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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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GSL golfers rebound nicely at State 3A

Hopes of a girls team state title faded Tuesday, but the two remaining Mt. Spokane golfers rebounded Wednesday for strong finishes to help the Wildcats finish in sixth place in the State 3A golf tournament at Indian Canyon Golf Course.

Further south at The Creek at Qualchan, Shadle Park’s Mitchell Weipert had another strong day and finished tied for 11th place. Mt. Spokane’s Gunnar Knutson chipped in a birdie on the 18th hole to finish with a 76, which was good enough for a tie for 14th place.

Along with fellow freshman Landon Spencer (80, 83), who finished tied for 40th place, the Wildcats boys team finished in ninth place.

But the biggest turnaround came from Megan Billeter, who shaved 10 strokes off her Tuesday effort to finish with a 78 on Wednesday at Indian Canyon. She finished tied for ninth place with a two-day total of 166.

“I kind of wish we could take Tuesday back,” Mt. Spokane assistant coach Ryan Nelson said. Billeter “played the way she is capable of playing.”

Cailin Spencer also shaved three strokes off of the 85 she shot on Tuesday. She finished tied for 12th place.

Spencer “shot an 82 with a triple bogey and two doubles,” Nelson said. “Take those three holes away and she’s a 77 or a 76 and probably the low round for the day.”

As it was, the low round went to Central Kitsap’s Brittany Kwon, who shot a 73 on Wednesday to win the state title by five strokes.

Moose hazard

A young bull moose ambled on to The Creek at Qualchan on Tuesday and charged a golfer from Seattle’s O’Dea High School. The same moose returned Wednesday and forced Weipert’s group to move off the 10th green. The moose later forced the lead group to scramble into the trees.

“I wasn’t playing that great at that time,” Weipert said.

The moose break allowed Weipert a nice distraction. “Then I made a nice putt on that hole,” he said.

The title faced further delay when Mercer Island’s Zach Evens sunk a 50-foot putt for eagle to shoot the low round of 6-under 66.

One group behind was Fort Vancouver’s Spencer Tibbits, who won the title in 2014. He didn’t know Evans had tied him when Tibbits missed a 6-foot putt on the 18th green that would have won it.

“My heart sank in my stomach when I heard Zach shot a 66,” Tibbits said. “I thought I’d won it. But I just had to regroup.”

Tibbits and Evans then played the 18th hole again in a playoff and Tibbits won with a birdie.

While he didn’t play well enough for a state title, Mt. Spokane’s Knutson, 15, said he was pleased about how he responded with good shots after bad.

“It’s definitely fun to be out here,” he said. “I was told this is an animal of its own compared to any other tournaments. They were right.”

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