NCGA Golf

Fall 2018

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July 16-21 | Poppy Hills GC The first USGA championship ever held at the NCGA's home course started with a great performance from Lucy Li, but in the end Yealimi Noh stole the show. Li, of Redwood Shores, got things going with a brilliant first round 9-under 62, which broke the women's competitive course record at Poppy Hills and tied the championship record, previously set by Christina Kim in 2001 and Kimberly Kim in 2007. A day later, the 15-year-old Li carded a 69 for a 36-hole total of 11-under 131, one stroke shy of the championship record. Having entered the event as the No.9 player in the Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking™ (WAGR), Li was the No.1 seed as match play began. As usual, however, the match play brackets didn't stay to form. By the time the quarterfinals teed off, the only top-5 seeds left standing were Li and No. 2-seed Yealimi Noh. Noh, who hails from Concord, had come in to the event as one of the hottest players on the planet, having recently won the California Junior Girls' State Champion- ship and the PGA Girls' Junior, where she posted a record score of 24-under 264. Li and Noh appeared headed on a collision course, but 13-year-old Alexa Pano of Florida had other ideas. The No.21 seed, Pano would eliminate Li, 1 up, in the semifinals, while Noh advanced to the finals with a 3-and-2 win over North Carolina's Gina Kim. The Li-Pano match was tight, featuring three lead changes. In the end, it came down to two birdie putts on the 18th – Pano's dropped, and Li's didn't. Held the same day as the semifinals, the 36-hole final saw Noh cap a brilliant performance in what became a marathon of golf. Noh played a total of 49 holes on Saturday, finally finishing with a 4-and-3 victory over Pano. With the win, Noh joined the likes of Pat Hurst (1986), Jamille Jose (1988), Dorothy Delasin (1996) and Lisa Ferrero (2000) as NorCal natives to win the title. It is believed to be the most holes of golf ever played on the final day of a USGA championship dating to 1895, the year the Association began conducting national championships. "It really hasn't sunk in yet," said an exhausted Noh afterwards. "It's been such a long day, too. I just haven't gotten a chance to fully realize what this all means, but it really means a lot to me. I knew I could do it, but I was a little unsure because I haven't always had the best results in match play." Due to a number of fog delays during the week, including 30 minutes before Saturday morning's semifinal matches, the USGA came up with a revised schedule on Friday that called for the semifinals and the first 18 of the scheduled 36-hole championship match to be contested on Saturday, with the final 18 spilling over to Sunday morning. But when players inquired about getting the entire 36-hole final done on Saturday, the USGA discussed the idea and offered both finalists an option. Due to their personal schedules, Noh and Pano agreed to play as much golf as possible to avoid an extra day of play. By winning the championship, Noh also earned an exemption into next year's U.S. Women's Open at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. She'll also be invited to play in the USGA's Day of Champions at the 2019 U.S.Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. TIME FOR A HISTORIC VACATION In 2019, experience a luxury golf vacation to Northern Ireland with Carr Golf, longstanding partner to all celebrated Open Championship venues including Royal Portrush Golf Club. 1 855 617 5701 carrgolf.com "A family business, ensuring a personal touch and a wealth of stories." Forbes.com U.S. Girls' Junior Championship

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