Bjorke Wins Washington Men's Mid-Amateur & Folsom Defends Women's Title


Bjorn Bjorke of Port Orchard rallied from four strokes behind entering the final round to capture the 4th Washington State Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, and Seattle's Leslie Folsom of Seattle successfully defended her title in the 4th Washington State Women's Mid-Amateur. The two-day stroke-play championships conducted by the Washington State Golf Association were held concurrently on the Rope Rider course at Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.

Bjorn Bjorke

After a disappointing outing concluded by a double-bogey on the final hole Bjorke trailed 18-hole co-leaders Erik Hanson of Kirkland and Bellevue's Jesse Sitterud at the start of the second round.

In calm weather, Bjorke played a flawless final round, with birdies on Nos. 4, 10, 11 and 17 for a 4-under 67. "I played solid today, no question," said Bjorke. "I only missed a couple greens on the front nine. It wasn't until standing on the 17th tee that I felt I might have a shot."

Bjorke birdied that par-5 and waited to see if anyone in the two final groups could match him. "The course is in great shape, and with no wind today I wasn't sure if my score would hold up." It did.

Last year's winner, Tom Brandes of Bellevue came up just short in defense of his title, finishing in solo second after a par 69. Hanson tied for third after a 3-over par 74.

Leslie Folsom

In the Women's Mid-Amateur, Folsom repeated, shooting two straight 5-over 77s to win by three over Catherine Chamberlain of Mercer Island. "It feels great," said Folsom. "To back up last year's victory and prove I can win individual titles is a good feeling. It's tough to win in the first place, and even tougher to defend. Catherine played great all day day, and when we got to the back nine I just told myself to play it like as though it were match play."

Folsom, who was recently selected to represent Washington State in the USGA Women's State Team competition, a biennial national championship, won last year by a six-shot margin, with the victory propelling her to the 2012 WSGA Women's Mid-Amateur Player of the Year honors. She also won the SWGA City Championship. Today's victory will help her quest in attempting to win back-to-back Player of the Year titles.

With their victories, Folsom and Bjorke have earned an exemption into the 5th Annual WSGA Champion of Champions, which will be held at The Home Course in DuPont next April.

The above report is courtesy of the WSGA. For complete final results of both championships, visit www.thewsga.org.

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