Golfers take aim at standings


Associate editor

The Decatur girls golf team is out to a 6-1 record this season, its only loss coming by a single point to league-leading Auburn. The Gators get a chance at a rematch this Wednesday when Auburn plays Decatur at Twin Lakes.

It’s the last match of the regular season.

The Gators are led this year by senior Katie Street, who has earned medalist honors in four matches this year.

Cailin Magruder, Melissa Audette, Tabi Puetz and Julie Eubanks have also been consistent for the Gators. That should pay off for Decatur when it heads to the medalist tournament that starts Oct. 16.

Also looking to finish the year strong is the Federal Way boys golf team, which is in second place in the SPSL Central with a 5-2 record. Its only two losses this season have come at the hands of Auburn Riverside, who is undefeated and leading the league.

“You could make a case they’re leading the state,” Federal Way coach Keith Swanson said. “We’re hoping for a solid second place finish.”

The Eagles have had various players step up and fill their roles this year after the team’s top golfer, Luke Johnson, died last summer.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we’re being successful,” Swanson said. “Before Luke died, I felt like we would have a very strong team because Luke was an elite type of golfer and I knew we would have six or seven guys who would back him up solidly. As it turns out, we still have a number of guys who are playing solidly and fulfilling their roles of being good No. 3 type golfers. But we don’t have that No. 1 or No. 2 type player anymore. It’s just hard for us to compete with the elite-level teams.”

Senior Nick Dahl is the team’s leading points scorer this season, averaging 14.7 points per match.

“Nick is resourceful,” Swanson said. “If he gets in trouble he can get out of it well.”

Sophomore Anthony Hwang is averaging 14 points, followed by Greg Washington’s 13.8 average, Justin Westcott’s 13.5, Terry Bishop’s 13.3 and Ben Bergner’s 13.1.

“Hwang works really hard on his game,” Swanson said. “He’s the kind of guy that if you go to Northshore any day in the spring or summer, he’ll be there. It doesn’t surprise me that he made big improvements.”

Federal Way has two matches left in the regular season, concluding against Jefferson.

The Jefferson boys started the season strong, but lost a few close matches along the way.

Jefferson coach Dave Hunter thinks their best matches are still ahead of them.

“They’re trying hard and working hard,” Hunter said. “By the end of the season we can definitely upset some people.”

Hunter mentioned Jamie Nilsen and Brandon Brown as being Jefferson’s top golfers so far.

“They’ve been more consistent,” he said.

One key loss this season was against Federal Way last week.

“We played Federal Way at home and they’re a good team,” Hunter said. “If we played well we could have made a good match out of it.”

The Raiders get a re-match at Federal Way’s home course, which will make it more difficult for Jefferson to get a win the second time around.

After back-to-back winless seasons, the Jefferson girls golf team is out to a solid start this season with a 4-4 record.

“We have a lot of returning girls who are doing well,” coach Dave Hunter said.

Emma Insulander, an exchange student from Sweden, and Amanda Herrera are two of the players who are contributing to Jefferson’s success.

“They’ve been our most consistent good players,” Hunter said.

As a whole, the Decatur boys team and the Federal Way girls team has struggled this season. But both have individuals capable of doing well in the medalist tournament and qualifying for the state tou

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