Oregon Senior: O'Donnell takes mens title

SALEM, ORE. (Oct. 3, 2008) – Joan Edwards-Powell of Portland, Ore. and Patrick O’Donnell of Clackamas laid claim to the title of best Senior Amateur golfers in Oregon by winning their finals matches at the Oregon Senior Amateur today at Creekside Golf Club in Salem, Ore. Powell earned her fifth title by taking an early command of her match against medalist and defending champion, Loree McKay of Portland, Ore.

“It was a really good match,” said Edwards-Powell. “There were lots of birdies.” In fact, Edwards-Powell got her second birdie of the day when she drained a 70-foot putt on the par-4, 5th hole to go 3-up in the match. Then, despite hitting a tree on the 7th hole, she sank a 35-foot putt to save par and put the pressure on McKay who subsequently missed her 8-foot birdie putt and could only halve the hole.

McKay then missed another birdie opportunity forcing McKay to refocus.

“I wasn’t playing bad, it was just that my putts weren’t falling,” noted McKay. “But I fought my way back.”

A par on the 9th hole followed by consecutive birdies brought the match to all square – albeit briefly as Edwards-Powell birdied the next hole to go up for good. A 70-foot chip in on the par-3 14th hole sealed the match although McKay still didn’t give up, taking the match all the way to the 18th hole. Edwards-Powell adds another victory to her Hall of Fame amateur golf career that has enjoyed an unrivaled list of honors, awards and titles including earning the distinction of being the oldest Oregon Women’s Amateur Champion, a title she earned in 1995. “The medalists didn’t do well today,” said the Men’s medalist, Byron Patton of Tigard, Ore. who lost his match to reigning Oregon Senior Men’s Stroke Play Champion, Patrick O’Donnell of Clackamas, Ore. It wasn’t as though he didn’t have his moments. Despite a bogey on the first hole and double bogey on the third, he steadied himself and was only down one at the end of the opening nine holes. He continued his steady play shooting 1-under par over the next five holes and was 1-up four holes left to play. A bogey on the next hole brought the match to all square and it stayed that way until the final hole.

“I pushed my drive on the final hole,” noted O’Donnell. “I think watching my ball trickle into the hazard changed his mindset and swing thoughts.”

In fact, Patton hooked his ball into the opposite hazard along with his subsequent shot.

“I played really well until that final hole,” said Patton.

The Oregon Senior Amateur is one of 14 state championships conducted annually by the Oregon Golf Association. Other match play championships include the Oregon Amateur and Junior Amateur. Stroke Play competitions include the Mid-Amateur, Super Senior, Men’s Stroke Play, Women’s Stroke Play and Junior Stroke Play championships. Additionally the OGA conducts team competitions for Men, Women and the popular Parent/Child Chapman.

The Oregon Senior Amateur championship is for amateur golfers 50 years of age and older with a USGA Handicap Index limit of 10.0 or less for Men and 22.4 or less for Women. The event began in 1984 when contests for Senior Women were separated from the Oregon Amateur due to the popularity of the event. Three years later the inaugural Men's Senior Amateur was created.

Licensed by the United States Golf Association, and serving as guardian of the game of golf for this region, the Oregon Golf Association is a 501(c)(6) non-profit membership based organization formed in 1924 with the original purpose of conducting the Oregon Amateur Championship. Today, the organization has developed into a multi-faceted non-profit entity comprised of more than 300 public, private and associate golf clubs throughout Oregon and SW Washington with more than 50,000 members. Golfers join the association through a membership fee that is assessed as part of their dues at an OGA Member Club.

--Courtesy OGA

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