AURORA, Ore. — Riley Elmes (Lake Oswego, Ore.) emerged from a crowded field to win the Men’s Division, while Aram Choi (Portland, Ore.) used a furious comeback to win the Women’s Division at the 71st OGA Tournament of Champions at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora, Ore.
The 71st OGA Tournament of Champions invited the 2013 and 2014 men’s and women’s gross club champions from OGA member clubs as well as players who won an OGA Championship in 2014 to compete for this champion-of-champion’s title.
Elmes, 17, finished with scores of 69-69 – 138 (-4), including three birdies and just one bogey in his Sunday round. Just behind Elmes was Arthur Kim (Tigard, Ore.), who shot 70-69 – 139 (-3) to earn second place. In a tie for third were Jeff Glodt (Salem, Ore.) and Jeff Gustafson (Vancouver, Wash.), as both players shot 70-70 – 140 (-2) for the tournament.
The 2014 Oregon Junior Amateur champion, Elmes knew he needed to limit his mistakes and stay consistent if he were to win amongst an impressive group of competitors.
“I ended up making a really good par on 17, and then made a great birdie on 18 to really seal my chances of winning,” said Elmes. “It was nerve-racking [near] the end, but luckily I was able to hole some short putts to get the win.”
Choi was just coming off a Big Sky Conference individual championship last week. The Portland State golfer was five strokes down in the conference championship after the first day, before winning by five shots. This weekend, she was six strokes behind first-round leader Gigi Stoll (Beaverton, Ore.) after the first round.
Choi made six birdies in her final round, including two in the last five holes, ending up with a tournament-best 67 (-4) on Sunday. She finished with a weekend total of 74-67 – 141 (-1), one shot ahead of Stoll. Stoll held the lead for much of the afternoon, but bogied the 15th hole and missed a birdie chance on the final hole for a chance to force a playoff. Stoll shot scores of 68-74 – 142 (E). Brie Stone (Veneta, Ore.) earned third place with scores of 75-73 – 148 (+6).
After two comebacks completed in the last week, Choi knew what it would take to win on Sunday.
“I think I had a good mentality going in because I knew I could do it, because I did it last time,” said Choi. “And it feels really weird and good that I won two tournaments in one week, and both of them coming from the back. I can’t stand a round off easily!”
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