PEBBLE BEACH – Ki-Shui Liao charged to the biggest victory of her career, capturing the NCGA Women’s Amateur Championship title on Tuesday at Spyglass Hill.
The soon-to-be senior at Stanford posted a pair of 79s on what proved to be a tough 6,207-yard layout, to win the championship by a single stroke over Diane Kwon of Fremont Park GC. Liao, after having gone through some recent swing changes commented that her first major tournament win was “a big confidence booster.”
The Alameda resident made a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole to secure the trophy and didn’t know for sure that she had won the tournament until she saw the scoreboard. Liao’s stategy for the week, “just play your own game” allowed her to card a two-under-par back-nine and beat a bevy of accomplished junior and collegiate players.
Kwon, who will start at Cal in the Fall, made an impressive comeback from a first-round 85 to post a 74, which included an even-par front-nine and claim the runner-up honor at 13-over-par 159.
One stroke back, Christina Stockton of Darkhorse posted 81-79 to finish in third place. The USF player finished strong with a two-under-par run on the last eight holes.
In the Women’s Senior Championship, Lisa Stanley triumphed in a two-hole playoff to beat Terry Mayes of Eagle Ridge GC. The pair tied for the tournament at 14-over-par 160 in what ended up to be a dramatic final round.
Stanley, the reigning club champion at Arrow Creek made a quadruple-bogey on the 8th hole and thought she was out of the match, but with three birdies on the back-nine managed to climb her way back into contention. Stanley commented, “I thought I was playing for third-place on the last hole,” and was surprised to see that she had captured the championship.
Runner-up winner Mayes, improved on her third-place finish in the championship last year and held off last years’ runner-up Sandra Woodruff of Pasatiempo. Woodruff finished at 15-over-par 161 with an 82 in the final round.