By Chris Trujillo For The Weekly Herald
Bobby Shoemaker has never coached high school golf before, but as the new Mountlake Terrace girls golf coach he brings a wealth of experience, both as a player and a caddy.
Before taking over, Shoemaker, a Mountlake Terrace High School graduate, caddied at a posh country club in Hawaii. Perhaps his biggest test and honor came when he carried the bag for PGA Tour nine-time winner Jay Haas during a Champions Tour event in Hawaii – on a Sunday no less.
“I met Jay (Haas) at a fundraiser for the Hawaiian Junior Golf Program,” Shoemaker said. “I caddied for him at the fundraiser and then he asked me to carry his bag in the final round at a Champions Tour tournament. It was amazing.”
In high school, Shoemaker, a four-year letterman, qualified for the state tournament as a junior and as a senior. In 2007, Shoemaker missed the first-round cut and finished in the top 100. But as a senior, Shoemaker’s trip lasted through the second day where he finished 45th.
“I am so excited about coaching,” said Shoemaker, who grew up in Bothell and started playing golf when he was five. “I can see the love these girls have for the sport, just like I did when I was in school. I am having a great time and the girls have been real competitors and great to be around.”
The Hawks have quickly adapted to their new coach. They’ve even made an early statement to their Wesco 3A opponents. On March 21, Mountlake Terrace won the three-team, nine-hole match hosted by Cascade High School at Walter Hall Memorial Golf Course. The Hawks posted 78 points, Lynnwood finished second with 68 and Cascade followed with 20.
Mountlake Terrace freshman and the team’s No. 5 slotted player Sydella Yorker recorded 22 points to earn co-medalist honors with Lynnwood’s Izzy Maza. The Hawks’ No. 2 golfer senior Hanna Joudi and sophomore Sydney White, No. 6, finished with 15 points.
In girls golf, teams play the modified Stableford format, where players accumulate points in order to record a team victory. All Wesco 3A teams automatically get first-round berths to the district tournament.
“I think if each girl can come out and score at least 15 points or better for nine holes we should be able to finish either in first or second place in our matches,” Shoemaker said. “So far they have, and we’ve had a good start.”
Mountlake Terrace’s No. 1 golfer, senior Michelle Hairell, scored 22 points to help the Hawks finish second March 21 during the Edmonds-Woodway hosted match played at the Nile Golf Course in Shoreline. Senior April King, in the No. 3 spot, and Yonker each recorded 15 points. Joudi finished with 14 points and White and Sara Smart, who was playing at the No. 6 spot, each followed with 10 points apiece.
“Our No. 6 spot will probably see the most change from match to match,” Shoemaker said. “Kirsty Dale and Sara (Smart) will be battling for that spot probably all season. But my top five will stay pretty consistent. During the week, players will be able to challenge each other to earn a spot.”
The Hawks lost three players to graduation, including previous No. 1 golfer Kendal Perkins, who is attending Gonzaga University. Despite the losses, Shoemaker is still optimistic about the team’s future.
“So far I love coaching,” Shoemaker said. “All the girls are serious about the sport and any one of them can go a long way. But I believe Michelle (Hairell) and Hannah (Joudi) have the best chance to state.”
Next up for the Hawks is a four-team district meet, March 23 at Ballinger Golf Course.
They receive five points for a birdie, four points for par, three points for a bogey, two points for a double bogey and one point for a triple bogey. Each team sends out six players with the top five counting toward the team’s overall score. They play stroke play at the district and state tournaments.