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Brandes & Folsom Claim Washington State Men's & Women's Mid-Amateur Titles
Tom Brandes of Bellevue, Wash. tamed the demanding layout at Moses Lake Golf Club to win the 3nd Washington State Men's Mid-Amateur Championship, and Leslie Folsom of Seattle, Wash. survived a stiff test from Sandra Turbide of Maple Ridge, B.C., before pulling away to win the 3rd Washington State Women's Mid-Amateur Championship.
Brandes entered the final round Wednesday in a tie for first place with Erik Hanson of Kirkland, Wash. but finished with a flurry with birdies on holes 17 and 18 to finish the day at 1-under-par 71, good enough for a three-stroke victory. Brandes and Hanson had entered the 17th hole tied at 1-under-par. "We were tied heading to 17 but I made a really good birdie on 17 and then finished with the birdie on 18, so it was good."
This was the second time Brandes and Hanson battled in the final round of a championship at Moses Lake Golf Club. "Erik (Hanson) and I have a little bit of history here. He beat me in the finals of the 2007 Pacific Northwest Master-40 Amateur Championship," Brandes said. This time, Brandes sealed the deal.
The win is Brandes' third victory of the year, having won the Washington State Champion of Champions in May and the Pacific Northwest Senior Men's Amateur Championship in June. His 3-under-par 141 total was good enough for a three-shot cushion over Steve Rude of Graham, Wash. and Alex Stamey of Mill Creek, Wash. Rude tied for low round of the day after firing a 2-under-par 70 to finish at even par 144 for the championship. Defending champion Stephen Lee of Everett, Wash. finished in a tie for 16th at 7-over-par 151.
In the Women's Mid-Amateur Championship, Folsom and Turbide separated themselves from the field early in the final round and battled back and forth much of the day. Turbide pulled even with Folsom through the front nine with a 3-over-par 39, but Folsom took over on the inward half, rattling off birdies on Nos. 10 and 12 to take a four-stroke lead through 13 holes. "I played much better on the back nine," she said after the round. "I hit the ball better, putted better. My experience on the challenging greens at Rainier (Golf and Country Club) was a big help."
Once in the lead, Folsom never let up as she cruised to a final-round 4-over-par 76, a two-day total of 9-over-par 153, and a six-stroke victory over Turbide, who finished in second at 15-over-par 159. Folsom, the eight-time champion in the Washington State Women's Best-Ball Championship, finally earned her first individual championship, and it was a relief. "I finally got the monkey off my back," she said. "This is huge and great to have my name alongside Lisa (Smego)."
Two-time defending champion Smego of Olympia, Wash., finished tied for third with Ginny Burkey of Fircrest, Wash., at 19-over 163, 10 strokes behind Folsom.
The above report is courtesy of the Washington State Golf Association. For more information and full scoring, visit www.thewsga.org.