Earlier this season, Lewis and Clark golfer Megan Haase lamented the state of her game a year after sharing 10th place in state. She determined to do something about it.
“I just wanted it really bad,” Haase said. “I wasn’t happy with my play and wanted to change it.”
Increased practice and a new set of clubs, with men’s irons, made the difference. She began hitting more greens in regulation as her short game and consistency improved.
Finishing on a late-season tear, Haase tied for third place in the State 4A tournament on Wednesday shooting a two-day score of 147 at Downriver Golf Course and leading the Tigers to another high finish by placing third as a team.
As good as she was, however, she was no match for Central Kitsap senior phenomenon Erynne Lee, who Wednesday in the threesome following Haase’s, blistered Wandermere’s course with a 7-under-par 66 and two-day total 137.
And the Tigers didn’t have enough depth to challenge Bellarmine Prep, which won the team title with 127 points over Central Kitsap (85), LC (74.5) and Newport (68) of Bellevue.
“I’m happy with what Megan accomplished and how the team played,” said LC coach Michelle Grafos. Lewis and Clark earned its sixth top-five finish during the six-year tenure of its coach. And all but one of their golfers returns next year.
“It will be fun,” she said.
Haase had shot 72 in Tuesday’s opening round, in part because of excellent putting. That part of the game betrayed her a bit during her second round. She missed four putts by inches, including a 2-footer. Additionally, an excellent approach shot for eagle eased by the cup.
“I made a lot of 10-footers yesterday,” Haase said. “Today I only made one and I missed a couple 6-footers. Finishing 2 over is not bad, but I know I could have shot under par.”
That is what Lee did, in a big way in her one full season of high school golf. She didn’t finish her sophomore season and didn’t turn out last year, opting instead for women’s amateur competition and junior tournaments. She will continue golfing next year at UCLA. Her freshman sister, Katie Lee, finished fifth in helping the team to second place.
“I had momentum on the back nine,” Erynne Lee said. “I didn’t make mistakes, was putting real good and 4 under on the front. I bogeyed No. 10 then went on a birdie rage.”
Bellarmine Prep had two players among the top seven, including runner-up Jordan Ferreira and too much depth for the rest of the field, with a total of five golfers contributing team points.
“We had a couple of horses,” said coach Mark Beck, “and the one thing we were deep all year. That’s how you build a program up. We’ve done it back-to-back and I think we’ve got a pretty good run going. I don’t think we’re done yet to be honest with you. We’re still young and we’ve got more youth coming. We came here as a team and won as a team. That’s the best thing I can say.”