BY JEFF VANDERFORD
South Whidbey Record
On the rear windshield of golfer Courtney Dettrich’s white Civic are the words, “My Lady Court is going to state!” — put there by her golf partner Whitney Wood.
The senior at South Whidbey High School is one of five Falcons heading to state this year.
Dettrich qualified for the girls state golf tournament at Skagit Golf Club May 15 by finishing in a tie for 13th; 66 girls entered and 39 made the first day’s cut. Only the top 19 golfers moved onto state.
“She improved her opening day score of 102 by shooting a 95 on the second day for a combined total of 197, moving her from the 21st position to 13,” Falcon coach Tom Donnelly said.
“She’s excited and I’m really excited for her because I think she can make it to the last day of the tournament, and that would be a great way for her to end her high school sports career,” Donnelly said.
Whitney Wood finished strong with a 98 on the second day and ended up with a two-day score of 211 to finish in 26th place, improving from 39th.
“Though they didn’t make the cut, Falcon girls Sarah Muncey-Gordon (125), Brandi Winn (129) and Morgan Thomson (141) played extremely well and I’m very proud of their efforts,” the coach added.
As a sign of how tough the girls’ competition was, Dettrich and Michelle Grome from Archbishop Murphy were the only two from the Cascade Conference to qualify.
“The Northwest girls (Sehome, Bellingham, Anacortes, Burlington-Edison) are very committed; they play throughout the year and several have individual coaches,” Dettrich said.
“The first day I felt a lot of pressure and tanked on the first nine holes,” she said. “But then I got to work and pulled out a score that got me to the second day, when I play conservatively.”
Unlike the regular season, the girls played based on strokes, not the Stableford system.
Dettrich said the coach had been prepping them to be ready.
Wood was disappointed, but Dettrich recalled an old saying that in golf you have three bad days for every good one. “Whitney had one of her bad ones,” Dettrich said. “Overall I’m absolutely thrilled to go and represent my school and South Whidbey. It’s the ultimate goal for any sport to compete at this level.”
Donnelly also noted the tremendous support this year from the members of Useless Bay Golf Club, the team’s home during the season.
Also heading to state May 22 at Bellingham Country Club are four Falcon boys who, as a team, won the Cascade Conference championship last week.
At regionals on May 14-15, 72 started out but only 36 golfers made the cut.
For the Falcons, Juan Fernandez shot a 152 (75 on Monday and 77 Tuesday), Blake Blakey had 157 (84/73), Nathan Kamps scored 158 (78/80) and alternate Brooks Guetlin shot 164 (84/80).
“They were focused, did all the right things and managed their game,” Falcon coach Steve Jones said.
“Blake scared himself and us by shooting a high 84 on Monday. But he gritted his teeth and came back with a phenomenal performance the next day,” he said.
Jones said that the boys will be sharpening their skills and fine-tuning key aspects, like putting, to get ready. One skill is playing by “summer rules.” Unlike winter, the ball can’t be touched in any way until it’s on the green. “They play it where it lies,” Jones said.
“Above all, I want them to feel comfortable and confident,” he added.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbey