Jennifer Liedes isn’t ready to give up golf yet.
“I want to try and go out with a bang,” she said.
The Saint Martin’s University senior — the Great Northwest Athletic Conference co-golfer of the year last season — doesn’t intend to play professionally following graduation in May.
“I want her to enjoy herself, I think that’s most important,” said Keith Liedes, Jennifer’s father.
Keith, and Jennifer’s aunt, Kerry Postillion — a three-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur runner-up — both golfed at the University of Washington, which influenced Jennifer’s initial decision to play at the Division I school.
“I had a strong desire to go there to keep the tradition going,” Jennifer said.
Though, after her freshman season, Jennifer decided the UW wasn’t the right fit.
“I got there, and it was a good experience, and a different level of golf than I had ever been a part of before,” she said. “But, it wasn’t for me. All of those girls wanted to be professionals.”
She contacted SMU about a possible transfer, and sat out from golf for a year — per NCAA requirements — before joining the Saints in 2013.
And she didn’t miss a beat.
As a sophomore, she had four top-10 finishes in 16 rounds — including a fifth-place finish at the GNAC Championship — and was a first-team all-GNAC player.
“I think she transitioned pretty good,” Keith Liedes said. “A big part was her experience the first year and the commitment (at UW), and she took that to Saint Martin’s.”
Jennifer said the transfer to SMU was the best decision for her, and the practice structure is less of a daily grind.
“It’s kind of night and day,” she said. “It’s a lot of self-motivation on this team.”
She has plenty of that. In addition to golfing for the Saints, Jennifer works in the pro shop at Olympia Golf and Country Club — SMU’s home course — and often gets to work early to practice.
Jennifer has been a golf course regular since childhood. She attended junior clinics when her dad was the Grays Harbor Country Club pro. And she started seriously golfing in high school at Olympia, and finished 10th at the Class 4A state tournament in 2011.
“I ended up really loving it for myself, and here I am,” she said.
The Saints tee off next on Friday, when they host the SMU Invitational — both Jennifer and her team won the tournament in 2014.
Jennifer shot a two-round score of 144 (2-under par), and broke the school record in the second round with a career-low, 3-under par 70.
“We have a lot of new talent and strong talent on the team this year,” she said. “I think we have a really good shot at defending our title.”
Williams named CCC Player of the Week
Following a three-goal, five-assist weekend, The Evergreen State College’s Tanner Williams earned the Cascade Collegiate Conference’s offensive player of the week award for men’s soccer.
Williams, a junior, scored all three of his goals against Walla Walla University on Saturday, when the Geoducks routed the Wolves, 11-0.
The Geoducks picked up two shutout wins over the weekend to improve to 7-1-0 — their best start in school history.
Williams has six goals this season, and leads the CCC through eight matches with nine assists.