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Sunnyside sophomore State tourney-bound

SPOKANE- Considering her goal was simply to qualify for Regional play, Renae Visser now can enjoy the icing on the cake.

The Sunnyside High School sophomore shot a personal best 18-hole round of 93 at yesterday's Regional competition, finishing sixth in the process, to earn a berth to this year's WIAA 3A State girls golf tournament.

"Renae's stated goal was to make it to Regionals," said Sunnyside Coach Gary Rohde. "She's far exceeded that."

Playing at Spokane's Downriver Golf Course on Thursday, Visser needed a top 10 finish from the 31-girl field to advance to State. Striking her irons exceedingly well, Visser posted the sixth best individual round on the day.

She opened with an 8-over-par 44 on Downriver's front nine. Pressing a bit after the clubhouse turn, Visser ballooned to a 49 on the back side, which plays at par-37 from the girls' blocks.

Rohde said the sophomore learned a lot about playing under pressure, noting Visser might have began pressing when she realized she was in the hunt for one of the 10 spots to State.

"I think she learned that you just have to play your game, let the game come to you," Rohde said. "In golf, you can't really force it."

In assessing Visser's play yesterday, Rohde said her tee shots were OK, but that "...her iron play was superb.

"And in her own words, her putting killed her," he added.

Despite not having her flat stick working to perfection, Visser got around the course in fine fashion. The 93 she carded ended up being four strokes below her previous personal best.

Thursday's Regional tourney medalist proved to be Mt. Spokane's Savana Bezeicek. She posted a 1-under-par 72.

Of the 10 top finishers at Regionals, four are from the Columbia Basin Big Nine League...Visser, one girl from Hanford and two members of the West Valley Rams.

The 2009 3A State golf tourney will be staged next Wednesday and Thursday, May 28-29, at Richland's Horn Rapids Golf Course.

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