Mallory Kent of Tukwila, Wash. and Lauren Sewell of Renton, Wash. share the first round lead in the 20th Washington State Women’s Amateur, while there is a three-way tie at the top of the 14th Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur between Ginny Burkey, Lisa Smego and Sharon Drummey. Both championships are conducted by the Washington State Golf Association, and are being held concurrently at Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club in Federal Way, Wash.
Kent, who just completed her junior year at Washington State University, finished today’s round at 1-over par 73 on the rain-softened course. “We had a late start because of the rain,” she said. “That kind of set us back a little, but the greens were great to hit into.” Kent had five birdies on the day. Her head coach for the WSU women’s golf team is Kelli Kamimura, who won this championship in 2001. Kent is looking to use this momentum as she prepares for the U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier and the Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur. Watch Kent’s interview here.
Paired with Kent was Sewell, who had a steady round of two birdies against three bogeys. Sewell just finished her Junior year at Oregon State University. Also in this group was Chessey Thomas of Spokane, who sits just two shots off the pace. Thomas won last year’s Pacific Northwest Women’s Amateur.
Burkey, of Fircrest, Wash. and Smego, of Olympia, are both past champions of the Senior Amateur. Yasue Alkins, the defending champion from DuPont, Wash., sits just three shots behind.
The Washington State Women’s Amateur is the state’s premier amateur championship for women golfers, and traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. Past champions have gone on to make their mark in the golf community, and include Paige Mackenzie (2002), a member of the University of Washington Athletic Hall of Fame who finished her senior year ranked the No. 1 golfer in the nation by Golfweek, and who currently plays on the LPGA Tour; Kelli Kamimura (2001), a former four-time high school state champion and All-American at the UW, who now is the head coach of the women’s golf team at Washington State University; Jimin Kang (1999), who was the runner-up at the 1999 U.S. Women’s Amateur while still in high school, and who now plays on the LPGA Tour; Molly Cooper (1997 & 2000), who was the medalist at the 2000 U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier, and who now is the Director of Tournament & Member Programs at the Pacific Northwest Section PGA; and Erynne Lee (2011), who was selected the WSGA Women’s Player of the Year in three consecutive years, made it to the quarterfinals or better of the U.S. Women’s Amateur three times, and is now a rising star on the UCLA women’s golf team.
The 2012 Washington State Women’s Amateur champion, Karinn Dickinson, did not return this year to defend her title. A former standout on the women’s golf team at the University of Washington, Dickinson qualified for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, which is being held this week at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
The format for both championships calls for 54 holes of stroke play.