DUNCAN, B.C. Canada (July 22, 2011) --Team Canada National Squad member Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto wins the 98th playing of the Royale Cup Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship on the first playoff hole at Duncan Meadows Golf Club in Duncan, B.C.
19-year-old Lee-Bentham started the final round three shots back of the leaders but erased the deficit with an even-par (72) to pull into the lead and end regulation play in a tie with Lee Lopez of Whetier, Calif., at 6-over par (294).
The tie sent Lopez and Lee-Bentham to a playoff on Duncan Meadows’ par 4 18th hole. Lee-Bentham hit her drive in the left rough with approximately 165 yards left to the hole with Lopez in the middle of the fairway, 150 yards from the pin. The head-to-head battle came down to putting as both players hit the green in regulation. Lopez’s three-putt proved to be costly as Lee-Bentham two-putted for par and the victory.
“It feels awesome. Of course I was nervous. I tried to prepare myself as well as I could; went to the range, hit some balls, hits some putts and tried to calm myself down,” said Lee-Bentham about her mindset heading into the playoff. “I walked up to my ball and had a nice lie and just tried to hit the best shot I could.”
With her victory Lee-Bentham earns an exemption into the U.S Women’s Amateur at Rhode Island Golf Club in Barrington Rhode Island, August 8-14, as well as the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club in Mirabel, Quebec.
“I am very excited. I have been working hard all year. It’s just great to have a break like this and win the Canadian Amateur and then to get an exemption into the [CN Canadian Women’s] Open and the [U.S] Am is such a bonus.”
Third place featured a three-way tie between Erynne Lee of Silverdale, Washington, former Team Canada member Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ontario and Alex Stewart of Carson City, Nevada. The trio finished the tournament at 7-over par (295).
Kirby was tied for the lead going into the final round, but a costly bogey on the par 5 17th dropped her out of contention. Stewart had a dramatic finish on the 72nd hole, chipping in for birdie to get herself a tie for second place.
In the Mid-Amateur division (+25 years) Christina Proteau of Port Alberni, B.C., captured the trophy as the local-favorite carded a final round 5-over (77) to finish the event at 21-over (309). Proteau, the 2011 B.C. Women’s Amateur Champion had a large fan following during the final round who came out to cheer on the local favourite and catch some of the action.
Second place in the Mid-Amateur division went to Andrea Kosa of Calgary. She finished the championship with a final round 81 to card a 29-over (317) for the four rounds.
The Mid-Master division champion was Shelly Stouffer of Nanoose Bay, B.C. Stouffer, who also took third place in the Mid-Amateur Division, carding an 88 in the final round for a tournament total of 36-over par (324), and a one shot victory over North Saanich, B.C., native Penny Baziuk, who finished at 37-over (325) for the tournament.