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Visser just two strokes off best 3A score at final Columbia Basin Big Nine League match

WENATCHEE - Considering Sunnyside's Renae Visser had to scramble a bit at yesterday's final Columbia Basin Big Nine League girls golf match of the season, the 93 she carded at the Wenatchee Country Club wasn't all that terrible.

In fact, the 93 Visser posted on her scorecard was just two strokes off the best round claimed by a class 3A linkster at Monday's competition. Unofficial results showed that Anna Elofson of West Valley and Hanford's Taylor Godoy clipped Visser with a pair of 91's.

The 4A Richland Bombers, reportedly, turned in the low team score, thanks to a 10-over-par 82 from Kristin Strankman, who claimed medalist honors, and an 83 from teammate Mary McDonald.

Come postseason time, which begins this coming Friday at the Regional tourney at Spokane's Wandamere Golf Course, Visser will only be competing against 3A golfers. The 93 she shot yesterday in damp, drizzling weather conditions in Wenatchee definitely puts her in the hunt for one of the 11 berths offered at Regionals to the 3A State tournament.

The Sunnyside junior got around Wenatchee's front nine yesterday with a 9-over 45, despite her driver not serving her well off the tee blocks.

"The driver isn't working real well for me right now," Visser said.

Her front nine 45 also included a hiccup on one of the par-3 holes, where she took a triple-bogey 6.

Her saving grace Monday afternoon proved to be some great up-and-downs. Visser's wedge shots, for the most part, put her in position to push any thoughts of absorbing a three-put out of her mind. "I didn't take many three-putts yesterday," the teen said early this morning before heading off to school.

"I had my wedge working well, and my putter is finally coming around. I'd been working on my putting and it helped out yesterday."

Visser's tee shots, however, are a different story right now. "I'll be working with my driver quite a bit in practice this week," she said.

With the 45 Visser posted on Wenatchee's front nine yesterday, any thoughts of recording the low 3A score on the day went by the wayside when she ran into trouble about halfway through the back side.

"One blow-up for me...I think it was on No. 13," said Visser, explaining that she had to beat her ball out of the tree line several times on the par-4 hole. The Sunnyside linkster eventually got the ball into the cup, but it came with a bogey-four on her scorecard.

"That 8 kind of killed me," she said.

Still, Visser fought back and managed to go 8-over on the other eight back nine holes, giving her a 48, a 93 overall for the day.

The one other golfer representing Sunnyside at yesterday's league match was Sarah Swinehart. Unfortunately for the sophomore, the group she was playing in inadvertently skipped a hole at the tail end of the match, and ended up being disqualified.

"It was unfortunate, because Sarah had a very nice round going," said Sunnyside Coach Gary Rohde.

In looking ahead to the 3A Regional tourney at Spokane's Wandamere Golf Course this coming Friday, Visser knows that only 11 of the girls from the 33-player field will move on to State.

Visser doesn't know anything about the competition she'll be facing at Regionals, but in attempting to earn a second straight trip to State, realizes she'll have to bring her 'A' game to the 18-hole competition.

In a practice round at Wandamere last Saturday, where she toured the relatively short, par-70 course that features exceptionally slow greens, Visser walked away with optimism after carding a 19-over-par 89.

"There are some holes where I'll have to pull out my driver. Hopefully, I have it figured out by then," Visser said.

Rohde said he's confident that with Visser working on her tee shots in practice this week, she'll be ready for Regionals. "With her driving, I think she just needs to slow things down a little bit."

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