Haack, Folsom, Higgins, Madison Claim Titles in 6th WSGA Champion of Champions

The 6th Annual Washington State Golf Association Champion of Champions concluded play today at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. This year’s field consisted of 90 champions from around the state of Washington, competing in four championship divisions. The championship was made up of 33 men, 30 senior men, nine women and 18 senior women.

Champion of Champions
2015 Champion of Champions winners (L-to-R): Mike Haack, Leslie Folsom, Pete Higgins, and Karen Madison.

Mike Haack of Bellevue, Wash. continued his dominance at the championship by claiming his fourth title, and third in a row. Since the Champion of Champions began in 2009, Haack has won in 2010, 2013, 2014 and now 2015.

Haack’s final round of 1-under-par 71 to get him to 5-under for the two-day championship was good enough to hold off Christopher Hatch of Mukilteo, Wash. who finished one stroke back of Haack at 4-under-par. Reid Hatley of Hayden Lake, Idaho made a run up the leaderboard in the final round, posting a 3-under-par 69 to finish at a total of 3-under-par. Jake Koppenberg of Bellingham, Wash. finished in fourth place at 2-under-par, and Ryan Welborn of Tacoma, Wash. placed fifth at 1-under-par total.

In the Senior Men’s division, Pete Higgins of Mercer Island, Wash. claimed his first WSGA championship title after firing a 1-under-par 71 in the final round to win by one stroke, with a championship total of 6-under-par.

Higgins edged Richard Jonson of Seattle, Wash., whose final round 2-under-par 70 put him in second place alone at 5-under-par total. Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash., the 2014 WSGA Senior Men’s Player of the Year, and Jim McNelis of Gig Harbor, Wash. finished in a tie for third place at 3-under-par. Brandes put on a run, firing a 4-under-par 68 in the final round.

Tom Hale of Lakewood, Wash., the 2014 WSGA Men’s Mid-Amateur champion, finished in fifth alone at 2-under-par for the championship.

In the Women’s division, Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash. repeated as champion after taking control in the final round, where she posted a 4-over-par 76 today. Folsom came from behind to top Shawn Farmer of Bellevue, Wash. Farmer, who won the 2014 WSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, struggled in the final round with a 10-over-par 82. Farmer began the day in the lead after an opening round of 1-over-par 73.

Denise Kieffer of University Place, Wash., the 2014 WSGA Senior Women’s Player of the Year, finished in third, one stroke behind Farmer at 13-over-par for the championship. Lisa Smego, who won the Senior Women’s division in 2014, competed in the Women’s division this year, finishing in fourth place alone at 16-over-par.

Karen Madison claimed her first WSGA championship title after shooting a final-round best 6-over-par 78 to separate herself from the field, giving her a four-stroke victory.

Jane Harris of Tukwila, Wash. took second place with a total of 19-over-par. Senior Women’s division champion in 2009, Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C. and Patty Myers of Olympia, Wash. finished in a tie for third place at 20-over-par for the championship.

This year’s field was the strongest in the championship’s history. Players qualify by winning their WSGA Member Club Championship in the past two years, finishing in a qualifying position on the WSGA Performance Points Lists, or by winning a WSGA championship in the previous year.