Junior golfers face off in Valley

Several young golfers from the Valley did well on their home turf last Wednesday, June 25, at the first tournament of the summer golf season.

North Bend's Jack Kelly, who was one of three boys' golfers to make state for Mount Si this spring, fired a 74 to place second in the boys age 14-to-15 division.

Kelly led the Valley contingent at the Washington Junior Golf Association event, held at Mount Si Golf Course in Snoqualmie, the Wildcats' home course during the high school season. Mercer Island's Charlie Kern shot a 73 to beat Kelly by one stroke for the age group crown.

The other two Mount Si state entrants did great as well. Fall City's Mike Rutledge shot a round of 71 to finish third in the boys 16-to-17 age division. Snoqualmie's Bradley Harrelson finished fourth in that age group, right behind his Wildcat teammate. Harrelson shot a 73. Ricky McDonald of Shoreline won the division, firing a 67.

All three Valley golfers' strong showings earned them berths in the Junior World state golf tournament in Tumwater this week. Should any of them do very well, they will earn the right to go to San Diego and compete in the Junior World national tournament.

All of these golfers could compete at Torrey Pines, the same golf course which recently hosted the U.S. Open men's tournament. For Kelly, this will be his first time in this event.

"My goal is to shoot in the 70s both rounds," he said.

Three other Snoqualmie boys competed in the event. Kevin Ormiston shot an 85 in the 16-to-17 age division, Sean Ballsmith carded an 89 in the 14-to-15 division, and Casey Harvey rounded out things with a 99 in the 12-to-13 division. None of these competitors qualified for the Junior World tournament.

This was the WJGA's first of four events this summer in district two, which comprises most of King County, including the Eastside. Three more district tournaments are scheduled, including two in the Valley, and the state tournament is in Spokane at the end of July.

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