CANBY, OR (June 24, 2005) –- Match play finals were held today at the 75th State Junior Match Play Championship at Willamette Valley CC in Canby, Ore. The tournament is considered by most to be the state’s “major” for junior golfers as it is a true test where the best-of-the-best can match their skills.
Match Play competition is the most traditional format for golf competition. Most USGA national champions are crowned after winning titles in this format. It was the format used at major championships such as the PGA Championship and British Open before the today’s common medal (stroke) play formats were adopted.
In this year’s competition, Rebecca Kim of Tigard, Ore. (Langdon Farms) continued to prove her prowess on the course defeating Natalie Weber of Bend, Ore. (Bend G & CC) 6 & 5 for the Girls (15-17) title. Kim started out very strong with birdies on the first two holes to quickly take a 2up lead and never looked back. Kim joins an elite group of golfers including Mary Budke (1971), Sharon Hadley (1980) and Johnna Nealy (2001) to simultaneously hold both an OSAA High School title as well as the State Amateur crown.
In the Junior Division (Boys 16-17), Jack Dukeminier of Eugene, Ore., last year’s Boys (14-15) Division champion defeated medalist Paul Peterson of Salem, Ore (Creekside) 3 & 2. Dukeminier was up from the start and was 2up after the first two holes. The best Peterson could do as bring the match briefly to all square on the 7th hole. Dukeminier was dorme (5 up with 5 holes to play), when Peterson again tried to stage a comeback with a birdie on the 14th hole and a par on the 15th hole to extend the match, but in the end the deficit was too much to overcome.
Nic Polski of Eugene, Ore. (Emerald Valley GC) was runner-up for a second year in a row in the Boys Division (14-15) losing to Justin Smithhisler of Winston, Ore. (Roseburg) 5 & 3. Smithhisler was even par and 5up through eleven holes before Polski won his first hole.
Sharon Shin of Wilsonville, Ore. defeated Seisha-Lei Telles of Tualatin, Ore. (Langdon Farms) 4 & 2 in the Intermediate Girls (12-14) division. Shin was 2-under-par with five birdies and three bogeys in the 16 holes played enroute to her win.
One of the toughest matches of the day was in the Intermediate Boys (12-13) finals where Bobby Monaco of Eugene, Ore. (Eugene CC) won 2 & 1 over Jarek Swanson Forest Grove, Ore. (Pumpkin Ridge) despite shooting even par for the seventeen holes played.
Another unexpectedly tough match came in the Pee Wee Girls division where Ashlee Pickerell of Salem, Ore. narrowly won her match against newcomer Juhee Lee of Wilsonville, Ore. Lee had played a little golf when she was seven, but had not touched a club for nearly four years before starting again just six months ago. This was her first competition, and she was able to take the defending Pee Wee Champion the distance before losing on the last hole.
Finally, defending Pee Wee champions Sulman Raza of Eugene, Ore. (Emerald Valley GC) was unable to retain his title as Mark Geniza of Corvallis, Ore (Trysting Tree) 2 & 1. Raza led the match most of the way until bogeys on hole 15 to 17 did him in.
Oregon Junior Golf conducts over 60 days and 6,000 rounds of tournament golf in a developmental competitive program allowing boys and girls age 8 to 17 to compete. Tournaments are comprised of division including Juniors (Boys age 16-17), Boys (age 14-15) Intermediate Boys (age 12-13), Pee Wee Boys (age 8-11), Girls (age 15-17), Intermediate girls (age 12-14) and Pee Wee Girls (age 8-11).
For complete results in all divisions, click on the tournament link above (amateurgolf.com membership required).