SPOKANE - Shooting the third best round on the day at Regionals last Friday, junior Renae Visser earned a second straight trip to the 3A State girls golf tournament.
Visser, representing the Sunnyside Lady Grizzlies, will open State competition Tuesday, May 25, at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland.
In earning a berth to State, Visser carded a career, personal best round of 84. It came last Friday at Regionals, staged at Spokane's Wandermere Golf Course, set up as a par-71 track for the 3A girls.
Visser, playing in the last group of the day, got off to a less than spectacular start. She double-bogeyed the first hole, righted the ship with a par, then absorbed another double-bogey on No. 3.
"Kind of a rough beginning to her day," said Sunnyside Coach Gary Rohde.
Visser quickly found smooth sailing, though, finishing up the front nine with a 6-over-par 41.
She kept the momentum going after the clubhouse turn, thanks in part to claiming a birdie on the par-4, 11th hole. When all was said and done, Visser completed the back nine with a 7-over 43, giving the junior an overall 84, her best 18-hole round ever.
Rohde said one of the reasons Visser shot such a low number was her play on the shorter holes on the course. "She parred all of the par-3 holes," he said.
In carding the 84, Visser ended up in a three-way tie for the third low round at Regionals. Because individual medals were at stake, a sudden death playoff was held between the three girls. Visser was eliminated on the first playoff hole, but that didn't take away from what she accomplished, said Rohde.
"Last year she kind of snuck into State with her play at Regionals. This year Renae was very solid at Regionals," Rohde said.
As well as Visser played last Friday, the one girl who separated herself from the field turned out to be Mt. Spokane sophomore Savana Bezdicek. The underclassman set a women's course record at Wandermere, carding a 5-under-par 66.
"She's been hitting a golf ball since she was three years old," Rohde of Bezdicek. "She has a driving range in her back yard.
"I believe you'll be hearing about her in the years to come," he added.
Also representing Sunnyside at 3A Regionals last Friday was junior Nathan Espinoza. He shot an 88 at Wandermere on front and back nines of 45-43, but the cut line to move on to State proved to be a 75.