WIAA State Golf Championships
4A boys at Liberty Lake, Spokane; 4A girls at MeadowWood, Spokane; 3A boys at Columbia Point, Richland; 3A girls at Canyon Lakes, Kennewick; 2A girls at Indian Canyon, Spokane; 2A boys at Creek at Qualchan, Spokane; 1A boys at Sun Willows, Pasco; 1A/2B/1B girls and 1B/2B boys at Horn Rapids, Richland
Tee times: Tuesday’s first round begins at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday’s final round tee times are based on cut numbers at discretion of host site.
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DEFENDING BOYS TEAM CHAMPIONS
2A: Liberty of Issaquah
DEFENDING GIRLS TEAM CHAMPIONS
2A: East Valley of Yakima
2B/1B: Northwest Christian of Colbert
RETURNING INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONS
4A boys: Carl Underwood, Richland. 3A girls: Brittany Kwon, Central Kitsap; 3A boys: Spencer Tibbits, Fort Vancouver; 2A girls: Morgan Baum, East Valley of Yakima; 1A boys: Nick Baker, Cle-Elum-Roslyn; 1B/2B girls: Kaysa Panke, Davenport; 1B/2B boys: Palmer Guhlke, Davenport
Boys: Thomas Jefferson’s Sean Yi is hoping he’s due for a state title – he’s placed sixth or better individually each of the past three years, including second as a freshman – before he heads off to Yale University. He’s a golfer that gave coach Dave Hunter flashbacks to watching pro golfers Ryan Moore (Cascade Christian) and Michael Putnam (Curtis) with how Yi strikes the ball for distance, his 5-foot-8, 135-pound frame hitting consistently over 300. Hard to imagine there could be a finish as chaotic as last year, when four golfers, including Bellarmine’s Joe Highsmith and R.J. Manke went to a playoff before Richland’s Carl Underwood outlasted Highsmith after four holes. Manke, Highsmith and Underwood return this year, while the Lions seek their third consecutive state team title.
Girls: So what does a WIAA state record seven consecutive state team titles get you? For Bellarmine Prep coach Mark Bender, it got him the USA Today national girls golf coach of the year last season. And no surprise – the Lions are the favorites to win another state title with Clair Hill, Morgan Bentley, Molly O’Brien, Serena Lee and Maddy Kokich all returning, alongside Julia Bordeaux, Elle Ferreira, Jessica Zelasko. Yes – eight Bellarmine golfers are in the field. WIAA rules previously capped the limit at six golfers for one school, and the Lions would have to leave golfers home who otherwise could have qualified with any other school. Hill is Bellarmine’s highest returning placer, placing ninth, but watch out for the freshman, Bordeaux. Central Kitsap lefty Brittany Kwon is hoping to defender her 3A state individual title after cruising to a five-stroke victory last year.
TJ Cotterill: firstname.lastname@example.org