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Ha Wins 112th Pacific Northwest Women's Amateur; Markle Takes Third Pacific Northwest Women's Mid-Amateur Title
Jennifer Ha of Calgary, Alberta, defeated Caroline Inglis of Eugene, Ore. in the final match to win the 112th Pacific Northwest Women's Amateur. Held concurrently at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash., Kareen Markle of Meridian, Idaho, won the 12th Pacific Northwest Women's Mid-Amateur by defeating Amanda Jacobs of Seattle in their final match.
During their 36-hole championship match, Ha and Inglis changed leads several times. At one point during the morning round Ha was 3-up. Inglis closed the gap to just 1-up after the first 18 holes, and went on a tear early in the afternoon round, winning three consecutive holes to take a 2-up lead.
Inglis is a three-time Oregon high school state champion, and just finished her freshman year at the University of Oregon. With a par on the 28th hole, she took a 1-up lead. But the diminutive but big-hitting Ha birdied holes 29 and 30 to regain the lead and closed out the match, 2 and 1, with a par on the 35th.
Ha is a member of Team Canada's Development Squad and will be a junior at Kent State University. A few months ago she claimed medalist honors in the Mid-American Conference Championship, leading Kent State to their 15th consecutive conference title.
"It was really a close match with Caroline," said Ha. "She's really persistent. I had to make birdies down the stretch to finally build a lead." When asked what it meant to her to win this championship, Ha said, "This (championship) has been going on for years and years, and it really means a lot to have my name on the same trophy as some of the other past champions."
Markle defeated Jacobs, the No. 1 seed, 1-up in Friday's 18-hole final match in the Mid-Amateur. Markle has now won the title three times, with her previous titles coming in 2005 and '07. She also finished as runner-up three times.
Markle nearly ran away with the final, jumping to a 5-up lead through 10 holes, and was 4-up with four to play. "She chipped in from off the green on 15," said Markle. "That got her going." Needing to win every hole to stay in the match, Jacobs, who played her collegiate golf at the University of Idaho, went birdie-par-birdie on holes 15 through 17 and, standing on the 18th tee, was only 1-down.
When Markle was struggling in the rough near the final green and could not save par, Jacobs had her chance to square the match and take it to extra holes, but she three-putted for bogey.
"I love match play," said Markle. "I love it. You're never out of it. Anything is possible until the ball is in the hole."
First held in 1899, Pacific Northwest Women's Amateur Championship is one of the oldest amateur golf championships in the world. Past champions include Pacific Northwest Golf Hall of Famers Joanne Gunderson Carner, Jo Ann Washam, Pat Lesser Harbottle, Edean Ihlanfeldt, Violet Pooly Sweeney, Marcia Fisher, Betty Jean Hulteng, among others. Past champions also include many who would later go on to the LPGA Tour, such as Jimin Kang, Peggy Conley, Ruth Jessen and Shirley Englehorn.
The above report is courtesy of the PNGA. For more information and complete match-play results, visit www.thepnga.org.