Amari Avery of Riverside captured the 53rd California Women’s Amateur Championship with a 3-and-2 victory over Aman Sangha of San Mateo at Quail Lodge Resort http://www.quaillodge.com in Carmel Valley.
The 15-year-old Avery, who won six events in the 2016 and 2017, and earned 2016 Player of the Year honors on the Southern California PGA Junior Tour, claimed her first victory in more than a year.
“It feels great,” said Avery, who played a role in the 2013 documentary, “The Short Game.” “It means a lot to win something that so many great players have won. It’s a really long week, but it was great. You’ve got to stay focused all the time.”
Sangha took a 1-up lead by winning the 12th hole with a par, but Avery took control by winning the next three holes. She got even with a 30-foot birdie putt on the next hole and took the lead for good with a tap-in birdie on the par-5 14th.
Avery made a short birdie putt on No. 15, another par-5, where Sangha lipped out her birdie putt.
“I really thought I had that putt,” said Sangha, 21, who is transferring from Canada College to Cal State Northridge. “It just lipped out.”
Said Avery: “The 14th hole, I knew that was a go-getter. On the 15th, I didn’t really think I could go for it in two. I took a risk and it worked out.”
Sangha had to at least halve the 16th hole to keep the match going, but hit her approach shot through the green to the back fringe. Avery hit her approach shot to within 15 feet of the pin and when Sangha’s birdie putt ran past the cup and she missed the comebacker for par, the match was over.
In the semifinals, Avery defeated Annika Borrelli of Alamo, 5 and 4, and Sangha needed 19 holes to turn back her sister, Kiran Sangha, who will be her teammate in the fall at Cal State Northridge.
Avery joined an illustrious list of past champions that includes Juli Inkster, Patty Sheehan, Amy Alcott, Shelley Hamlin, Emilee Klein, Natalie Gulbis, Mina Harigae and Angel Yin.
For complete results, visit https://calam-53rdcaliforniawomensamateurchampio.golfgenius.com/pages/4917440988978369165