Jace Minni, who just completed his sophomore year at Gonzaga University, won the 101st Washington Men’s Amateur golf championship at Meadow Springs Country Club in Richland last week to lead a strong showing by area men and women in 2022 WA Golf tournaments the last two weeks.
Minni, from Delta, British Columbia, went 2-under-par 214 for 54 holes, capped by a 4-under 68 in Thursday’s final round after a pair of 73s, for a one-shot win over Max Herendeen of Bellevue.
Minni and Herendeen were paired in the final round, two strokes back of the leader. After a hot start to the last round, Minni took a bogey on the fifth hole and slipped two shots back of Herendeen. Minni got one back with a birdie on 11, but the difference-maker was the par-3 14th hole. Minni made birdie, Herendeen took a bogey and Minni was up by a stroke.
Going home, they matched birdies on 16 and pars on 17 and 18 and Minni had the title.
“It feels amazing,” Minni was quoted. “It’s a really great tournament to win, and it’s giving me a lot of confidence going into my summer.”
Andrew Von Lossow from Manito Golf & Country Club and Reid Hatley, Hayden Lake, tied for third at even-par 216.
A handful of other area golfers were in the top 20: Mt. Spokane grad Gunnar Knutson, a Weber State junior, tied for ninth at 3-over 219; Joseph Glenn, a Post Falls grad at Utah Valley, was 11th at 221; Washington State redshirt sophomore Tianyu Wu tied for 12th at 222; Gonzaga junior Zach Stocker from Central Valley and Community Colleges of Spokane and Mead rising senior Ben Jones were in a tie for 17th at 223.
• Darcy Habgood, a Washington State University senior from Australia, finished second at 2-over 218, a stroke behind winner Angela Zhang of Bellevue, in the Washington Women’s Amateur on June 20-22 in Moses Lake to lead the showing by a half-dozen area entries.
WSU junior Jiye Ham (226) tied for fourth; recent Mead grad Taylor Mularski (230) was ninth; WSU senior Amy Chu (231) was 10th; CV grad and Eastern Washington University freshman Kami Twining (245) tied for 22nd; and Pullman High senior Lauren Greeny (246) tied for 24th.
• Victoria Fallgren, assistant women’s golf coach at Gonzaga and a two-time winner of the division, tied for third at 18-over 234 in a small field in the Washington Women’s Mid-Amateur on June 20-22 in Moses Lake. Jacqueline Bendrick of Mercer Island won at 11-over 227.
• The Washington Men’s Mid-Amateur will be July 20-21 at The Home Course in DuPont.
Darin Spence, a successful head coach over a 30-year career, has been hired as associate head coach of the University of Idaho women’s team, Vandals head coach Jon Newlee announced.
Spence, who has been a head coach at NCAA Division I and Division II, NAIA and NJCAA schools, compiling a 601-377 record, spent the 2021-22 season at Miles City (Montana) Community College, where the Pioneers struggled to a 7-24 record. Prior to that, he coached nine seasons at D-II Newman University in Kansas, where he left as the career leader in wins with 120.
• John Harge, a 6-foot-8, 238-pound forward/center transfer, who has connections to the University of Idaho men’s basketball program, is the final addition to the Vandals’ men’s roster for the 2022-23 season, head coach Zac Claus announced.
Harge, whose father, Joe, was an Idaho assistant in 2000-01 under head coach David Farrar, will be a fourth-year sophomore after spending two seasons at Northern Kentucky, one a redshirt year, and the 2021-22 season at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M Community College.
In 28 games at NEO A&M, Harge averaged 8.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg and shot 44.6% from the field and 32.5% on 3s. He scored in double figures 10 times and had eight or more rebounds seven times. UI reports the former Aurora, Colorado, resident has a 3.8 GPA and was on the Dean’s List at both his previous schools.
• Austin Johnson, two-time NAIA NABC National Coach of the Year and leader of the Lewis-Clark State men’s team, will participate in the NBA Summer League with the San Antonio Spurs as a guest coach.
Johnson, who led the Warriors to the NAIA national championship game in 2021, joined the Spurs at the team’s training camp last week in San Antonio before it headed to Las Vegas. He will participate in coaches meetings, film sessions, practices, opponent scouting and player development.
Eastern Washington and Southeastern Louisiana, which both advanced to the second round of the 2021 Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and produced the last two FCS Walter Payton Award winners, announced they have scheduled a two-game, home-and-home series for 2023 and 2024.
The 2023 game, the first meeting between the schools, will be Sept. 16 at Roos Field in Cheney. The ’24 game will be Sept. 24 at Strawberry Stadium in Hammond, Louisiana.
SLU quarterback Cole Kelley won the Walter Payton Award in 2020 and Eastern QB Eric Barriere won in 2021. Interestingly, they finished runner-up to each other.
The Spokane Chiefs selected Tommaso De Luca, a 17-year-old forward from Aosta, Italy, with the 13th overall pick in the 2022 Canadian Hockey League Import Draft last week.
The first player the Chiefs have selected from Italy, De Luca had 12 goals and 28 assists in the U20-Elit league in Switzerland last season and added seven points (3G-4A) in seven playoff games. He led his team in scoring and ranked 15th in the league.
“Tommaso is a very skilled goal-scorer,” said Chiefs European scout Janik Beichler. “He excels at creating space for himself and has an excellent shot. He brings all the tools necessary to be an impact player in Spokane in his NHL Draft year.”
Prior to the draft, the Chiefs announced that imports Yannick Proske, a forward from Germany who played 58 games last season, and defenseman Timafey Kovgoreniya from Belarus, who played 43 games, will not be returning.
Proske’s German team informed the Chiefs it would be keeping him this coming season and give the 19-year-old a chance to play professionally in his home country.
The Chiefs also announced they would retain the rights to Czech defenseman David Jiricek, their selection in the 2020 Import Draft. WHL teams are limited to two import players.
• Spokane also announced last week it signed its second- and third-round selections in the 2022 Western Hockey League Prospects Draft – Owen Martin, a 5-foot-10, 165-pound forward, who was taken in the second round (27th overall), and third-rounder (49th overall) Hayden Paupanekis, a 6-1, 161-pound forward. Both are 15.
Martin, from Oakbank, Manitoba, spent the 2021-22 season with a U15 AAA team, where he had 88 points (61 goals, 27 assists) in 32 games. He added 21 points (10G-11A) in 10 playoff games and had two goals and an assist with a U17 team in two games.
Paupanekis, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, played the 2021-22 season with a U15 AAA team, where he had 76 points (45G-31A) in 29 games and added nine points in four playoff games (5G-4A). He also played seven playoff games with a U17 team, collecting five points (2G-3A).
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