Bellingham golfers Jenn Paul and Madi McNeely had two of the best three rounds at day one of the Class 2A Girls' Golf State Tournament on Wednesday, May 28, at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway to give their team a shot at the team title on day two.
Paul sits in second with an 82, and McNeely is third with an 84 at the end of the first day.
Kendall Grey from Fife leads the tournament with a first-round score of 79.
Paul had a rough start to the day, but was able to finish strong.
"At first I started off pretty bad with a triple and double bogey, but I came back with two birdies," she said in a phone interview. "I was just a little nervous and shakey to begin with."
McNeely also had a slow start and progressively improved, culminating in a big moment on the final hole.
"I started off a little rough, but I made a giant putt on the last one to birdy," McNeely said in a phone interview. "Tomorrow I just want to post a score like today and get in the top five."
Bellingham's Alex Ferrier also made the cut for the second day with a first round 100. Sadie Steele and Emma Lochridge shot 115 and 117, respectively, missing the cut for the Red Raiders.
"We can't really move up much, but I still think we're going to have a chance at the title," Bellingham coach Brad McKay said in a phone interview. "If (Paul and McNeely) finish high and Alex can shoot a few shots better we'll be up there."
Squalicum's Maddi Atwood-Knudsen shot a 96 in the first round, good enough to be tied for 13th with five other golfers.
"I felt like I could have done better," Atwood-Knudsen said in a phone interview. "The greens were hard to read - some of the breaks were more obvious than others. Tomorrow I want to just play like I did today, maybe a little better, and keep an easy swing."
Atwood-Knudsen's Squalicum teammate Courtney Flannery also made the cut. Flannery shot a 101 and Christina Kim had a 105 to just barely miss the cut of 104 in the first round.
"They each had a couple of rough holes, but they battled pretty well," Squalicum coach Chad Herman said in a phone interview. "Courtney struggled on some holes, but did a good job making some putts on the back nine to save some holes and not extend them out. She drove the ball well in practice, but didn't do as well today."
Lynden's long golfer, Emily Ming, shot a 91 to finish the day tied for seventh with two others.
"We're looking for much improvement tomorrow," Lynden coach Scott Sahagian said in a phone interview. "Most of her game was on the money, except her putting. She just had some missed opportunities."
Ming struggled on the front nine, but was able to comeback and save some shots down the back stretch.
"Well the first day is over, and the second day I just have to play my game like I know how to," Ming said in a phone interview. "
Action continues on day two at the Class 2A Girls' State Tournament at 7 a.m. Thursday, May 29, at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway.
CLASS 2A GIRLS
*Jenn Paul 82
*Madi McNeely 84
*Alex Ferrier 100
Sadie Steele 117
Emma Lochridge 115
*Emily Ming 91
Christina Kim 105
*Maddi Atwood-Knudsen 96
*Courtney Flannery 101