Sasaki claims Washington State Women’s Amateur; Papatolis wins Mid-Amateur in playoff

Rino Sasaki of Seattle shot rounds of 71-72-77 to win the 26th Washington State Women’s Amateur; Tina Papatolis of Issaquah, Wash. survived a playoff to win the 10th Washington State Women’s Mid-Amateur; Sandra Turbide of Maple Ridge, B.C. won the 20th Washington State Women’s Senior Amateur in a playoff; and Linda Skwarski of Fall City, Wash. won the 6th Washington State Super Senior Women’s Amateur title in her first attempt.

All four championships were held concurrently at Sudden Valley Golf and Country Club in Bellingham, Wash. and conducted by the Washington State Golf Association (WSGA).

Click here for the recap and interviews from the Senior and Super Senior Championships.

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Rino Sasaki tees off to begin her final round at the Women’s Amateur.

Sasaki, a sophomore on the University of Washington women’s golf team, had a 3-shot lead heading into today’s final round of the Women’s Amateur. She had taken the lead from first-round leader Suzie Tran of Poulsbo, Wash.

While other players faltered in the tough playing conditions, Sasaki finished the round with 11 consecutive pars, and her steady play enabled her to cruise to a six-shot victory over second-place finisher Karen Miyamoto of Seattle. Miyamoto is Sasaki’s teammate on the UW golf team.

“I’m really grateful for all of this,” Sasaki said afterward, holding the trophy and looking at the course behind her. “It was a rough day for sure, because of the weather. I thought I’d lost it on the front nine. I just was patient, and accepting what I get with each shot. And the back nine I settled down.”

Tran finished third, and defending champion Olivia Benzin finished fourth.

Click here to watch Sasaki’s post-round interview.

Tina Papatolis
Tina Papatolis hits her tee shot on the 17th hole during the final round of the Women’s Mid-Amateur.

In the Women’s Mid-Amateur, Papatolis had begun today’s final round with a comfortable 8-shot lead over Victoria Fallgren of Spokane. But the rain and wind in the morning played havoc on the course and on Papatolis’ scorecard, and she had to birdie the final hole just to force a playoff with Fallgren.

The playoff lasted two holes. On the first hole, both players made birdie, and on the second hole, Fallgren’s par putt attempt lipped out, and Papatolis claimed the title with a par.

“This feels pretty good,” Papatolis said. “With the tough weather conditions, and then having to birdie the 18th to force the playoff, it was awesome to come out with a win. I loved playing with Victoria. It was a really cool day, and a really cool tournament.”

This is Papatolis’ first WSGA championship title. “I’ve come close in the past,” she said. “So this feels really cool.”

Fallgren, who is the assistant coach for the women’s golf team at Gonzaga University, had been trying for a three-peat, having won the Women’s Mid-Amateur the past two years.

Click here to watch Papatolis’ post-round interview.

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.