Eastlake uses home course advantage to beat Issaquah’s golfers

April 19, 2011

By Christopher Huber

The conditions couldn’t have been much worse at Sahalee Country Club April 14. Not only did the chilly, low-40’s temperature cause tense muscles and stiff grips, but the driving rain even caused a player to lose her club during a swing.

Lauren Merdinyan, Issaquah High School junior, tees off on the fourth hole at Sahalee Country Club April 14 on the way to a nine-hole score of 51 against Eastlake. By Christopher Huber

Despite the lingering effects of a cold, wet and dark winter and early spring, the Issaquah and Eastlake high school girls golf teams completed the course without delay.

Eastlake, likely finding some comfort in its home-course advantage, came out on top, beating the Eagles, 277-302, in a 4A KingCo Conference match. Eastlake improved to 6-1 on the season. The young Issaquah team went to 3-2 overall.

Eastlake junior standout Megan Wotherspoon again led the way as the medalist, shooting a 46 on the par-36 course. She said the rain doesn’t bother her much because she is able to stay focused anyway.

“It’s not my best, but I’m not disappointed with it,” she said as the teams tallied their scores in the Sahalee clubhouse. “It makes your grip slippery, but for me, I don’t really mind it.”

Issaquah coach Tom Bakamus said he was mostly pleased with how his girls did, considering the weather conditions and that some of them had never played Sahalee before.

“We’ve seen a lot of good shots today,” he said after the match.

The girls anticipated Sahalee’s fast greens and narrow, tree-lined fairways, but the soaked ground slowed the ball down enough to create plenty of three- and four-putt headaches for both teams.

“There were a lot of wasted good shots,” Bakamus said. “The scores weren’t indicative of the good shots.”

Eastlake’s No. 2, Jamie Midkiff took second behind Wotherspoon after she tallied a 49-stroke performance on the South 9. Issaquah’s No. 1, Lauren Merdinyan, shot a 51 to place third and teammate Elin Skaardal, a junior, shot a 55 to take fourth overall.

“The ground is soft, so there’s a lot of chunking and slow greens,” Wotherspoon said.

Bakamus noted Merdinyan and Skaardal’s leadership and consistency for Issaquah this year. They show focus and regular improvement each match.

“They’re good leaders,” he said. “They don’t make the little mistakes.”

Eastlake’s Rebecca Priestley and Amulya Cherala each shot a 59 and tied for fifth.

After the match, Wotherspoon, who looks to make a run for the state tourney this spring, reflected on her performance.

“I’m doing well with chipping and putting,” she said. “My drives are where I went wrong.”

Eastlake coach Pat Bangasser seemed pleased with the Wolves thus far. He has stressed a key point this season to keep his players focused and competitive.

“They’re playing the gold course. They’re not playing the other team,” he said.

Eagles top Inglemoor

Skaardal shot a 42 April 12 to take medalist honors as Issaquah defeated Inglemoor, 249-253, at Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course.

Merdinyan shot a 46 and Morgan Young had a 47 for Issaquah.

Patriots down Mount Si

Rachel Heflin was the medalist April 12 when she shot a 43 to lead the Liberty High School girls golf team past Mount Si, 247-268, at the Maplewood Golf Course.

Heflin had pars in the 3A/2A KingCo match. Teammate Molly Culwell, who shot a 50, had three pars. Rachel Werner and Alex DuVall each had 51s for the Patriots.

Julia Dorn led Mount Si with a 47.

Spartans beat Garfield

Shirley Chung shot a 47 April 11 to lead the Skyline High School girls golf team to a 276-327 4A KingCo Conference victory against Garfield at the Plateau Golf Course.

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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