Paul siblings lead Red Raiders into state


Bellingham High School's Taylor Paul will play in the Class 2A State Golf Championships.


The Paul name bears a certain amount of weight in the golfing community in Bellingham.

It all starts with Greg Paul, the one-time golf pro at Sudden Valley Golf Course, passing it along to his children, Jenn and Taylor, who are both seniors at Bellingham High School.

Taylor was about 8 years old when he remembers grasping his first club. He said much was the same for his sister, both becoming standouts at Bellingham, awaiting their final Class 2A state golf championships, which take place May 28-29.

The 2A boys will be playing at 2015 U.S. Open course Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington, while the 2A girls will take to The Classics Golf Club in Spanaway.

Both Paul siblings return as top-10 contenders in their respective tournaments, with Taylor finishing in seventh last year after placing 24th as a sophomore. Likewise, Jenn finished fourth as a junior, fourth as a sophomore and fifth as a freshman in her three state appearances, looking to lead the Red Raiders to their 12th state title in 13 years.

For Taylor, it's his final opportunity to leave a lasting mark on what's been a strong career at Bellingham.

"Basically my goals were to do better than my previous years this year," he said in a phone interview. "I got seventh, and I'm hoping to do better at state."

This year hasn't, at least up until this point, gone the way Taylor had hoped. That's more his lofty expectations than anything else, with the senior finishing sixth in the Northwest Conference with a per-round average of 76.4. Taylor did, however, place fourth at districts with a two-day total of 157, coming behind only his teammates Cody Roth (148) and Nick Nolan (151), and Lynden sophomore Ezra Arneson (154).

"I haven't had too many great rounds, but it's gone pretty well. I want to do well at state. ... I just want to play well at state," Taylor said. "I'm excited for what's to come."

Both Taylor and Jenn have talented teammates to compete with on a daily basis, ensuring both Red Raider clubs will be in contention for team titles. Roth and Nolan finished 1-2 at districts, and pairing with Taylor, Bellingham coach David Bobillot could have three golfers finish in the top 10. Bellingham's girls' coach Brad McKay not only has Jenn, but Madi McNeely, as well, who is coming off a second-place finish in districts and a ninth-place finish at state last year.

It comes as no surprise to Bobillot how far Taylor has come. Even from his freshman year, the Red Raiders' coach saw a unique talent that deserved a spot on his varsity lineup amid a senior-laden group.

"I thought he had one of the best touches I've ever seen around the greens of the golf course," Bobillot said in a phone interview. "His hand-eye coordination - people weren't able to hit (those) shots at his age."

Experience comes with its advantages, something Taylor has reaped given the amount of golf he plays during the summer.

"In the summer, I'll play probably four or five times a week," he said, adding that he and his sister play rounds together often, although they're not that competitive with one another.

That's not necessarily the case when Taylor plays against teammates Roth and Nolan, who each have serve as high-tides for one another, so to speak, raising all ships.

"It's good competition all the time," Taylor said. "It's helped me improve. They are both the top golfers, and us three are top five in our conference. Our goal is to win."

A team title is within reason for both Bellingham golf teams, thanks in part to a pair of Pauls.

Reach Alex Bigelow at or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.



When: Wednesday, May 28-Thursday, May 29

Where: Chambers Bay in University Place, Washington


When: Wednesday, May 28-Thursday, May 29

Where: The Classics Golf Club in Spanaway, Washington

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