GOLF NOTEBOOK: Beamer finds a new home at Twin Lakes; Murphy wins tourney

Thomas Jefferson graduate Oakley Murphy won the top flight of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships at PGA West in Palm Springs, Calif.  - Courtesy photo
Thomas Jefferson graduate Oakley Murphy won the top flight of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships at PGA West in Palm Springs, Calif.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Todd Beamer golf program was left on the outside looking in. Just a month before the fall high school season was set to begin, the Titans were informed that their home course, Sumner Meadows, would be shutting down.

But that’s when Beamer’s head boy’s coach, Brent Brilhante, and girl’s coach, Justin Mentink, along with the Titans’ athletic director, Jerry Peterson, contacted Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club.

After sitting down with Twin Lakes head pro Chris Johnson, a pair of country club board members and Decatur head coach Kevin Olson, the Beamer staff came up a plan to make Twin Lakes Beamer’s new home course. Twin Lakes already is the home course for Decatur, where Brilhante and Mentink graduated.

“We worked out a schedule that day and it has worked out perfectly for our kids,” Brilhante said. “We are so thankful for Twin Lakes saving our season and hope to continue having this awesome club as our home course.”

The Sumner Meadows Golf Course has been in financial difficulty for years. The Sumner City Council approved the sale of the course earlier this summer to Principal Financial for $53 million.

The group is set to use the course for industrial development.

Sumner Meadows was purchased in the early 1990s with the intention that it would pay for itself within five years and then fund all parks in Sumner. Only once in the past 20 years did the course break even, and the city still owes approximately $6 million in debt, according to The News Tribune.

The Beamer teams have been solid all season long playing on their new home course.

The Titan boys are being led by Dax Wallat and are 5-3 in the South Puget Sound League Central Division. Wallat has been the medalist (low scorer) in five out of eight matches, including Wednesday during a loss to Jefferson.

The Beamer girls are being led by seniors Hannah Prince and Kyra Adams this year.

TJ grad wins Golf Channel tournament

Oakley Murphy finished off a clutch performance last week to win the top flight of the Golf Channel Amateur Tour National Championships at PGA West in Palm Springs, Calif.

The Thomas Jefferson High School graduate defeated Colorado’s Paul Erdman in a playoff to win the title.

Murphy overcame an opening round of 82 to record rounds of 71, 68 and 73 at PGA West. He sunk a 5-foot par putt on the final hole to force a playoff with Erdman. The two finished seven shots clear of the rest of the field.

Murphy prevailed on the first playoff hole, the par-4 10th hole, to win his first national championship crown.

Murphy, 21, was an all-league baseball player during his time at Jefferson, but never made it to the state tournament as a golfer. He currently works at Riverbend Golf Course in Kent.

Murphy credits his grandfather for introducing him to the game when he was in high school.

He said the championship victory was his top golf achievement.

“I like the pressure,” Murphy told “I like playing the game. Next year I’m going to play some bigger tournaments, try to qualify for stuff.”

Murphy and the rest of the field had to deal with a high-wind advisory during the final round at PGA West. Before the wind picked up, Murphy managed an eagle on the par-5 2nd hole. But the back nine was a far different story, playing well over par.

“It’s hard to go low when it’s windy, Murphy said. “So I just tried to hang in there and make par.”

Northshore GC won’t be developed

It looks like the long road of saving the Northshore Golf Course is finally, officially over. The state supreme court decided this week not to review a ruling by a lower court, therefore ending the multi-year battle fighting an 860-home development of the golf course.

In May, the Washington Court of Appeals issued a ruling because the developer of the proposed Point at Northshore filed land-use paperwork two days late that meant the entire case should be dismissed.

The developer asked the state supreme court to review that decision, but the court denied the request Tuesday.

Everything began back in 1981, when the Northshore Golf Course was rezoned as part of a 341-acre planned residential district, when the North Shore Country Club Estates development was approved for construction, then built around the fairways of the then-private course.

Fast forward to 2006, when the golf course’s owners, Northshore Investors LLC, agreed to sell the property to developers, who then claimed that the 1981 rezone should be thrown out because the owners couldn’t continue to operate the golf course.

But, in 2010, Pierce County Hearing Examiner Wick Dufford ruled against several aspects of the development.

He denied the preliminary plat and site plan and recommended the denial of an application for a rezone modification, which was needed to construct over the golf course.

The developers sued, and the case made its way through the courts until Tuesday, when the supreme court decided not to review it.

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