Leilani Norman Wins Oregon Senior Women's Amateur Final; Hval, O'Donnell to Play For Men's Title Thursday Morning
CRESWELL, ORE. – Leilani Norman (Eugene, Ore.) defeated Lisa Smego (Olympia, Wash.) 3 and 2 on Wednesday to win the 2015 Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur Championship, held this week at Emerald Valley Golf and Resort in Creswell, Ore. The Men’s title will pit defending champion Pat O’Donnell (Happy Valley, Ore.) against Scott Hval (Portland, Ore.) on Thursday morning.
Norman earned her second Oregon Senior Women’s Amateur title with this year’s win, also winning in 2013.
The match was close through the first nine holes, with both players not being able to sustain much momentum; it was all-square at the turn. Norman started the second nine on fire, however, and jumped to a 3-up lead after 13 holes. Three consecutive halved holes solidified her 3 and 2 win.
Following the round, Norman was emotional when talking about her win and comparing it to her 2013 title. Wednesday would have marked her brother’s 62nd birthday; he passed away a year and a half ago.
“This one actually feels a little more special,” said Norman, as she tapped her finger against the Women’s Perpetual Trophy, mentioning her brother. “This is for you.”
In the Men’s Division, O’Donnell and Hval will meet in the Men’s Championship match for the second consecutive year. Last year, O’Donnell emerged victorious, scoring a 2-up victory. The two players have combined to win the last five Oregon Senior Amateur Championships; O’Donnell won in 2010 and 2014, while Hval won three straight titles from 2011-13.
O’Donnell defeated Michael Kloenne (West Linn, Ore.) 4 and 3 in the semifinals. O’Donnell shot 32 (-4) on the front side, jumping to a 3-up lead after nine holes. Kloenne cut the lead to 2-up after 12 holes, but O’Donnell would win the 13th and 14th holes, securing the chance to defend his title.
Hval battled Denny Taylor (Gladstone, Ore.) in his semifinal match. Hval was 5-up after seven holes, thanks to a four-hole stretch (2-5) where he would win every one. Taylor was never able to complete the comeback; he got within four a number of times from then on, but Hval held steady down the stretch.
The Men’s Championship match will commence at 8:03 AM Thursday morning.
The First Flight Championship in the Men’s Division will take place Thursday morning, as well.
David Lydell (Aloha, Ore.) will play Charley Griswold (Bend, Ore.) at 8:12 AM on Thursday in the final match of the flight.
Also decided on Wednesday was the Second Flight champion in the Men’s Division. Jon Carroll (Eugene, Ore.) defeated Alan Fudge (Corvallis, Ore.), 5 and 3.