PNGA Junior: Li defends her title
08 Aug 2008

LONGVIEW, Wash. (Aug. 7, 2008)--Rui Li of Kent, Wash. successfully defended her title at the 2008 PNGA Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship hosted by Longview Country Club.

Li matched up against Stacey Blunt of Federal Way, Wash. in this morning’s championship match. Blunt proved to be Li’s toughest test of the week as the match went back and forth the entire day. Li, who had not been behind at any point in her previous three matches, lost the first hole of the day to find herself in unfamiliar territory.

Blunt would then birdie the fourth hole to take a 2-up lead before Li was able to answer with a win at the 5th hole and birdie at the 7th to get the match back to all square.

As the pair headed to the back nine all square, Blunt quickly got back ahead with a birdie on the 10th hole to take a 1-up lead. Li answered with a birdie of her own at 12, draining a big breaking 15-foot putt. Li used another birdie at the 14th to grab the lead, but quickly lost it with a double bogey at the 15th.

After halving the difficult par-3 16th hole with bogeys; Li and Blunt went to the 17th hole at all square. After hitting a perfect drive on 17, Li stuffed her wedge shot within 6-feet and knocked in the birdie putt to head to 18 at 1-up. Li played the 18th hole perfectly and finished off the match with a 4-foot par to win the match 2-up.

Today’s final match was the first time this week that Li was taken past the 14th hole. She joins an impressive list and becomes only the fifth two-time champion of the PNGA Junior Girls’ and first repeat champion since Molly Cooper in 1992-93.

To be eligible for the Pacific Northwest Junior Girls’ Amateur Championship, contestants must be 17 years of age or younger as of August 7th, and also carry a handicap index of 40.4 or less.

--Courtesy PNGA

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