Issaquah finishes 9 strokes short of Eastlake

April 9, 2013

By Lillian O'Rorke

The weather wasn’t fooling around April 1 when the sun gleamed above the Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course as the Issaquah High School girls golf team hosted the Eastlake Wolves.

“The season has been really good and the weather has been really good, too, which has helped,” Issaquah head coach Tom Bakamus said. “I am really proud of the girls. They shot really well today. I know they were a little scared of this team, but they knew what they were up against and they performed really well under pressure.”

By Lillian O’Rorke Mersadie Tallman, Issaquah High School sophomore, eyes her ninth-hole drive during the April 1 match against Eastlake.

By Lillian O’Rorke
Mersadie Tallman, Issaquah High School sophomore, eyes her ninth-hole drive during the April 1 match against Eastlake.

Issaquah’s No. 1, sophomore Mersadie Tallman, finished first that day with 37 strokes on the par 36. Eastlake’s top three golfers, all tying for second place with 39s across the board, however, countered her lead. The Wolves won, 214-223.

The loss put the Issaquah Eagles, who have already beaten Woodinville, Ballard, Roosevelt and Inglemoor, at a 4-2 record. Their only other loss came from Newport, which is ranked first in the KingCo 4A league. Eastlake is second.

“We lost to the two teams that were figured to be No. 1 and No. 2,” Bakamus said, adding that he was pleased that Issaquah closed on the Wolves by nine strokes.

“It was a great match,” he said. “I knew home-court advantage would help us a little bit. Our girls shot the lowest they’ve shot this year. I’m really, really proud of them. Some of the young girls stood up and played really well today.”

Two of those were freshmen Emily Chun, whose score of 45 was the third best on the team, and Onti Rosen, who shot a 50. Not only were those scores the season’s best for both girls, Bakamus said, but each was also a four-stroke improvement over their previous record.

Tallman’s winning 37 was about average for her, she said, and that is just fine.

“I hit the ball pretty well. My putting was really good today. That was a big help,” Tallman said. “I have been playing pretty solid, pretty steadily, which is good, because last year, I was pretty inconsistent with my scores.”

To fix that, she said she put a lot of practice in during the offseason, working to hit the ball better and trying to mature as a golfer.

Her efforts appeared to be paying off on the fifth hole, a 364-yard par 5. After taking only two strokes to get on the green, Tallman was one putt away from scoring an eagle. She ended up taking two putts instead, and finished with a birdie — an improved two strokes over the last time she played that hole.

“That was probably my best hole,” she said. “That’s about 25 more yards than I usually hit driving.”

Also connecting for a long drive that day was Tallman’s golfing partner, Hanna Choi, who plays No. 2 for Issaquah. Teeing off from the ninth and final hole, Choi launched her ball nearly 240 yards down the fairway.

“I was, like, ‘Oh my God,” the high school junior said. “That usually never happens, I can tell you that … But, if I go straight, I have a good connection with it. I hit it solid, then it goes 220, 230ish.”

After finishing the hole with a par and total of 43 strokes for the match, Choi threw her arms up in the air, raising the roof to celebrate.

“Forty-three is, like, the best of my season so far, so I am pretty psyched,” Choi said afterward. “Our whole team is just amazing. Whenever we do really good, someone gets a birdie, we always hug. We always dance around.”

 

 

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