Calif. Women's Am: Arcala holds on for victory

TEMECULA, Calif. (July 20, 2011) -- The third and final round of the California Women's Championship was completed today at Temecula Creek Inn Golf Resort.

It was a battle between college players Stephanie Arcala of Oceanside and Marissa Mar of El Macero. Arcala started the day with a three stroke lead at 6-under par. Mar was at 3-under par. Arcala was even par through the first nine holes making pars on all nine holes. Mar was on fire making birdies at 3, 6 and 8. The three stroke advantage vanished and they were tied at the turn.

Mar continued her birdie spree making two more at holes 11 and 12 and now stood at 5-under par for the day, 8-under for the tournament and now one ahead of Arcala who also birdied 11.

But bogeys at 13, 14 and 15 put Mar back to 5-under for the tournament. Arcala stayed steady except for bogeys at 13 and 16. Heading into 18, Mar found herself back to 6-under after another birdie at hole 16 and Arcala was now one back at 5-under.

Trailing by one Arcala knew she had to do something special on 18. She didn't think she had a chance to win. Unfortunately her 101 yard approach shot on the par four 18th flew the front pin by some 30 feet to the back of the green, but she managed a lag to tap-in range for a par.

Mar took an aggressive approach to the hole but found herself with tree trouble and had to punch out from the right side of the fairway going through the green. She managed to chip to about 8 feet above the hole. So if she makes the putt she wins by one. She was ready to make the stroke but was distracted by someone talking in the gallery so backed off and restarted. She was a little firm with the downhill putt and ran it three feet by. She missed the comeback putt and the chance for a playoff and finished at 4-under par, one behind Arcala.

Arcala mentioned that this is her biggest win ever and she hasn't won a tournament since junior golf. The 22 year old accounting major at San Diego State just completed her eligibility on the golf team there and is looking forward to playing in the San Diego City tournament at the end of the month.

Mar, sophomore at Stanford, is heading to Wyoming to play in the Trans National Golf Championship next week.

Three off the lead was Devon Brown of Rancho Santa Fe, who plays for Northwestern. She finished in third place with a tournament total of 214 (-2) with rounds of 70, 73 and 71. Fourth place went to Ellen Krausse of Bakersfield, who plays for Cal State Northridge. Krausse was at 218 (+2) shooting 70, 73, 75. Amateurgolf.com member, Lynne Cowan one of the handful of players over 40 years old, ended up in fifth at 219 (+3) with rounds of 72, 76 and 71.

Cowan along with Sharon Park of Irvine and Joan Higgins of Glendora accumulated enough points for their play the past two years in this tournament and will represent California in the U.S.G.A. State Team competition. It will take place in Savannah, Georgia on the Palmetto Course at The Landings Club October 4-6.

ABOUT THE California Women's State Championship

54 holes of individual stroke play (gross scoring only), flighted by handicap index. Open to female amateur California residents. Lowest 100 handicap indexes taken, maximum 18.0 USGA Index. Championship and Senior (ages 50 and older) flights.

Sponsered by Pacific Women's Golf Association, San Diego County Women's Golf Association, Women's Golf Association of Northern California, Women's Southern California Golf Association.

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