As far as the view of a girls team golf championship is concerned, Ferris High School’s vantage point is better than any on the South Hill.
On Monday, the first day of competition in the WIAA/U.S. Bank State AAA girls golf tournament, the Saxons qualified all four of their golfers into today’s second round at Downriver Golf Course.
Ferris’ Julie Jensen got off to a slow start, shotting 53 on the front nine on the par-73 course. But she rallied on the back nine to shoot a 42 which tied her with Kamiakin’s Brianna Rose at 95, allowing her to make the cut.
Jensen’s teammates Bridget Jonhson (81), Hillary Prugh (84) and Jennifer Hatley (85), all finished in the top 15 in the first round.
“Julie will have a better round tomorrow,” Ferris coach Dan Niksich said. “So it’s going to be a shootout. They know what they have to do.”
And according to Niksich, his golfers have a tough mental edge on the links.
“They aren’t the types to let one bad hole get them down. I think Julie’s late rally is really typical of that. She shoots a 53 then battles back for a 42. We’re just hoping that they can keep battling to the end. We’re in a position we haven’t been in before. We’re looking forward to it.”
Also looking forward, but not too far down the road, is first-round leader Mendy Cooper of Tumwater. The senior shot a 76.
Cooper, on her way to the University of New Mexico on a golf scholarship, wants to take a state championship to Albuquerque, N.M., in the fall.
“I finished seventh last year (at Lipoma Firs Golf Course in Puyallup) because I just had a lot of mental problems with the course,” Cooper said. “The course was tight, and I just psyched myself out.”
And even though she describes Downriver as a “tight course,” she said her state of mind is different than one year ago.
“I’m just hitting the ball and believing in myself more.”
On the par-4 11th hole, Cooper double-bogeyed. However, she regrouped on No. 12 and scored an eagle on the par-4 hole.
“I think you just have to focus on your own game and block out everything around you. I felt good about what I did today.”
However, Mead senior Britney Holt did not feel good about her round. The sophomore shot an 84 which put her eight shots behind Cooper to put her in ninth place.
“It was not best effort - that’s for sure. There were a few mental errors all around. My game just wasn’t on.”
Following Cooper’s 76 was Kylie Smith of Everett, who shot a 77; Taya Battistella, Richland, 79; Angie Park, Cascade, 80; Shelly Russell, Issaquah, 81; Bridget Johnson, Ferris, 81; Erin Peck, Kelso, 82; Courtney Lyckles, Timberline, 84; Britney Holt, Mead, 84; Amy Secker, Battleground, 84; Hillary Prugh, Ferris, 84; Jaclyn Beaudreau, Decatur, 85; Yvonne Ames, Kamiakin, 85; Jennifer Hatley, Ferris, 85; Eyren Risdon, Cascade, 86; Jenni Kramer, Rogers/Puyallup, 86; Teah Tambellini, Cascade 86; Leslie Danz, Bellevue, 87; Danielle Dreis, Lewis and Clark, 88; and Allison Sato, Interlake 88.
xxxx Girls leaderboard First-round leaders of the State AAA girls golf tournament: Mendy Cooper, Tumwater…….76 Kylie Smith, Everett………77 Taya Battistella, Richland…79 Angie Park, Cascadei………80 Shelly Russell, Issaquah…..81 Bridget Johnson, Ferris……81