DUPONT, Wash. — Emily Baumgart, Walla Walla’s lone representative at the Washington Junior Golf Association’s state tournament, was in the hunt here Wednesday at the Eagles Pride Golf Course.
Baumgart, competing in the girls 14-15 age division, shot a first-round 79 on the narrow, tree-lined, par-72 layout. She found herself tied for fourth place and four strokes off the pace heading into today’s second round at The Home Course, also a par-72 track.
The top six girls and ties in a field of 21 will advance to Friday’s third and final round of the tournament, which will also be played on The Home Course.
Maddie Nelson of Sammamish fired a 3-over-par 75 to set the pace in the girls 14-15 field. She held a three-stroke lead going into today’s play.
Sarah Ree of Lynwood and Tessa George of Fir Crest matched 78s and were tied for second place, with Baumgart and Jalayne Martinez of Pasco just another shot back with matching scores of 79.
Rachel Fujitani of Mercer Island was next with a score of 80 and Maddy Kukich of University Place was alone in seventh place at 81.
Holden Backes of Yakima and Ezra Arneson of Richland held down the top two spots in the boys 14-15 age group, which was played at The Home Course Wednesday. Backes shot 69 and Arneson was two shots behind with a 71.
In the boys 16-17 division that was played at Eagles Pride, a trio of players shared the lead with 3-under-par 69s. Gregory Gildea of Lakewood, Joseph Harrie of Orting and Ahren Young of Renton were knotted at the top of the 62-player field, with a pair of Mukilteo players hot on their heels.
Brian Moon was alone in fourth place with a 2-under 70 and Joe Fryer was another stroke back with a 1-under 71.
It was a similar scenario in the girls 16-17 division as Olivia Benzin of Tacoma, Alivia Brown of Gig Harbor and Cherokee Kim of DuPont matched 1-under-par 71s to set the pace at The Home Course. They were three shots up on Aleana Groenhout of Redmond, who was alone in fourth place with a 2-over-par 74.
The first two rounds of the boys and girls 12-13 and 8-11 age divisions are being played at the Meadow Park Golf Course.
After Wednesday’s play, Alvin Kwak of Mulkelteo held the boys 12-13 lead with a 72 and Brittany Kwon of Bremerton paced the girls 12-13 group with a 73. Victor Wang of Sammamish shot 34 for nine holes to lead the 8-11 boys and Julia Bordeaux of Tacoma and Claire Moon of Lacey shared the 8-11 lead with 40s.
Friday’s final round of the 12-13 and 8-11 divisions will be played at The Home Course.