Spanaway — Good golf does not have to happen under cutthroat circumstances.
Just take one look at the relationship North Thurston’s Audrey Marlatt and Timberline’s Mikayla Blumer have on the course — even as recently as the Narrows League tournament Wednesday at Lake Spanaway Golf Course — and you can see the proof.
Marlatt raced out to a big lead in the 3A Narrows girls race, only to watch as Blumer, the defending league champion, came storming back over the final nine holes.
In the end, Blumer missed a par-saving putt on the final hole, and Marlatt earned her first league title.
Marlatt shot two rounds of 16-over-par 88 to finish with a total of 176 on the 5,600-yard, par-72 layout. Blumer had a personal-best 85 in the final round Wednesday to finish at 177, so she wasn’t too disappointed about not repeating as champion.
“I am fine with second this year,” Blumer said.
On the final hole, Blumer played a fantastic shot out of a greenside bunker, leaving herself with a 6-footer for par.
After Marlatt missed her long par putt, Blumer watched as her putt to tie slid by on the left side.
“I just pulled it,” Blumer said.
These two league rivals from Lacey have gone at it for the past two seasons. When Blumer won the title last season, Marlatt was
“We are both really close,” Marlatt said. “We are friends, and we have joking between us. If one of our moods is down, the other will say, ‘Hey, it’s not funny. Get your mood back up.’ We are friendly foes, I guess you could say.”
That said, Marlatt said she felt some nerves over the final holes — especially with Blumer making a run.
“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Marlatt said.
Timberline, the 3A Narrows regular-season team champion, will send Blumer, Michaela Smith and Amy Martin to the state tournament in two weeks at Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland. Belana Anderson has a chance to make it four, but she needs to get through the district tournament next week.
“Based on scores throughout the season, we thought three girls could go straight to state,” Blazers coach Randy Lobe said. “It’s been a great year.”
On the boys side, Shelton seems to like the move down to the 3A Narrows. The Highclimbers were crowned the league champion for a second consecutive year, with Grant Cation leading the way.
Cation was the one 3A golfer, boy or girl, who would have fared well in the 4A bracket. He shot a 1-over 73 the first day and backed that up with a 76 on Wednesday to win by 16 shots over teammate Mitchell DeAndre.
“My goal was to keep up with the 4A guys even though they are not in our league,” said Cation, who finished second at the league championships last season. “I am better and much more consistent. My mental game has never been better. That is why I have been shooting good (scores). I can keep my head in the game.”
Also advancing to the 3A tournament were Timberline’s Kellen O’Reilly (174) and North Thurston’s Dallas McClellan (177).
In 4A boys, Olympia’s Nolan Backman finished tied for third at 4-over 148 and earned an automatic spot in the state tournament at Camas Meadows Golf Club in Camas.firstname.lastname@example.org