Folsom wins Senior Women's Amateur in playoff; Ursino captures Super Senior; Benzin builds lead in Women's Am; Shek leads Mid-Am

Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash. shot rounds of 78-75 to win the 19th Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur Championship; while Sue Ursino of Sammamish, Wash. won the 5th Super Senior Women’s Amateur.

WSGA Senior Women’s Amateur Champion Leslie Folsom and WSGA Super Senior Women’s Amateur Champion Sue Ursino (L to R)

Folsom and Karen Johnson of Auburn, Wash. finished the Senior Women’s Amateur tied at 9-over, and Folsom went on to par the first playoff hole to secure the win. She had started the day tied for ninth, but shot a steady round today to leap over the logjam of players.

Folsom had previously won the 2012 and 2013 Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur, and was named the WSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year both years.

“It feels wonderful,” Folsom said, after securing the title. “Winning never gets old, and today is really rewarding. I didn’t finish well yesterday, bogeying the final five holes of the day. With so many players within three shots of the lead (after round one), I knew I had to bring it in better today.”

Folsom said she didn’t know exactly where she stood on the leaderboard during the final holes of today’s round, “but I knew I had to keep making pars, just keep making pars. Lake Spanaway has always been special to me; I met Jane (Harris, her partner) here 20 years ago. I lost my dad three years ago to a stroke, and he was on my shoulder today.”

For Ursino, this is the first time she has competed in the Super Senior Amateur; last year, she missed the age eligibility by one week. She is a three-time champion of the Senior Women’s Amateur (2003-05). She began today’s round tied for second, but shot 3-over 75 in today’s final round to cruise to a 6-shot win.

“I played well today, and yesterday,” Ursino said. “And that is very satisfying to me, along with the title. The greens and the surrounds here at Lake Spanaway were in really good shape, and the course really opened their arms to us.”

Olivia Benzin of Tacoma followed up yesterday’s 69 with a solid even-par 72 in today’s second round to build a six-shot lead heading into tomorrow’s final round of the Women’s Amateur. She is the only player in the field under par.

Benzin is a junior on the Oregon State University women’s golf team, and has won the last three Washington State Women’s Golf Association Championships. She is a graduate of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma.

The shot of the day came from Emma Johnson of Spanaway, Wash., who aced the par-3 14th hole. Johnson is currently in third place in the Women’s Amateur.

In the Women’s Mid-Amateur, Kim Shek of Bellevue followed up yesterday’s 73 with a 5-over 77, and holds a slim one-shot lead over Tina Papatolis of Issaquah, Wash.

Shek started the day tied for the lead with defending champion Victoria Fallgren of Spokane. Fallgren posted an 80 on the day, and now sits alone in third place, three back of Sheck.

The four championships are held concurrently at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Tacoma, Wash., and are conducted by the Washington State Golf Association.

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