Given the rare chance to be taught by top-flight PGA and LPGA instructors, Kayla Monroe soaked up all the knowledge she could during the weeklong program last July.
The junior golfer from Tumwater High School thinks with improved putting and chipping methods, learned at the prestigious Ryder Cup Junior Academy in Port St. Lucie, Fla., she will be able to consistently score in the 30s for a nine-hole round.
“Hopefully,” Monroe said, “that will shave some strokes off.”
Monroe was one of 83 junior golfers from around the country who were selected for the all-expenses paid program that emphasizes a variety of skills and swing mechanics for stroke- and match-play formats.
It was part of a golf-filled summer for Monroe. She played in multiple Washington Junior Golf Association tournaments. At the WJGA’s state championship last July, she placed 19th (179) in her 16-17 age division. This spring and summer, she says, will be filled with more tournaments, but not before she tries to break into the top eight at the 2A state tournament in May.
On Thursday against R.A. Long, Monroe shot a 3-over-par 38 at Mint Valley in Longview.
“I’m planning to get up there this year,” she said.
Don Craig has high hopes for the Olympia High girls tennis team.
The second-year coach thinks he has the talent and depth to challenge Bellarmine Prep for the 4A Narrows League crown. The Bears lost to Bellarmine, 3-2, last spring in their only meeting.
“We have 10 players who are really committed to the game, and that’s exciting to see,” Craig said. “The most exciting thing for me is it’s a relatively young group and a developing squad.”
In a change from last year, seniors Alli Bautista and Gemma Robinson will join forces to form the No. 1 doubles team. The pair advanced to the postseason last spring when they played No. 1 and No. 2 singles, but they have decided they wanted to play their final high school season together.
Olympia’s doubles teams are so strong, Craig said, that the No. 2 team of Catty Zhang and Rachel Kelso would beat a lot of schools’ No. 1 doubles teams.
Olympia showed its strength early at the Capitol City Invitational Tournament, hosted by North Thurston at the Capitol City Tennis and Athletic Center.
The Bears, with Bautista and Robinson winning the doubles championship, won the team title.
Meg Wochnick: 360-754-5473 firstname.lastname@example.org theolympian.com/southsoundsports @megwochnick email@example.com