SHORELINE — If the Masters last weekend whetted your appetite for golf, here’s a peek at the high school girls teams from the Shoreline area who have been hitting the links since mid-March.
The Thunderbirds return three seniors including top golfer Staci Walsh who missed going to state by one stroke last year. Walsh scores between 40 and 47 in stroke play and averages about 25 points in Stableford scoring, co-head coach Alex Burns said.
Senior Sarah Psaty (23 Stableford average), junior Brooke Snyder (20 Stableford average), freshman Shannon Quinn (19 Stableford average), sophomore Maddy Forinash (19 Stableford average) and senior Leah Gregory (15 Stableford average) round out the top six. Two new seniors, sisters Caitlyn and Chelsea McCrone, round out the squad.
Shorewood finished first or second in six out of its first seven matches of the season, Burns said. The Thunderbirds won their first league match in its grouping of Mountlake Terrace, Shorecrest, Everett and Jackson, and tied for second in the second one.
Kamiak is expected to be the toughest team out of all the Western Conference South Division squads.
The last Shorewood girl to qualify for state was Kim Shin in 2003, who won the 4A state title that year as a junior. Shin now plays for the University of Washington.
Senior Erica Delph is the top returner for the Scots with senior Annie Bauer right behind her.
“I think Annie and Erica both have a shot at (state),” coach George Jonson said.
Delph averages about 19 Stableford points per match and shoots in the high 40s in stroke play on nine holes, Jonson said. Bauer racks up about 18 Stableford points and also shoots in the high 40s.
The Scots’ No. 3 player is sophomore Robyn Hasegawa, a first-year player, who “climbed the ladder real quick,” Jonson said.
Sophomore Laura Numata fills the four spot and Jenelle Melchior, who earned medalist honors in a tournament this season, is fifth. “Once we get her consistent, she’s going to be real tough to beat,” Jonson said of Melchior.
Junior Esther Lim is also solid as the No. 6 player.
The Scots lost three-year state competitor Carmie Malabanan, who finished 35th last year, to graduation.
Seniors Kristin Sawtell and Katie Lyon, who both made the cut at the state 2A tournament last year, return for the defending Cascade Conference champion Knights.
Sawtell finished 12th with rounds of 96 and 100 while Lyon was 17th with rounds of 103 and 105 at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane. The Knights finished fifth as a team.
“They’ve done nothing but improve. They’ve gained the mental edge to control their emotions,” said new head coach Josh Vick, who believes the tandem could finish in top 10 or higher. “If one of them gets hot they could compete on the top level with the Nooksack Valley girls.”
Sawtell and Lyon are shooting in the mid-40s in stroke play on nine holes.
Defending state champion Nooksack Valley, led by Jill Quinn, who was second at state last year, and Gena Weinheimer, who was third, is the team to beat in the 2A Northwest District.
“It was fun playing with them,” Sawtell said of the state and district tournament. “It brought you up to their level, it challenged you.”
Other contributors for King’s are senior Kristy Suydam and junior Heather Kim. Four other players will compete for the two remaining varsity slots, Vick said.
The Crusaders have two girls out for golf: senior Alexis Leckenby, a four-year player, and sophomore Holly Novion, who is out for the first time.
The Crusaders’ next match is against Master’s Touch of Arlington, April 17 at Jackson Park. The next league meet is against Orcas Island, April 19 at Orcas Island Golf Course.