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Calif. State Fair Women's: Yam wins at 4-under

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2011) -- Jamie Yam, from University of Nevada, won the State Fair Women's Championship at 4-under-par, just a stroke ahead of Taryn Yee.

Yam, the first round co-leader with Tayrn Lee, sophomore at UC Irvine, started round two strong with birdies at 1, 3 and 4. She remained at 3-under-par through 15 with a string of pars. After challenger Lee made birdie on 16, Yam’s two-footer for par slid by resulting in the lone three-putt bogey of her round.

Lee’s late rally to catch Yam ended as her ten-foot birdie attempt on hole 17 was missed on the left. Both Yam and Lee finished hole 18 with uneventful two-putt pars and Yam took the title by one stroke.

Casie Cathrea, 15, vying for the Council triple crown, had previously won both the City and County Women's Championship, started the day three strokes back. On Sunday, Cathrea, recent winner of the First Tee event at Pebble Beach who teamed with Ben Crenshaw, was on fire with the flatstick. She birdied 1, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 14 and 15 and bogeyed hole 5. After eight birdies through 16 she sat at 6-under-par for the tournament and was one stroke ahead of Yam. Her chances of winning were dashed at 17 as her ball found the water hazard at the tricky, short par 3, resulting in double bogey.

Not knowing Yam was about to bogey hole 16, Cathrea needed to regroup and finish strong at the 18th. But her tee shot found the water again at the difficult 371 yard par four that has water all down the left side of the fairway and she made another double bogey. Despite the rocky finish Cathrea shot 69 and tied for the low round of the tournament along with Spencer Heller, a junior at Sonoma State. Both Cathrea and Heller finished in a tie for third at 142 and both shot 72, 69.

Cathrea may want to take a page from Jamie Yam's playbook. Yam's strategy for the day was not to track her opponent's scores and focus on her own game. From experience she knew that approach could work for her. She did so well at it she really didn't know her own score until after the round. A lesson in staying in the moment.

When asked about any recent wins Yam said,

"This is my first win since junior golf. I was the San Diego junior player of the year when I was 17."

Shooting 70, 2-under-par is also her personal best in a tournament. Yam, a finance and economics major at UNR, will travel to Colorado next week with her Wolfpack team for their first golf tournament of the season. With a win under her belt she's on her way to a solid finish to her college golfing career.

Tiffany Nichols, sophomore at San Jose State, followed her opening round 71 with a 72 and finished in 5th place. Karen Garcia, 49, who lives in Cool and plays out of Auburn Valley Golf Club, was the highest placing non-college player. Garcia, with husband Ruben on the bag opened with a 1-under-par 71, struggled on the front nine, but rallied on the back with a few birdies and finished with a 76. Her tournament total 147 tied with Taylor Carmany of Santa Clara University and Sagee Palavivatana who all finished in 8th place.

Low Net champion, from the Net Flight 2, is Julie Quinn, at an astounding 126.

Senior Champion is Diedre Wentworth from Sacramento at 139.

Tournament director, Barbara Conerly was pleased with the showing of collegiate players. She mentioned that 9 colleges and 26 golf clubs were represented in the 42 player field of the championship flight.

View results for California State Fair Women's Championship

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