The 10th Washington State Golf Association Champion of Champions concluded play today at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. This year’s field consisted of 145 champions from around the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, competing in four divisions – Men, Senior Men, Women and Senior Women. It was the largest and strongest field in the history of the championship.
Nathan Cogswell of Kent won the Men’s title, Victoria Fallgren of Spokane won the Women’s, Alex Stamey of Mill Creek won the Senior Men’s and Beth Wrigley of Spokane won the Senior Women’s.
Cogswell was the last man standing in the Men’s division, finishing with rounds of 68-67. In a three-way race to the finish with Andrew Von Lossow of Spokane and defending champion Jon McCaslin of Olympia, Cogswell caught fire early in today’s final round, with birdies on seven of his first 12 holes. He had it to 11-under par and seemingly in control of the outcome, but Von Lossow began his charge with four birdies on the back nine, and when Cogswell bogeyed 14 and 18, his lead was down to one.
McCaslin began the day with a one-shot lead, but couldn’t match the fireworks of Cogswell and Von Lossow, and Cogswell held on to win by a single shot over Von Lossow and McCaslin.
“I hadn’t played here (at The Home Course) since the PNGA Junior Boys’ a few years ago,” Cogswell said. “I’ve always liked this course, it’s a nice set-up for me. It’s nice and wide open, so I can pound a driver whenever I want. But it’s nice because the greens were in good shape. I got off to a slow start yesterday but finished well, and today I just wanted to get off a little quicker. I was playing with Jon yesterday, and I knew he was playing well so I knew I had to go out and catch him today.”
Cogswell’s dad was following him around, and with the finish getting tight he told Nathan to just focus on one shot at a time.
Cogswell earned entry into this championship by finishing in the top five Washington Junior Golf Association points list for 2018. He is a freshman on the Seattle University men’s golf team.
In the Women’s division, Fallgren took charge with a 2-under-par 70 in yesterday’s first round and never looked back. She began the day with a six-shot lead, and cruised to victory with a 2-over 74 today.
“Yesterday was fairly easy,” Fallgren said. “My wedges were dialed in, my speed was good. Today was a little more of a struggle and I had to fight for the round a little bit.” Fallgren had finished second in this championship twice, and said it was good to get over the hump this year. “Yes, it feels good to start the season with a win.”
Finishing second, five shots back of Fallgren, was Sarah Lawrence of Duvall. Lawrence was the defending champion, and had also won in 2016.
Fallgren had earned entry into this championship by winning last year’s WSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, on her way to being named the 2018 WSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year. Next week, Fallgren, who is the assistant women’s golf coach at Gonzaga University, will compete for Team WSGA in the PNGA Cup, to be held at the Crosswater Club in Sunriver, Ore.
Stamey shot rounds of 67-69 to finish at 8-under in the Senior Men’s division, four shots ahead of second-place finisher Tom Brandes of Bellevue. His smooth bogey-free round today was too much for others to catch. He had just one bogey in 36 holes.
“Well, I was paired with the legend, Tom Brandes,” Stamey said, “who is very hard to beat. I had a two-shot lead, and he caught me after nine. I played consistent, the course was in good shape, and it was a lot of fun out there.”
Brandes, the three-time defending champion, made a serious run at Stamey in today’s round. The two were paired together in today’s final round. Brandes burned the front nine in 4-under, which included an eagle 3 on the par-5 fifth hole, and after nine holes, Brandes had caught Stamey. But Brandes would bogey holes 11 and 13, and when he bogeyed 17 while Stamey birdied it, Stamey took it home from there.
“I was doing some scoreboard watching during the back nine,” Stamey said. “I knew Karl (Smith) was just two shots back at the time as well. It was nice to have a few strokes cushion the last hole, but it was definitely a grind the whole day.”
Stamey earned entry into the championship by virtue of winning the Everett Golf and Country Club club championship. Next week he will compete on Team WSGA in the PNGA Cup.
In the Senior Women’s division, Wrigley made up ground in today’s final round. She began the day two shots behind first round leader, and defending champion, Leslie Folsom of Tukwila. Today, both Wrigley and Folsom struggled on the front nine, with Beth shooting a 4-over 40 and Leslie stumbling on two double-bogeys to shoot 5-over 41.
It was on the back nine that Wrigley righted the ship. Standing on the 10th tee one shot behind Folsom, she played the back nine in 1-under, with a birdie on the par-3 12th, while Folsom made two bogeys, and Wrigley’s steady play brought home the title.
“Yesterday was fairly solid, and nothing spectacular,” Wrigley said. “Today I was 1-under for the last 10 holes, and got some good up-and-downs, and was able to bring home the trophy.”
Wrigley earned entry into this championship by winning the 2018 Indian Canyon GC women’s club championship. Next week she will be playing in the qualifier for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, to be held at Tualatin (Ore.) Country Club.
The championship marks the beginning of the WSGA championship season and is hosted annually by The Home Course, which is cooperatively owned and operated by the Washington State Golf Association and Pacific Northwest Golf Association, and has been the site of numerous local, regional and national championships, including being the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2010 U.S. Amateur and the venue for the 2014 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links. The Home Course will also be the companion course to Chambers Bay for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball.
The Champion of Champions is one of 15 championships conducted annually by the WSGA.
Founded in 1922, the WSGA is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving nearly 70,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, the WSGA works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds.
The WSGA also serves as a statewide representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.