Three former champions and an up-and-coming golfer just out of Shoreline High School are among the 16 players who qualified Monday for the championship flight of the Washington State Women’s Golf Association tournament at Sand Point Country Club in Seattle.
Two-time champion (2005-‘06) Denise Kieffer, Gretchen Klein and 17-year-old Cassie McKinley shared the low rounds of the day at 6-over 77, while defending State champion Leslie Folsom carded a 79, as did Dona Dunovant.
Folsom, who plays out of Rainier in Seattle, is looking for her fifth State title. She won in 2005, ’07, ’08 and last year. McKinley, who recently accepted a scholorship offer from the University of Idaho, is playing in her first State Amateur tournament.
Jane Harris, the State champion in 2010, also finished among the top 16 finishers with an 81.
A field of 78 players (two players withdrew before Monday’s qualifying) is competing in the event, which is celebrating its 90th year, making it one of the longest-running tournaments on the GolfersWest.com map. (The theme for this week’s event is “Celebrating 90 years . . .The Grand Tradition”). Utah is the only western state that has played a women’s state amateur tournament longer – No. 106 is scheduled for August 7-10 at the Logan Golf and Country Club.
State champions already have been crowned in Idaho, Montana, California and Hawaii.
This is Washington’s week in the spotlight, followed by New Mexico (Aug. 6-9), Arizona (Aug. 15-19), Nevada (Sept. 17-19) and Oregon (Oct. 8-10).
The five-day tournament at Sand Point CC started Monday morning with stroke play to determine the championship and subsequent flights. Match play starts at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, culminating in a 36-hole championship match on Friday.
Here are the championship flight contestants and their scores on Monday:
(77): Denise Kieffer, Gretchen Klein, Cassie McKinley; (79): Dona Dunovant, Leslie Folsom; (80): Sharon Drummey, Flora Weeks; (81): Jane Harris, Katie Kitner; (82): Nancy Elgin, Linda Spear, Jenny Park, Cathy Uptain; (83): Robin Cole, Denise Jeffries, Sue Ursino.
The remainder of the tournament will be match play. The two finalists will play a 36-hole match on Friday.
There will be an additional four flights (based on handicap index) of competition for the remaining field.