Barker Claims First IGA Match Play Championship
CALDWELL, ID- Gabrielle Barker stood tall on the first tee of the TimberStone Golf Course as she began the finals match in the IGA/TimberStone Match Play Championship. Barker cruised to victory in her first two matches, defeating Karen Giardina (9&7) in the opening round and Shawna Ianson (7&6) in the semifinals. Barker’s play has earned her many accolades throughout her career including 2013 and 2015 State Amateur titles, 2016 Big 12 Golfer of the year, and a spot at number 64 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings (WAGR).
Barker, a Texas Tech Red Raider, had a formidable opponent ahead in the finals, Kareen Markle. Markle, a previous champion, comfortably won her first two matches defeating Kris Hopkins (5&4) and Abby Black (4&3). The morning semifinals moved into the afternoon finals match and the two had to battle the heat and the course for the second time that day.
A bogey on the par-4 first hole of TimberStone Golf Course put Barker in a position she had yet to be all weekend, one down. Markle and Baker swapped the lead back and forth through the front nine. Barkers length benefited her on the par-5 seventh positioning her on the green, putting for eagle. The two-putt birdie provided Barker a lead of two up. Baker closed out the front nine with a par on nine, leading Markle by three.
Markle began the fight back with a birdie on the tenth hole, chipping away at Barker’s lead. Barker responded by winning the eleventh, but lost the thirteenth. Barker’s par on the fourteenth was enough to win the hole and move to three up. A push on hole fifteen placed the match in dormie to hole sixteen, which neither player’s matches had reached previously in the weekend. Markle had the opportunity to prolong the match with a putt from the front fringe. Markle’s effort missed the hole and Barker converted on a three-foot par putt to secure the victory (3&2) .
Tags: Caldwell, Gabby Barker, ID, IGA/TimberStone Match Play Championship, Kareen Markle, Karen Giardina, Shawna Ianson, TimberStone Golf Course