Par-busters converge at WJGA

Players in the top two age groups are eligible for the tournament's overall championship.

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WALLA WALLA - There were plenty of par-busters on display here Wednesday during the opening round of the 35th annual Washington Junior Golf Association Championships.

Playing in near-perfect mid-80s weather conditions, a trio of players from west of the Cascades set the early pace in the 54-hole event as they fired 3-under-par 69s at the Wine Valley Golf Course to share the lead in the boys 16-17 age division.

But they had plenty of company in red numbers as seven others shot sub-par rounds on the rolling links-style course. And there were four other players at even-par 72 heading into today's second round of play.

Michael Almonte of Fircrest, Tyler Salsbury of Enumclaw and Chris Tedesco of Gig Harbor were the three players at 3-under 69. But they were but one scant shot in front of four other players in their division and two in the boys 14-15 division who all carded 2-under-par 70s.

Brennan Emory of Mount Vernon, Charlie Kern of Mercer Island, Zack Spencer of Mead and James Feutz of University Place matched 70s and were in a four-way logjam for fourth place in the 16-17 group. And Brian Moon of Mukilteo and Michael Baldeck of Clarkston also shot 70s to share the top spot in the boys 14-15 division.

The last of the par-busters was Shoreline's Chris Babcock, who finished at 71 and was just two shots in back of the leaders in the 16-17 division. Li Wang of Sammamish and William Whealdon of Bainbridge Island matched par-72 to share ninth place in the 16-17 group, and Frank Garber of Kirkland and Joe Harvie of Orting cared 72s to share third place in the 14-15 division.

Players in the top two age groups are eligible for the tournament's overall championship.

It wasn't quite as competitive on the girls side of the tournament at the Walla Walla Country Club.

Savana Bezdicek of Colbert shot a 2-over 74 and fashioned a six-shot lead over Auburn's Alexus Song in the 16-17 age division. But the overall lead belonged to Amy Hasenoehrl of Lewiston, who matched even-par 72 to set the pace in the 14-15 division.

And Hasenoehrl found herself just one shot in front of Bree Wanderscheid of Goldendale, who was alone in second place in the 14-15 group.

The younger group, in fact, proved far stronger than the older girls as Catherina Li of Kent shot 75, good for third-place overall, third in the 14-15 divison and just two strokes off the pace, Marianne Li of Bellevue, Alivia Brown of Gig Harbor, Lindsey Gullikson of Tacoma and Sierra Bezdicek of Colbert shot 76s and were in a four-way tie for fourth place in the division. Kendall Gray of Federal Way was another shot back at 77 and Olivia Benzin of Tacoma carded a 78.

Walla Walla's Nick Atwood shot an 83 and was tied with Ben Dubois of Renton for 24th place in the boys 14-15 division. And Jessica Huntsman scored 80 and was in a three-way tie for 10th place in the girls 14-15 group with Lauryn Keating of Elma and Sierra Kersten of Spokane.

Players switch courses for today's second round, with the boys testing their skills at the country club while the girls take on Wine Valley. Friday's third and final round is slated at the country club.

Meanwhile, the boys and girls 12-13 and 8-11 divisions played their first round of the tournament at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

Travis Kay of Ellensburg shot a 1-over-par 73 to lead the boys 12-13 age group by one shot over Vancouver's Spencer Tibbits. It was two more shots back to Grant Cole of Redmond, Sam Warkentin of Bainbridge Island, Vincent Vu of Auburn and Troy Johnston of Puyallup, who were logjammed in third place at 76.

Sarah Rhee of Seattle led the girls 12-13 division with a score of 78. She was two shots in front of a trio of players deadlocked in second place that included Walla Walla's Emily Baumgart.

Also at 81 were Sarah Lawrence of Duvall and Ashley Fitzgibbons of Sammamish.

Alvin Kwak of Snohomish and Joe Highsmith of Lakewood led the boys 8-11 division with nine-hole scores of 38, two shots over par. Ian Siebers and Ryan Park, both of Bellevue, and Dylan Bissell of Yakima were a shot behind at 39.

Seattle's Abigail Euyang shot 41 to build a five-shot advantage in the girls 8-11 division. Kenedee Peters of Olympia and Brittany Kwon of Silverdale were tied for second place at 46.

The two younger groups play their second round at Memorial today before moving to the country club for Wednesday's concluding round of play.

All of the fields will be cut by about two-thirds for the final round of play.

