions.”
July 6, 2020
Faith Low is the player to catch after the first round of the annual NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship.
Low, a Youth on Course and Junior Tour of Northern California member, fired a leading 2-under par 70onday as play got underway at par-72 Poppy Hills Golf Course.
Starting on the back-nine, Low would stumble early with an opening bogey on the 10th hole. From there, however, it was smooth sailing, as she’d post 14 pars to go with three birdies.
In second place at 72 is YOC alumni member Miranda Wang. Wang posted four birdies but also had two bogeys and a double-bogey.
Kaleiya Romero, who’s coming off a recent win at the JTNC Summer Series I Championship, is in third place at 74. Annika Borrelli, the defending NCGA Women’s Player of the Year, is T-6 after an opening 76.
The 13th hole, normally a par-4, is playing as a par-5 for the championship.
Green Valley Country Club member Itsuko Moridaira is a day away from capturing her first NCGA scratch title.
Moridaira, who has won a number of NCGA net titles including one at the 2017 Mixed Team Spring Championship, opened this year’s NCGA Senior Women’s Amateur with a first round leading score of 4-over 76. Moridaira was solid on her front-nine, carding a 1-over 37. Overall, she’d have 14 pars.
A number of big names are still on Moridaira’s heels. Marianne Towersey, a two-time winner of the Senior title, is just three shots behind along with NCGA Hall of Famer Sally Krueger and 2015 U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur champion Karen Garcia.
Record four-time winner and defending champion Lynne Cowan, also an NCGA Hall of Famer, is only six back after an 82.