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Shane Thompson wins big junior golf championship
The South Whidbey golf community has another champion.
Falcon golfer Shane Thompson of Langley placed first with a 73 at the Washington Junior Golf Association District 1 tournament on the par-72 Dungeness Golf Course in Sequim on Wednesday.
“He was in third place after the first day,” said his proud father, Jim Thompson. “On the second day, he just kept making pars and the others fell behind.”
The summer tournament schedule brought together 22 of the finest young golfers in western Washington from the Canadian border south to Edmonds. Thompson qualified for the competition with a first-place showing on July 18 at Cedarcrest.
Thompson, 15, was in the final pairing against David Won of Bothell and Brandon Hill of Harbour Pointe.
“I was concentrating on making pars when Won started making bogies,” Shane Thompson recalled.
On the par-3, 16th hole, Thompson made a 35-foot downhill putt that put him ahead, though he didn’t know it at the time because he was unable to see the reader board that lists the players and their positions on the course.
On the 190-yard par-3, 17th hole, Thompson chipped in for another birdie.
“By then, a lot of other kids were coming over to watch us play,” Thompson said.
“I didn’t realize I had a one-shot lead going into the par-4 18th hole,” he recalled. “I was playing one hole at a time because I wanted to qualify for the state finals.”
Hill having dropped behind, both Thompson and Won made par on the final hole.
“Won said, ‘Well, you won the tournament.’ I didn’t know that I had until that moment.”
He ended up shooting 39 up front, 34 on the back nine.
Thompson said the three leaders barely spoke during the round.
“It was very intense;
I was just grinding it out,” Thompson said. “You’d hear a quiet ‘nice shot’ or ‘good putt’ but that’s about it. When you’re focusing on playing at this level, there’s not a lot of time to talk.”
Thompson said he was pretty happy with the win.
“But my dad just went nuts,” he said. “I can’t say enough about how much his support means to me.”
His reward was a nice trophy and the chance to compete at Glendale Golf Club in Bellevue in the state junior tournament from July 29 to 31. The event brings together the top 10 best players from six districts around the state.
“My putting was excellent, but I need to work on my short game, especially chipping,” he said.
“In this game, there’s no room for error.”
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.