Oregon Golf Association -- Bagdade Birdies 18th Hole for First Oregon Mid-Amateur Victory; Stone Claims Sixth Women's Title With Strong Finish

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Oregon Golf Association -- Bagdade Birdies 18th Hole for First Oregon Mid-Amateur Victory; Stone Claims Sixth Women's Title With Strong Finish
Sunday Jul 10, 2016

NORTH PLAINS, ORE. (JULY 10, 2016)­– A day after the wind howled through the trees and rustled the fescue at Pumpkin Ridge’s Ghost Creek Golf Course, the sun shown through and champions rose to the top. Sunday’s championship round at the 28th Oregon Mid-Amateur was a battle to the end in both the Men’s and Women’s divisions. In one division, a new champion was crowned, and in the other, a feisty mid-amateur veteran claimed yet another title.

In the Men’s Division, Phillip Bagdade (Portland, Ore.) and Robbie Ziegler (Canby, Ore.) were tied for the lead after opening day rounds of even par 71. Joining Bagdade and Ziegler in the final group was Justin Kadin (Corvallis, Ore.), who started the day one stroke back after a one-over par 72.  Kadin faltered on the front nine, but Bagdade and Ziegler held steady, posting an even par 36 and a one-over 37, respectively. Playing in the second to last group, Vincent Digiano (Portland, Ore.) and Jonathan Romano (Vancouver, Ore.) made things interesting. The pair jumped up the leaderboard after each firing even par rounds on the day. With Digiano and Romano in the clubhouse with two-over par 144 totals, the stage was set as Bagdade and Ziegler stepped to the tee on the 18th hole.

Both Bagdade and Ziegler sat at two-over par, a birdie for either would take the lead from Digiano and Romano, and avoid a possible four-way playoff. Bagdade and Ziegler both hit their drives in play on the 454-yard closing par four. Both players stuck their second shots on to the green, Ziegler’s to 20 feet and Bagdade’s to eight feet. Ziegler putted first. His twenty footer looked good until it just scraped the edge of the hole and ran past. With the championship in his hands, Bagdade crouched behind his ball. After analyzing his putt, he lowered his head, collecting himself. He then got up, addressed the ball, and swung the putter back and through. The ball held its line and gently fell over the front lip of the cup.

Bagdade pumped his fist in celebration and relief. He had just won the 28th Oregon Mid-Amateur Championship. So were there nerves? “Nervewracking,” said Bagdade after signing his scorecard. “The whole back nine, I was nervous on every shot. It makes getting this [win] that much more gratifying to know that I was able to control my nerves well enough. There were times I didn’t feel like it was going the way I wanted it to, but you make one putt like that and it makes up for a lot.” Bagdade’s birdie gave him a one-over par 72 on the day, good enough for a 143 total and a one shot victory over Romano and Digiano. Ziegler missed his short comeback putt for on the 18th to drop to third place at 145.

In the Women’s Division, Brie Stone (Veneta, Ore.) entered the day holding a thin one shot lead over Amanda Jacobs (Portland, Ore.), who won last year’s Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship. Rosie Cook (Bend, Ore.) joined Stone and Jacobs in the final group, ready to erase the two shot between her and Stone. Starting on the tenth hole, Cook made three straight birdies on holes 15,16, and 17, to make the turn with a four-over par total. Stone made two bogeys and a double bogey on the groups’ first nine to fall to five over par for the tournament, one stroke behind Cook. Jacobs struggled to find a rhythm all day, and fell behind the leaders after a six-over par 41 on her first nine put her four shots back with just the front nine to play.

With Ghost Creek’s front nine remaining, Stone found caught stride, making birdies on three of the first six holes. Cook could not answer, and fell back after a double bogey on her eleventh hole and two bogeys on her fourteenth and sixteenth holes. As the final group walked down their final hole, Stone had all but wrapped up her sixth Women’s mid-amateur championship in seven year. A par on the final hole gave Stone a four-over par 75 for the day and a five-over par five 147 total, good enough for a five shot victory over Cook.

So how did a sixth championship feel? “Amazing,” breathed Stone. I came into this tournament really wanting to win, this is kind of my big tournament of the year, and so it felt pretty good to get it done today. Rosie was ahead of me there on our first nine, I was struggling a little bit. So it was tough, it was really tough, but I played really well on the [second nine] this time.” Cook’s final day seven-over par 78 gave her a ten-over par 152 total to claim runner-up. Gretchen Johnson (Portland, Ore.) shot a nine-over par 80 to take third place.

With a new champion and a decorated winner headed home as champions, the sun set over Pumpkin Ridge, bringing a close to the 28th Oregon Mid-Amateur Championship. The OGA Championship action continues on August 5th with the 2016 Oregon Men’s Stroke Play Championship at Centennial Golf Club in Medford, Ore.

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