Salem teen to tee it up at Junior PGA Championship - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem teen to tee it up at the Junior PGA Championship

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Ellie Slama (KPTV) Ellie Slama (KPTV)
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Falling just short in her quest to repeat this week at the Oregon Junior Amateur Championships in Canby at the Willamette Valley Country Club, there are larger tournaments ahead on the scorecard for Ellie Slama, the reigning OSAA 6A state champion from Salem.
                
Slama stacks trophies like she cards birdies. 

"I putt and chip really well and I think that ties my whole game together," she said. 

The 17-year-old senior-to-be at South Salem High has teed it up since she was nine.

When asked if she could beat her brother or dad yet, she answered, "Yeah, I can." And when asked if they like that, she said, "Not really, my dad still says that he can beat me."

Dad shouldn't feel defeated, as she's atop the leaderboard at most stops and is an OSAA 6A state champion. 

"I was working harder than I usually do and it was really nice to see that pay off," said Slama. 

Then it was the payday at the Pacific Northwest's Junior PGA Championships. Slama earned the title and an invitation to play in Rhode Island for her second straight trip to the National Junior PGA event. 

"I personally didn't play my best last year. I think I finished top 32, so my goal this year is to finish top 15," Slama said. 

She dded, "You show up and they have lockers for you and they just treat you like basically you are a pro, and that's my dream too." 

Another dream that came true is when she committed as a sophomore to OSU.

"It was really early," said Slama. 

She had her first unofficial visit for the Beavers golf team in the eighth grade.

"Pac-12 is obviously really competitive, so it's going to be cool seeing all of the girls I grew up playing Oregon junior golf and other states too, playing them in college." 

In addition to the Junior PGA Championship, Slama is also playing in New Jersey for the U.S. Girls’ Championship, and if she's not busy enough on the course, she also runs cross country and swims for the South Salem Saxons. 

Vancouver's Spencer Tibbits, who has been featured before, won the northwest title on the boys’ side, so he is off to nationals as well. 

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