For their third match in a row, the Blaine girls golf team was graced with sunny skies as they drove, chipped and putted their way around the manicured fields of the North Bellingham Golf Course.
The Borderites, led by senior Young Lee, scored 38 points to come in fourth place out of six teams at a Northwest Conference (NWC) league golf tournament on April 8.
Lee shot a 15 over par 51, which earned her team 21 points and secured her the individual second place medal behind
Meridian’s Abbi Rautenberg, who earned 25 points with an 11 over par 47. Blaine’s Emily Greathouse earned nine points by shooting a 28 over par 64, and Lindsay Gillern earned eight points with a 29 over par 65.
Players completed nine holes in groups of three or four golfers, with each group starting on a different hole. The tournament was scored using a modified Stableford scoring system, in which players earned points based on their performance on each hole. An eagle earned six points, a birdie earned five, a par earned four, etc. down to a triple bogie, which scored zero points. There was no penalty for shooting over a triple bogie.
Lee shot the only birdie of the day on the second hole, a par four that was her penultimate hole of the match. She launched a powerful drive to the middle of the fairway, then used a 3 hybrid to stroke a gem of a second shot to within 10 feet of the pin.
“It was quite a second shot,” said Meridian coach Steve Lawrence. “She smiled big after she hit it.”
Lee went on to sink the 10-foot putt for the birdie, earning five points in one hole.
“It felt pretty awesome to get the birdie,” she said. “I needed it. I wasn’t having a great day at that point, and I knew it was coming to an end, so I wanted to finish strong.”
Lee’s birdie was a highlight on a glorious day of golf, said Blaine head coach Ron Kowalke.
“What a beauty of a day,” Kowalke said. “We’ve been lucky that we haven’t had rain at any of our matches so far.”
A few scattered clouds threatened but never blocked the sun throughout the match at North Bellingham. A slight but steady breeze from the southwest had little effect on play, Lee said.
“It’s always a little windy here at North Bellingham,” said Darryl Warren, who is Rautenberg’s grandfather and a frequent spectator and golfer himself. “You couldn’t ask for a better day to golf.”
Warren added that Lee and Rautenberg frequently tee off against each other, and enjoy the competition. Rautenberg is hoping to play golf at the collegiate level, and is looking at Lewis and Clark College in Portland among other schools, Warren said.
Blaine has played four matches so far this season. Kowalke said his team is showing signs of improvement.
“They’re working hard and they all have a good attitude,” he said.
Lee was a bit harder on herself, but agreed that her general trend this year has been positive.
“I’ve been a little rusty this season,” she said, “but hopefully getting stronger.”
The Borderites next play at Avalon Golf Course in Burlington against host Sedro-Woolley and four other teams. That match is scheduled for Thursday, April 18.