WJGA State Championships

First Round

Boys 16-17 Division

At Wine Valley Golf Course

Michael Almonte, Fircrest 69

Tyler Salsbury. Enumclaw 69

Chris Tedesco, Gig Harbor 69

Brennan Emory, Mount Vernon 70

Charlie Kern, Mercer Island 70

Zack Spencer, Mead 70

James Feutz, University Place 70

Chris Babcock, Shoreline 71

Li Wang, Sammamish 72

William Whealdon, Bainbridge Island 72

Garrett Foss, Redmond 73

Kelly Campbell, Auburn 73

Kyle Cornett, Mill Creek 74

Ryan Wallen, Blaine 74

Luke Kilcup. Gig Harbor 74

Nick Atkin, Kennewick 74

Cole Lorenzo, Richland 74

Anthony Allen, Arlington 75

Chris Hatch, Mukilteo 75

Abe Kim, Mukilteo 75

David Won, Bothell 75

Tye Morrison, Mead 75

Cooper Wright, Moscow, Idaho 75

Lyle Rudnicki, Woodinville 76

Bryan Jung, Bellevue 76

Ryan Books, Seattle 76

Jeffrey Marcum, West Richland 76

Tanner Martin, Richland 76

Samson Martinez, Pasco 76

Evan Dyar, Spokane 76

Austin Billeter, Mead 76

Daniel Lee, Bellevue 76

Boys 14-15 Division

At Wine Valley Golf Course

Brian Moon, Mukilteo 70

Michael Baldeck, Clarkston 70

Frank Garber, Kirkland 72

Joe Harvie, Orting 72

Stephen Roller, Hayden, Idaho 73

Nolan Cull, Lake Tapps 73

Brett Manke, Lakewood 74

Chase Carlson, Tacoma 74

Joe Fryer, Mukilteo 75

Patrick Sato, Bellevue 75

Spencer Weiss, Sammamish 75

Brian Mogg, Sammamish 75

Eugene Wackerbarth, Clyde Hill 75

Eric Ansett, Spokane 75

Ahren Young, Renton 75

Radleigh Ang, Medina 76

Aubrey MacKenzie, Poulsbo 76

Tanner Kovacevich, Edgewood 76

Brendan McCauley, Olympia 77

Matthew Philichi, Gig Harbor 77

Drew McCullough, Richland 77

Blake Ellingsen, Spokane 77

Matthew Kornegay, Mukilteo 78

Dylan Merrill, Edmonds 78

Andy Liu, Bellevue 78

Clark Wilson, Ocean Park 78

Aaron Whalen, Ephrata 78

Tanner Comes, Spokane 78

Kenny Dodge, Post Falls, Idaho 78

Trevor Fedele, Post Falls, Idaho 78

Boys 12-13 Division

At Veterans Memorial Golf Course

Travis Kay, Ellensburg 73

Spencer Tibbits, Vancouver 74

Grant Cole, Remond 76

Sam Warkentin, Bainbridge Island 76

Vincent Vu, Auburn 76

Troy Johnston, Puyalllup 76

John Sand, Hoquiam 77

Zachary Evens, Mercer Island 78

Kenneth Sheldon, Ocean Park 78

Joseph Baldeck, Clarkston 78

Holden Backes, Yakima 79

Stephen Hopkins, Redmond 80

Tiger Nelson, Medina 81

Race Porter, Seattle 82

RJ Manke, Lakewood 83

Kyle Thomas, Spokane 83

Luke Doss, Seatac 83

Sean Yi, Federal Way 83

Ryan Ray, Richland 84

Curtis Koloterman, Lake Tapps 84

Boys 8-11 Division

At Veterans Memorial Golf Course

9 Holes

Alvin Kwak, Snohomish 38

Joe Highsmith, Lakewood 38

Ian Siebers, Bellevue 39

Ryan Park, Bellevue 39

Dylan Bissell, Yakima 39

Ryan Feyrer, Lacey 40

Clayton Thatcher, Tacoma 40

Colt Sherrell, Maple Valley 40

Tyler Aamold, Startup 41

Connor Golembeski, Redmond 41

Victor Wang, Sammamish 42

Sean Kato, Redmond 43

Joseph Allen, Gig Harbor 43

Nathan Cogswell, Kent 43

Parker Kneadler, Maple Valley 43

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Girls 16-17 Division

At Walla Walla Country Club

Savana Bezdicek, Colbert 74

Alexus Song, Auburn 80

Haley Chinn, Mercer Island 81

Amanda Beyke, Federal Way 81

Sammie Pless, Seattle 82

Cassandra McKinley, Shoreline 82

Kassidy Long-Goheen, Gig Harbor 82

Amanda Fairweather, Maple Valley 82

Jessica Kent, Bellevue 84

Kristin Strankman, Richland 84

Taylor Anderson, Moscow, Idaho 84

Jamie Huo, Kent 84

Sydney Kersten, Spokane 84

Taylor Kain-Godoy, Richland 85

Madeline Dodge, Post Falls, Idaho 85

Girls 14-15 Division

At Walla Walla Country Club

Amy Hasenoehrl, Lewiston 72

Bree Wanderscheid, Goldendale 73

Catherina Li, Kent 75

Marianne Li, Bellevue 76

Alivia Brown, Gig Harbor 76

Lindsey Gullikson, Tacoma 76

Sierra Bezdicek, Colbert 76

Kendall Gray, Federal Way 77

Olivia Benzin, Tacoma 78

Lauryn Keating, Elma 80

Jessica Huntsman, Walla Walla 80

Sierra Kersten, Spokane 80

Kaceelyn Pouttu, Kellogg, Idaho 83

Neydeen Martinez, Pasco 84

Girls 12-13 Division

At Veterans Memorial Golf Course

Sarah Rhee, Seattle 78

Sarah Lawrence, Duvall 81

Ashley Fitzgibbons, Sammamish 81

Emily Baumgart, Walla Walla 81

Tessa George, Fircrest 83

Rachel Fujitani, Seattle 84

Girls 8-11 Division

At Veterans Memorial Golf Course

9 Holes

Abigail Euyang, Seattle 41

Kenedee Peters, Olympia 46

Brittany Kwon, Silverdale 46

Gabrielle Ferreira, University Place 48

MacKenzie Milton, Seattle 49

Alyssa Nguyen, Renton 50

Molly O'Brien, Federal Way 51

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