Junior golfers square off at summer tourneys

July 5, 2011

By Bob Taylor

Mersadie Tallman used to follow her older sister Brittany around the golf courses during Washington Junior Golf Association District 2 tournament play.

Taylor Swingle chips a shot to the pin on the par-5, 539-yard 18th hole June 28 at the Plateau Club. Swingle qualified for the WJGA District 2 Championship Tournament July 18-19 at the Mount Si Golf Course. By Greg Farrar

Brittany, who now plays for the University of Washington, was one of the top junior players, as well as a two-time state champion at Issaquah High School.

Now, the younger sister is out to make a name for herself.

Mersadie, who will be a freshman at Issaquah in the fall, is one of the top players in the girls 14-15 division this summer. She shot an 87 to take first place at the The Plateau Club on June 28 in the second sub-district tournament of the season. Tallman beat Eastlake sophomore Jamie Midkiff by three strokes.

“It was OK,” Mersadie Tallman said of her score. “I just tried to keep my head in the game and stay focused.”

Issaquah High golf coach Tom Bakamus said he was impressed with Tallman’s round.

“An 87 at Plateau is a good score,” said Bakamus, who coached Brittany. “We’re looking forward to Mersadie playing here, too.”

Mersadie finished seventh among 12-to-13-year-olds at the WJGA state tournament last year. She hopes to improve on the performance this summer.

The summer tournament schedule began June 27 at Seattle’s Jefferson Park. Tallman shot an 86 to finish third and qualified for the District 2 Championship Tournament July 18-19 at the Mount Si Golf Course.

Several players qualified for the District 2 championship tournament in the June 27 subdistrict event.

Among those was Bryan Jung, of Issaquah High, who shot a 76 and tied for ninth in the boys 16-17 division. Li Wang, of Eastlake, finished first in the same division with a 68. Wang has been one of the district’s top players since he was old enough to compete in WJGA. He placed fifth in the 14-15 age group at the state tournament in 2010.

Alex Yi, who attends Skyline, shot an 85 and Evan Ko, who attends Issaquah, shot an 86. However, neither qualified for the district championship meet. Both will get another opportunity July 6, when District 2 has a subdistrict tournament at The Golf Club at Echo Falls.

Spencer Weiss, of Eastlake, shot a 72 to finish first in the boys 14-15 division June 27. He beat Patrick Sato, of Bellevue, by one stroke and Brian Mogg, of Skyline, by two strokes.

Mogg, who recently attended the Ryder Cup Junior Academy, qualified for the District 2 championship tournament. He competed in the 14-15 division last year and finished third at the state tournament. Mogg also finished sixth this spring at the Class 4A State Tournament.

R.P. McCoy, of Sammamish, and Kelley Sullivan, of Sammamish, each shot an 81 and tied for seventh in the 14-15 division. Both qualified for the district championship meet. McCoy won the 12-13 district title last year.

Tommy McCoy, of Sammamish, finished second in the boys 8-11 division June 27 with a district-qualifying score of 39. He won the District 2 title last year.

Two Sammamish girls — Ashley Fitzgibbons and Maddie Nelson — qualified for the district championship tournament June 27. Both competed in the 12-13 age division. Fitzgibbons was first with a 72; Nelson tied for fourth with an 82.

In subdistrict play June 28, Ian Gourley, of Seattle, finished first in the boys 16-17 division with a 76. Wang tied for ninth with an 82. Among the other local players were Yi, with an 86; Jung, with an 88; and Ko, with a 97.

Frank Garber, of Kirkland, finished first in the boys 14-15 division with Mogg second at 75. Weiss was fourth with an 81. Sullivan and R.P. McCoy each had 84 to tie for sixth. Erik Cho, of Issaquah, was eighth with an 85 and qualified for the district championship tournament.

Taylor Swingle, an Issaquah High player, tied for ninth with an 86 and also qualified for district. Dallas Beckwith, who will be a freshman at Issaquah in the fall, shot a 96.

Grant Cole, of Redmond, shot a 78 to finish first in the 12-13 division.

Tommy McCoy had a 40 to finish first in the boys 8-11 division.

In the girls 16-17 division, Sammie Pless, of Seattle, was first with an 80. She beat Chelsea Saelee, also of Seattle, by two strokes.

Pless, who attends Holy Names, and Saelee, who attends Mercer Island, are two of the top players in the state. Pless also finished first with a 73 June 27 at Jefferson Park.

Two local girls also competed June 28 in the 16-17 division. Bryalynn Vowels, of Skyline, shot a 106 and placed ninth. Megan Wotherspoon, of Eastlake, was 10th with a 108.

In the girls 12-13 division, Sarah Lawrence, of Duvall, was first with an 82. Fitzgibbons was fourth with a 92. Abigail Euyang, of Seattle, was first in the 8-11 division with a 47.

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