RICHLAND — On a day where the leader came back to earth, Ephrata senior Kenedee Peters just couldn’t get off the skid to chase her down Thursday on the final day of the Washington Junior Golf Association 16-18 state tournament.
The action returned to Meadow Springs Country Club for the third and final round. Peters shot a closing round of 79 to finish in a tie for fourth (71-73-79-224).
Therese Warner of Kennewick, who fired an unbelievable 7-under-par 65 on Wednesday at Black Rock Creek, also shot a 7-over-par 79, but held on to win the WJGA 16-18 state championship by five strokes with a 54-hole total of 213.
“I’ve been pretty consistent. Today was a little higher than I’ve been, but there was really no pressure on me,” Peters said. “I didn’t go out with the idea I had to do something spectacular to chase (Warner) down. You never know what’s going to happen in golf. There’s no pressure on me, I just go play.”
Peters didn’t lose a match during the 2016 high school season and capped it off with her second 2A state medalist in the past three years. She was correct in her analysis. Warner, who birdied six of her first seven holes the day before to take an eight-stroke lead into the final round, did come back to the field.
But the entire seven-player championship field failed to take advantage. East Valley High School star Morgan Baum’s 73 was the best round of the day. A double-bogey on the par-5, 454-yard fourth hole derailed Peter’s effort. She made the turn at plus-4 and finished her round without a birdie.
Samantha Hui of Kennewick finished second, shooting 76 on the final day (68-74-76-218). Cassie Kim of Yakima moved up into third (75-70-77-222). Baum had the only near-par round of the day, carding 1-over 73 to move into a tie for fourth with Peters.
Peters has had an eventful summer schedule. She made it to the semifinals of the 116th PNGA Women’s Amateur and finished 20th in the U.S. Women’s Open Sectional qualifier earlier this summer.
Both fields were predominantly collegiate players although the U.S. Open qualifier did have a sprinkling of LPGA professionals. Even though the WJGA was a high school showcase of girls golf, it had some spectacular shot-making to challenge the best amateurs in the state.
“I love playing against college girls. I think that’s more of where my game’s headed,” said Peters, who has verbally committed to Washington State. “I feel like I can compete with them because it’s a very mindset. I like the challenge.”
Peters has a busy month of August with the Portland Classic Amateur Wednesday at Langdon Farms Golf Course in Aurora, Ore. The winner will play in the LPGA Safeway Open Aug 31-Sept 3.
She also has the PNGA Girls Junior Amateur in Florence, Ore., Aug. 14-18 at Sandpiper Golf Course and the USGA Women's Four-Ball Amateur Qualifier with Brittany Kwon on Sept 5 at OGA golf course in Woodburn, Ore. on the slate.