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BY MAVERICK PALLACK/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Oregon State golfer holds off late charge by former Pendleton standout Greb

COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON GOLF ASSOCIATION - HALEY GREG, ELLIE SLAMAThree years ago, Haley Greb (Colorado State, ex-Pendleton High) and Ellie Slama (Oregon State, ex-South Salem High) matched up in the Oregon Junior Amateur final at Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby. Greb was able to edge out Slama for the title.

Fast forward to Saturday and with another trophy on the line, this time in the Oregon Amateur at Portland Golf Club.

Slama, the reigning champion and OSU junior-to-be, got revenge, defeating Greb 3 and 2 in the 36-hole match to continue her strong 2019.

Slama credited her ability to stay on the fairways and her strength on the back nine during the second 18.

Greb said her inability to find some fairways was her downfall.

Slama never trailed, but Greb kept the match close until the 18th hole, where Slama's wedge earned her a birdie for a 3-up cushion.

Slama built her lead to 6-up by the 23rd hole, seemingly putting the match out of reach.

Rather than roll over, however, Greb put the pressure on her opponent, winning three of the next four holes. The CSU Ram junior-to-be eventually got the deficit to two on the 32nd hole, but two shots off the tree on PGC's 15th hole all but ended her hopes of a comeback.

"I never stopped fighting," Greb said. "I know I didn't get it finished, but hanging in there and coming back was pretty cool."

The champion was a strong favorite to reach the final, and she won her other matches 9 and 8, 4 and 3, 4 and 3, and 6 and 5. After her semifinal win over Amanda Jacobs (ex-Idaho and Central Catholic High) on Friday, Slama returned to Salem. She then woke up at 5:30 a.m. Saturday to head back for the final.

Greb, almost as impressive, had all her other matches end before the 17th hole.

"I'm excited about this week," Greb said. "It's a bummer I couldn't finish it out, but it will be good to come back here next year."

Greb plans to compete in a U.S. Women's Amateur qualifier next month in Texas and in the Texas Women's Open, July -7-9 at Garland, Texas.

Slama also has more in store for this summer. On Sunday, she plans to take a hike. After that, she hopes to play in the July 8 U.S. Women's Amateur qualifier in DuPont, Washington, the July 23-26 Canadian Women's Amateur in Red Deer, Alberta, and the LPGA Cambia Portland Classic, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

"I've been playing good golf for long enough where it just kind of runs together," Slama said. "One win goes off the other. I think from last summer until now, I've been playing solid golf, and that has helped me as a player."

NOTES: Lara Tennant won her third consecutive Oregon Senior Women's Amateur on Saturday, defeating fellow Portlander Loree McKay 6 and 5.

Tennant won the first five holes.

"I was consistent and able to figure out these very difficult greens," Tennant said. "I was able to play my best in the finals."

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