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Golf: Amanda Beyke leads Decatur to another SPSL title
The Decatur girls golf team is the best in the South Puget Sound League — again.
The Gators defended their SPSL 3A Tournament title Tuesday at the Gold Mountain Golf Course in Port Orchard. Decatur finished with 544 strokes during the opening day of the tournament to outdistance Enumclaw (569) and Peninsula (598). The Gators also finished the SPSL 3A regular season unbeaten.
Decatur was led again by Amanda Beyke, who will go down as one of the best individual golfers in Decatur history.
The senior finished in second place at the SPSL 3A Tournament for the second year in a row to the defending state champion, Peninsula’s Rachel Lewis. Lewis shot a two-day total of 150 with rounds of 72 and 78 at Gold Mountain. Beyke finished two strokes back with rounds of 75 and 77 on one of the tougher courses in the area.
“It was a great finishing year,” Beyke said. “All of the girls really wanted to do well and worked hard in practice. The team really bonded.”
The finish was good enough to qualify Beyke for her fourth-straight trip to the state tournament. As a junior, she finished in third place two strokes behind Lewis at the Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane. Beyke ended up in sixth place as a sophomore.
“It’s pretty funny because we play a lot of tournaments together and are pretty good friends,” Beyke said about getting beat by Lewis yet again. “She is shooting pretty and I got to do a lot better. I think if I can shoot under par, I can beat her.”
During her four-year Gator career, Beyke finished 38-2 in individual dual matches, including 9-1 this season. She has also won the Twin Lakes Junior Club Championship for the last six years in a row.
Beyke will be joined at the Class 3A Girls Golf Tournament, which will be played in May, by her freshman sister. Celia Beyke finished in third place with a two-day total of 155.
“It’s so much fun,” Beyke said about playing with her sister. “Actually, she is kind of distracting sometimes because we get along so well and have so much fun that we have to get focused sometimes. But she really helps me play better because we are pretty competitive with each other. We both want to win, but we both want each other to shoot lower. It’s a pretty good way to end my high school career.”
The Beykes also had help from Decatur teammates Miranda Lehman, Alyssa Castagno, Darian Keuter, Taylor Trembly, Toni Keuter and Jessica Kim at the SPSL 3A tournament. Lehman finished ninth overall with a two-day total of 183, Castagno was 11th in 188 and Darian Keuter finished 16th with a 194.
“I liked the way I played in general,” Amanda Beyke said. “I was hitting the ball really well, but I had a couple three putts, which was disappointing. The back nine also killed me. I shot around par on the front nine both days, but struggled on the back. But I was pretty happy with how I was playing.”
Beyke’s golf career started as a 9-year-old and hasn’t slowed down since. During her nine years of playing golf, Beyke has qualified for the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) state tournament every summer, winning the prestigious WJGA Championship as a 13-year-old.
“After winning that, she decided to take golf a little more serious, dropping the other sports she was playing and getting lessons,” said her father, Tom Beyke.
At 16, Beyke qualified for the Junior World Championships at Torrey Pines in San Diego and represented Washington in the Girls Junior Americas Cup. Beyke’s four-girl Washington team finished in seventh-place overall.
All the hard work has paid off not only with impressive finishes at tournament, but with a scholarship to play golf in the fall at Seattle University. The Decatur senior has committed to play golf for head coach Don Rasmussen and the Redhawks.
The Seattle University women’s golf team is currently playing its final season in the West Coast Conference before moving to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) next fall when Beyke arrives.
This Redhawks play matches all around the county. This season alone, Seattle U has or will play at some of the best golf courses in Idaho, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Hawaii.
“I’m going to be living up there on campus, but I will still be only a half hour from home,” Beyke said.
Before moving onto Seattle University, Beyke does have some unfinished business at the state tournament. She will be working hard during the offseason to cut some strokes out of her game with the goal of winning an individual and team state title in mind.
“I have some ideas of what I need to work on,” Beyke said. “I need to get a lot stronger and get into better shape to play. And I need to make more birdies and less bogies.”
SPSL 3A Boys Golf Tournament — The Gators finished up in fourth place in the team standings behind Auburn Mountainview (489 strokes), Enumclaw (490) and Peninsula (531). Decatur finished with 531 strokes at the Olympic Course at Gold Mountain.
The Gators were led by Carsten Olufson, who finished with a two-day total of 162. Spencer Clapp ended up right behind with a 167. Other Decatur finishers included Tyler Finnseth (175 strokes), Kaden Pigg (176) and Jacob Jones (197).