Thomas outlasts Baker in Pacific NW Women's Am

VICTORIA, British Columbia – American Chessey Thomas defeated Canadian Amanda Baker, 4 and 3, in the scheduled 36-hole final match to win the 111th Pacific Northwest Women's Amateur Championship on Friday at Bear Mountain Golf Resort's Valley Course.

Thomas, a Tennessee junior from Spokane, Wash., sprinted to a 4-up lead with four birdies through 11 holes in the morning round. However, Baker, a North Carolina State senior from Nanaimo, B.C., responded with an albatross on the 469-yard, par-5 12th and birdies on Nos. 13 and 15 to complete a four-hole run and square the match entering the afternoon round.

Thomas took control in the afternoon with a birdie-2 on the 186-yard second hole.

"Once that putt rolled in, I felt it shift a little bit," Thomas said.

She won four of the first seven holes in the afternoon round before holding on with seven consecutive pars to seal the victory.

"I'm very tired," Thomas said, "but it felt good to finish strong. . . . I feel pretty blessed to be here because it was a strong field."

In the semifinals, Thomas advanced by defeating Aubrie Street of Medford, Ore., 2 up. Thomas ended last season at No. 95 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.

Baker knocked off top-seeded Megan Haase of Spokane, 2 and 1, in the quarterfinals before defeating Sydney Kersten, also of Spokane, in the semifinals. Baker ranked 299th in the Golfweek/Sagarins.

Thomas was a PNWA quarterfinalist last year and made the Round of 32 in 2010. This summer, she felt rested and ready after a late-spring break.

"I took a lot of time off after nationals back in May. I took about four weeks off. So to come back and win my first event in a few years feels really good. I think I can look back at this and feel pretty good about myself."

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