Baumgart second at WJGA state tourney

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DUPONT, Wash. — Sarah Ree pulled away from Emily Baumgart here Friday during the third and final round of the Washington Junior Golf Association’s state tournament at The Home Course.

Only three shots separated the two 15-year-olds when the day began, but frontrunner Rhee carved out a 1-under-par 71 while Baumgart managed a 7-over-par 79 to finish a distant second in the girls 14-15 age division.

Rhee, who is from Lynnwood, finished strong with the best round of the tournament in her division for a 224 score for 54 holes. Baumgart, Walla Walla’s lone representative in the tournament, finished at 235, 11 strokes off the pace.

Still, Baumgart managed to hang on to second place in an original field of 21 girls who qualified for state in her age bracket.

Maddie Nelson of Sammamish, the first-day leader after shooting a 75, could do no better than 80 during Friday’s final round for a 236 score and was alone in third place, one shot behind Baumgart. Maddie Kokich of University Place took fourth at 237 on the strength of her second straight 78 on The Home Course.

Jalayne Martinez of Pasco carded an 80 on Friday and was alone in fifth place at 240, six shots in front of Fircrest’s Tessa George, who turned in a final-round 86 for a 246 overall score.

Only the top six players qualified for Friday’s third round.

Alivia Brown of Gig Harbor won the girls 16-17 age division title with a 214 score for 54 holes, two under par. Brown shot even-par 72 on Friday after posting 1-under 71s during the first two days of play.

DuPont’s Kim Cherokee, who began the day one shot off the lead, carded a 1-pver-par 73 during the final round to finish two strokes back at 214. Cherokee began the tournament with a 1-under-par 71 on the Eagles Pride Golf Course Wednesday and followed up with an even-par 72 Thursday when play shifted to The Home Course.

Marianne Li of Bellevue turned in the final day’s best round, a 5-under-par 67 that enabled her to move up to third place with a 218 tally. Li finished five shots in front of Olivia Benzin of Tacoma, who shared the tournament lead after one round with a 1-under-par 71 but shot herself out of contention with a 79 on Thursday before closing with a 1-over 73.

Although she shot an 81 on Friday, Brittany Kwon of Bremerton was the wire-to-wire winner in the girls 12-13 age group with a 54-hole total of 225. Kenedee Peters of Olympia closed with a 79 and finished five shots behind Kwon and 14 shots in front of third-place finisher Abby Euyang of Seattle, who had a final-round 86 for a 244 score.

Julia Bordeaux of Tacoma edged Janine Surge of Seattle for first place in the 36-hole 8-11 girls division. After shooting 40 and 38 during two nine-hole rounds at the Meadow Park Golf Course to begin the tournament, Bordeaux closed with an 18-hole score of 88 for a 166 final score.

Surge, who began the day six strokes off the pace, shot a final-round 83 and improved to 167, just one stroke behind the winner.

In boys 16-17 play, Joseph Harvie of Orting outdueld Gregory Gildea of Lakewood for the title.

Harvie scored his second consecutive 3-under-par 69 on The Old Course — sandwiched around a 4-under-par 68 Thursday at Eagles Pride — for a 54-hole score of 206 and then defeated Gildea in a sudden-death playoff.

Gildea matched Harvie with a 69 on Wednesday, toured Eagles Pride in 67 on Thursday to take a one-shot lead into the final round and then gave it back with a closing 70.

Harvie and Gildea finished nine strokes in front of Chase Carlson of Tacoma and 10 ahead of Joe Fryer of Mukilteo and Patrick Sato of Bellevue. Carlson matched even-par 72 in the final round while Fryer and Sato shot 72 and 74, respectively, to close out the tournament.

Ezra Arneson of Richland closed out the tournament with a 2-under-par 70 and won the boys 14-15 age division with a 217 total. He finished five shots in front of Grant Cole of Redmond and John Sand of Hoquiam, who tied for second place at 222.

Alvin Kwak of Mukilteo shot a final-round 76 and protected the top spot in the boys 12-13 age division. Kwak’s second-round 68 helped him to a 216 final score and a four-shot victory over Auburn’s Sean Vaovasa, who closed with a 75.

And in the boys 8-11 division, Victor Wang of Sammamish was a five-shot winner over Nate Plaster of Spokane. Wang scored 79 on Friday for a 152 score for 36 holes and Plaster scored 77 for 157.

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