Harbour Pointe’s Santiago leads boys 14-15 age division

  • By Chris Trujillo / Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 28, 2004 9:00pm
  • Sports

EVERETT – Nearly 240 junior golfers, ranging in age from 8 to 17, gathered on three Snohomish County golf courses Wednesday to participate in the first round of the 28th-annual Washington State Junior Golf Championship.

The Everett Golf and Country Club, a 6,005-yard par 72, played host to three age divisions: Boys 14-15 and girls 14-15 and 16-17. The Mill Creek Country Club, a 6,019-yard, par 72, hosted boys 16-17, and 12-13 and girls 12-13.

Boys and girls, ages 8-11 played nine holes at Lynnwood Golf Course.

After today’s round, the field will be cut to approximately 96 to 103 golfers, depending on ties.

The final round will be played at Everett Golf &CC on Friday.

In the boys 14-15 division, Blanchet High School sophomore-to-be Francis Santiago, a member of Harbour Pointe Golf Course in Mukilteo, fired a 2-under par 70 at Everett to take a one-stroke lead over Danny Newton (71) of Kent.

“I played really well today,” said Santiago, who won the Metro Conference golf championship as a freshman last season.

“My short game was key for me. I hit a few bad drives but I was able to get up and down quite a bit and that is big.”

After making bogey on the first hole, a 384-yard par 4, Santiago bounced back on No. 8, a 112-yard par 3, by hitting a pitching wedge to within eight feet before making his first birdie of the day.

It was smooth sailing from there on in.

Santiago, who made his last bogey on No. 18, birdied 13, 16 and 17 to finish the back nine 2-under par.

“He’s (Santiago) a very good golfer and he’s not allergic to practicing his short game, that’s important,” said Harbour Pointe golf instructor Tom Sovay, who also works with Santiago.

Nicholas Ellis of Wenatchee Golf and Country Club birdied the final five holes of his round at Everett to post an even-par 72, good for a tie for third place with Alexander Moore of Horn Rapids Golf and Country Club in Richland.

“That was probably the best I have ever finished,” Ellis said. “I hit a lot of solid shots and then I made some tough putts. It’s a great way to finish.”

Ellis’ smooth putting stroke helped him early during his birdie splurge.

He sank a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 14 and a 20-footer on No. 16. His final three birdie putts all came from inside 10 feet.

“I missed the cut last year by one stroke,” Ellis said. “That was really tough. So this year, I plan on playing smarter and hopefully it will get me through to the next round.”

Lakewood High School sophomore Adam Brisben, who plays out of Kayak Point Golf Course, shot a 2-under par 33 on the front nine, but a few putting mishaps near the end took its toll as he finished tied with four others in 11th place at 4-over par 76.

“I am not sure how this score will stand,” said Brisben, who was voted the most valuable golfer by coaches last season as a freshman at Lakewood.

“But there are still a lot of good golfers out there,” Brisben said. ”They will probably post some low scores. We’ll just have to wait and see. I just want to come back and play well tomorrow and make the cut.”

In the girls 16-17 age bracket, Jenna Moore of Maplewood Golf Course in Renton, shot a 5-over par 77 to take a one stroke lead over Breanna Carmichael (78) of Fircrest Golf Course in Tacoma.

After making birdie at No. 2, a 300-yard par 4, Moore went on to bogey two straight before finishing the front nine with a 1-over par 36.

“This is a very tough course,” said Moore, who ran away with an 11-stroke victory at last year’s 14-15 Junior State championship.

“Last year was fun, but it was also a challenge maintaining my lead,” Moore said. ”This year, I just want to play solid, make the cut and maybe get a chance to win it again.”

Lauren Phillips of Twin Lakes Golf Course in Auburn sits alone in third after firing an 80, followed by Kimbery Schutte (81) of Othello Golf and Country Club and Heather Olmstead (81) of the Classic Golf and Country Club in Puyallup.

The girls field will be cut to 100 players and ties after today’s second round with the final round Friday at Everett GCC.

Kent’s Christine Cho, after posting a 1-over par 73, leads the girls 14-15 division by six strokes over second-place finisher Stephanie Corey (79) of Seattle’s Riverbend Golf Course. Jan Koh of West Seattle Golf Course is in third with an 83 and Pearl Schuman of San Juan Golf and Country Club is in fourth with a 84.

The boys 14-15 and girls 14-15 and 16-17 will tee off at 7:30 a.m. today at Mill Creek Country Club.

* n n

At Mill Creek Golf Course: Matt Scherer of Gig Harbor shot a 2-under par 70 on the 6,019-yard par 72 Mill Creek Country Club to lead the boys 16-17 division. Kellen Eakin of University Place is in second place after shooting a 1-under par 71, two strokes better than third place-finisher Tommy Bullock (73) of Mukilteo.

Everett’s Jacob Koppenberg, Edmonds Andrew Gihm and Marysville’s Steven Johnson each shot a 3-over par 75 to share 11th place.

In the boys 12-13 division, Cameron Peck of Olympia posted a 1-under par 71 to lead Mukilteo’s Reid Martin by two strokes.

Shoreline’s Ricky McDonald shot a 82 good for a tie for 16th and Chris Chung of Everett shot an 84.

Katrina Hegge, who shot a 4-over par 76, jumped out to a two stroke lead over Michelle Ahn of Tacoma in the girls 12-13 division. Woodinville’s Caitlin Nelson finished the first round in seventh place after carding a 90.

The boys 16-17, 12-13 and girls 12-13 tee off today at 7:30 a.m. at Everett Golf and Country Club.

In the boys 8-11 division, Carl Jonson of Bainbridge Island shot a 2-over par 35 on the front nine of the 2,500-yard Lynnwood course. Stephen Thoen of Spokane stands alone in second place with a 36. Oak Harbor’s Judd Ford and Tyler Carlson of Clarkston are tied for third place. Daniel Nelson of Mountlake Terrace is in sixth place with a 40 and Marysville’s Anthony Allen tied for 23rd with a 46.

In the girls bracket, Tacoma’s Jennifer Lee fired a 37 for a two-stroke lead over Kristin Tan (39). Lynnwood’s Kimberly Santiago, Francis Santiago’s sister, finished with a 58.

The boys and girls will play their final round today at Lynnwood.

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