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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bech wins tiebreaker, earns state berth

Katrina Bech had just earned a trip to the State 4A girls golf tournament with a 3-foot par putt on the first playoff hole but she didn’t crack a smile.

At least her frown was gone.

“My round wasn’t very good,” the Lewis and Clark freshman said. “I couldn’t putt most of the time, I couldn’t get on the green in regulation.”

Indeed, her three-putt double bogey on No. 18 at Liberty Lake Wednesday evening capped a 92 that she knew wasn’t good enough to go to the Tri-Cities in 10 days.

However, she two-putted from 30 feet on No. 1 to earn the 10th and final state berth out of the two-day, 36-hole District 8 tournament.

But Bech wasn’t the only freshman to struggle under the pressure of what state-qualifying golf from the Greater Spokane League has become. Central Valley’s Katie Sorenson closed with a 91 to end tied with Bech.

Indeed, the two freshmen finished at 170. And among the top 12 there were three freshmen, five sophomores and three juniors. The only senior was champion Ellie Brophy, who beat Mead junior and defending champion Amy Eneroth on the second playoff hole.

Central Valley sophomore Nicole Barham explained it best after earning her second straight state trip.

“Last year I knew I had to keep from shooting 100,” she said. “This year I really had to play.”

Barham thought a triple bogey 7 on the easy 306-yard finishing hole did her in, even though that gave her an 86 after shooting an 83 at Wandemere on Monday.

That put her one shot behind East Valley freshman Ashley Saffle and two shots behind LC sophomore Allison Moran, two of her playing partners. She pretty much had to assume that the two foursomes behind would hold to form, meaning she was 11th.

As it was she was fortunate, as the length of Liberty Lake, a par 74 for females, and the quality of high school golf made for a tense finish.

Brophy got what she wanted, overcoming the two-stroke deficit she had after Monday’s first round at Wandemere and a balky putter.

She shot her second straight 75 despite being even par on the backside with four three-putt bogeys.

“Even though my putting was going downhill, my score was still OK because I had enough birdies,” she said. “I went in two strokes back. I just tried to focus on one shot at a time. Sometimes I tend to get a little ahead of myself.”

Brophy caught Eneroth at the turn but was still two shots behind her sophomore sister Annie. However Annie Brophy struggled on the back side and finished four strokes back. The Parson twins from University, Mandy (156) and Haley (164) were fourth and fifth. LC’s Molly Fuchs was tied with Moran at 167.

It was putting that gave Ellie Brophy her first title. She two-putted from 35 feet for a par on No. 9, tapping in an 18-incher after Eneroth missed a 10-footer.

“I just blew it,” Eneroth said. “Ellie’s a great player so I’m not too sad.”

Two of Ellie Brophy’s goals were to be the league MVP and win District after a couple of close calls. Next it’s improving on her state finishes, third the past two years.

Being MVP was a season grind and state, of course, is the ultimate. District was a fun goal for Brophy, who will play at Yale next year.

“There’s always pressure being the oldest one out here but I felt more pressure when I was younger,” she said. “Right now I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.”

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