Sports

Snoqualmie golfers exit PNGA amateur championship bracket

Fall City’s Mike Rutledge tees off on a hole during play at the recent Pacific Northwest Golf Association junior boys’ amateur tournament in Mill Creek. After a rough start, Rutledge rallied and won his consolation bracket. - Courtesy photo
Fall City’s Mike Rutledge tees off on a hole during play at the recent Pacific Northwest Golf Association junior boys’ amateur tournament in Mill Creek. After a rough start, Rutledge rallied and won his consolation bracket.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Valley’s boys’ golf threesome of Bradley Harrelson, Mike Rutledge, and Jack Kelly recently took on the best of the Northwest at the Pacific Northwest Golf Association junior boys’ amateur championship. For all three golfers, it was a mixed bag.

For Harrelson, of Snoqualmie, and Kelly, of North Bend, things started out well, but ended on a down note. Harrelson and Kelly both finished under par with solid rounds in the first round of stroke play last Monday, but they struggled in the second round last Tuesday and saw their seedings affected.

The golfers both advanced to the championship bracket of match play, but lost their first round matches on Wednesday, Aug. 13, and were eliminated. Harrelson fell to Sam McAvoy of Steilacoom in an extra-hole affair; Kelly fell 2 and 1 to Bellingham’s William Holdridge.

Kelly and Holdridge played a tight match through the first 12 holes, but Holdridge had control for most of that, as Kelly only held the lead after the fourth but quickly lost it on the fifth. The Bellingham opponent then put the clamp down and closed the deal, taking a 2-up lead on the 16th and finishing the job. Harrelson gave his best, staying with McAvoy, but unlike his fellow Valley player, Harrelson did not control the match after any hole. That said, a Harrelson birdie on 15 and three halves on the final three holes forced the extra hole, and McAvoy parred the final hole, beating out Harrelson’s bogey.

Match play is based on how many holes a player wins against an opponent in that contest; if a player gets a better score on a hole than his opponent, such as the par over the bogey which decided the McAvoy-Harrelson match, that player wins the hole; the player who wins the most holes wins the match. If both players get the same score on a hole, then that hole is halved, and each player gets half a point.

It was a different story for Fall City’s Mike Rutledge. Only days prior, Rutledge had made a name for himself at the state boys’ junior golf championship. He struggled in stroke play, shooting rounds of 80 both days last Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 11 and 12. However, he advanced through match play to the final of his consolation bracket, and on Friday, Aug. 15, he won that match in a big way, defeating Kent’s Tom Zavada 4 and 3, meaning the match ended well before reaching the 18th hole.

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