Federal Way, Wash. – Mallory Kent of Tukwila, Wash. pulled ahead in the second round to take the lead by two strokes going into the final round of the 20th Washington State Women’s Amateur, while Lisa Smego of Olympia, Wash. holds a six shot lead at the 14th Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur. 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, carded a second round 3-over par 75 while having to delay play for 43 minutes due to heavy rain fall that made the course temporarily unplayable. Kent was 3-over par after the first nine holes, but was able to get her game going on the back nine to stay even par to stay and finish at 3-over par for the day “The front nine was a little up and down, I had a good start with a birdie on the first hole, but had a rocky middle, but kept the back nine pretty steady making a lot of good putts to save par” said Kent. When asked about her strategy going into the final round, Kent added “For the final round I need to stick to the plan by playing steady golf and committing to my targets.”
Kent’s 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 first-round co-leader Lauren Sewell of Renton, Wash., who fell back two strokes after carding a 5-over par 77. She was still able to hold the second place spot heading into the final round tomorrow. Sewell just finished her Junior year at Oregon State University.
Smego is a two time past champion of the Senior Amateur (2006 and 2007). She carded an impressive round of 2-over par 74 today. “I started off well on the front side this morning, hitting the ball really well and hitting greens in regulation” she said. “I gave myself more chances a birdie today, even though I only made one” she added. Smego will be paired tomorrow in the featured threesome with the 2011 Senior Amateur champion, Ginny Burkey, and the defending champion, Yasue Alkins, who also won in 2009. “I am going to try and play the best I can tomorrow. I know Ginny Burkey and Yasue Alkins are very capable of shooting low rounds, so I will just try to keep the ball in play and below the hole” added Smego. Watch Lisa Smego’s interview here.
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.