Shin aims for U.S. Open

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 10:49am

Kim Shin won’t be defending her state golf title.

Instead of joining her Shorewood teammates at next week’s Northwest District 4A championships, the University of Washington-bound senior will be at Trophy Lake Golf Course in Port Orchard trying to qualify for the U.S. Women’s Open.

By skipping the district tournament May 17-18 at Sudden Valley Golf Course in Burlington, Shin will also have to sit out state. The top 15 finishers at districts receive state berths.

“It looks like we will have a state tournament without our champ,” Shorewood co-coach Maggie Matthews said.

Shin initially believed she would be able to compete in both events, like she did a year ago. Near the start of the season she learned the qualifier tournament and the second round of districts both fell on May 18.

“The choice was obvious,” Shin said. “Between going to state and having the chance to go to the U.S. Open, this was a chance I had to take.”

If Shin places high enough at the Trophy Lake qualifier, she’ll advance to a sectional tournament June 22 in California. The 2004 U.S. Women’s Open runs June 28-July 4 in South Hadley, Mass.

“This is the decision I made,” Shin said. “I don’t think I’ll have any regrets when I’m looking back after everything is over.”

Administrators scrambled to figure out a way for Shin to golf at districts, but each of their appeals were shot down.

Shoreline District athletic director Paul Lesh presented a final proposal to the District 1 Executive Board Monday night on Shin’s behalf.

The board voted down Lesh’s request, which would have allowed Shin to either complete 36 holes at Sudden Valley on May 17, or tee off later in the day May 18.

“After considerable discussion, a motion to approve this request for a waiver was defeated,” District 1 secretary Kim Wilson wrote in a letter sent to Lesh and school athletic directors.

Barring a last-second reversal, Shin closed out a stellar high-school career at the Western Conference South Division tournament.

Her two rounds were classic.

Shin followed up an opening-round 5-under-par 67 April 29 at Walter Hall by firing a scorching 7-under 65 May 5 at Legion Memorial.

“They’re pretty short courses. I hit my drives well and that set me up for a lot of birdie chances,” Shin said. “I thought it was a good finish.”

Shin won district titles in 2001 and 2002 and placed second last season. She finished fourth at state as a freshman, second as a sophomore and outlasted Cascade’s Renee Skidmore in a four-hole playoff to claim the 4A crown last year.