The first-day leader after shooting a 2-under-par 70 Tuesday at the Class 2A girls golf state tournament, the 15-year-old sophomore admitted she didn’t start so hot on the front nine when she began her final round. She told herself to “stay in the moment.”
After shooting a 1-under on the back nine and holding off a surge from Steilacoom’s Cherokee Kim, Keating won her first state title at the Apple Tree Golf Course, shooting a final-round 75 to finish with a two-day total of 1-over-par 145. Kim was second at 148.
“It was pretty amazing,” Keating said. “I’m really excited this week. I’ve wanted this for a really long time.”
It was an improvement from her sixth-place finish on the same course during last year’s state tournament, in which she said she “didn’t do her best.” Better back-nine play, including key putts, helped Keating stave off Kim, who shot a 2-over on the day.
“I wanted to come back and really do my best,” Keating said. “And how I know I can play.”
Black Hills’ Carli Vernon finished 12th with a 169, and Chehalis’ Hillary Tak was 19th (188).
Keating and Northwest Christian’s Nick Mattox were the only South Sound golfers to place in the top 10 at their respective tournaments.
Mattox finished third at the boys 2B tournament at Tri-City Country Club in Kennewick. He shared the first-day lead (68) with Life Christian’s Nathan Putnam, but Putnam fired a 65 Wednesday to take the 2B state title as Mattox shot a 72 for a two-day total of 140.
Putting and hitting fewer greens Wednesday was the difference, said Mike Mattox, Nick’s father and Northwest Christian’s golf coach. Nick Mattox’s third-place finish was the highest by a golfer from Northwest Christian.
“For the most part, he couldn’t get a putt to drop,” Mike Mattox said. “That was the big difference.”
Teammate Trevor Magruder, a sophomore, tied for 18th (153) to help the Navigators place third in the team standings with 63 points.
Capital and Timberline had four boys golfers in the top 30. Timberline’s John Jordan finished tied for 12th (149) and Capital’s Kyle Kanda and TJ Griggs were 15th (151) and 18th (152), respectively. Teammate Tyler Hooghe was tied for 27th (157).
In 4A, Olympia’s Jennifer Liedes shot a closing-round 80 for a two-round total of 150 to place in a three-way tie for 16th. Liedes, a junior, advanced to state for the third consecutive year and reached the second day for the first time.
“That’s 10 shots lower than she shot at district,” Olympia coach Mike Steen said. “She did a great job of scrambling today. She didn’t hit the ball as well as she did Tuesday, but we’re proud of her score.”
Tumwater’s Seth Nickerson and Kyle Schrader tied for 21st, shooting a 154, and teammates Zach Monroe (162) and Jackson Boe (166) finished 37th and 40th, respectively. The Thunderbirds finished ninth in the 2A team standings with 40 points.