The 26th Washington State Women’s Amateur Championship is being held concurrently with the 10th Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur, 20th Washington State Senior Women’s Amateur and 6th Washington State Super Senior Women’s Amateur championships at Sudden Valley Golf and Country Club in Bellingham, Wash. on June 25-27.
All four championships will be conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA). The Women’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur championships will be contested over 54 holes of stroke play on June 25-27, while the Senior and Super Senior championships consist of 36 holes of stroke play on June 25-26.
The Washington State Women’s Amateur is the state’s premier amateur championship for women, and traditionally draws the region’s best players. Leading the field this year is Olivia Benzin of Tacoma, who won this championship last year and is back to defend her title. Benzin went wire-to-wire in her victory last year. She has also won the Washington State Women’s Golf Association championship four consecutive years. Benzin just finished her senior year at Oregon State University, where she played four years on the women’s golf team and finished with the second-best scoring average in the program’s history. Benzin won the 2015 4A High School individual state title while attending Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma.
Other notables in the field include Sarah Lawrence of Duvall, Wash., who has twice won the WSGA Women’s Champion of Champions (2016, 2018); and Karen Miyamoto of Seattle, who just finished her junior year playing on the University of Washington’s women’s golf team.
The field of the Women’s Mid-Amateur championship includes Victoria Fallgren of Spokane, Wash., the two-time defending champion who will be trying for a three-peat. Fallgren, the assistant coach for the women’s golf team at Gonzaga University, was named the 2017 and 2018 WSGA Women’s Mid-Amateur Player of the Year, and earlier this season won the 2019 WSGA Women’s Champion of Champions. Also in the field is Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C., who won this title in 2016 and was inducted into the PNGA Hall of Fame in 2013.
Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash. is returning to defend her title in the Senior Women’s Amateur. Earlier this summer she qualified for the U.S. Senior Women’s Open, and earlier this month was selected to play in the LPGA Tour’s Legends Cup, which was won by Juli Inkster and held at White Horse Golf Club in Kingston, Wash.
The defending champion of the Super Senior Amateur, Sue Ursino of Sammamish, Wash., is in the field this year to try for a repeat victory. Ursino has also won the Senior Amateur title three times (2003-2005). Other past champions in the field include Sun Douthit (2017) of Steilacoom, and Karen Madison (2016) of East Wenatchee.
Past champions of the Washington State Women’s Amateur 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 is a studio analyst on Golf Channel and LPGA Tour player; Kelli Kamimura (2001) 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 now a two-time winner on the LPGA Tour; Molly Cooper (1997, 2000), who was medalist at the 2000 U.S. Women’s Amateur qualifier, and now is the director of tournament and member programs at the Pacific Northwest Section PGA; Renee Skidmore (2005), who competed on Golf Channel’s “Big Break” series; 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 LPGA Tour.
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.