GOLF: Kentridge's McMullen, Kentwood's Li bring home second-place medals

Kentwood’s Rui Li and Kentridge’s Sean McMullen ended their prep golf careers with a bang last week during their respective Class 4A state tournaments. Li, a three-time state placer, made it 4-for-4, taking second overall after carding a two-day total of 140 (70-70) at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. The second-place performance is technically the highest Li has finished in four years at Kentwood. The sweet-swinging Conqueror took 10th as a freshman and sixth last year. As a sophomore, she placed second, but was disqualified from the tournament after a scorecard glitch in which Li reported her own error.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, May 31, 2010 1:48am
  • NewsSports

Kentwood’s Rui Li and Kentridge’s Sean McMullen ended their prep golf careers with a bang last week during their respective Class 4A state tournaments.

Li, a three-time state placer, made it 4-for-4, taking second overall after carding a two-day total of 140 (70-70) at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco. The second-place performance is technically the highest Li has finished in four years at Kentwood. The sweet-swinging Conqueror took 10th as a freshman and sixth last year. As a sophomore, she placed second, but was disqualified from the tournament after a scorecard glitch in which Li reported her own error.

Last week at Sun Willows, there were no errors, just a solid start-to-finish performance by Li.

“I was happy with the way I played,” said Li, who will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. “There are always going to be a couple shots you leave out there. But I struck the ball really well. I just couldn’t get my putts going.”

Lewis & Clark’s Chessey Thomas was the only player on the course to outperform Li during the two-day tournament. Thomas carded a two-day total of 138 (68-70), but remained in the lead for virtually the entire tournament.

The way Thomas began, Li knew she’d have to find some magic to beat her.

“I knew I would have to pull something miraculous to beat her,” Li said. “I was just trying to see what I could pull out that second day. The result was decent. I would have really liked to have won, that would have been a great way to cap off everything. But second place is still good.”

McMullen found himself in similar shoes during the boys tournament at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick. McMullen, who took sixth as a sophomore, but who dropped to 16th last year, delivered the goods in his final go around at the state tournament. The Kentridge senior brought home second place after carding a two-day total of 141 (72-69). Bellarmine Prep’s James Feutz won the title with a 138 (69-69).

“He played really good golf,” said Kentridge coach Charlie Mitchell. “He was very consistent throughout. He put together two really solid rounds. That’s a good field (of golfers) to take second place from.”

Kentwood, which came in with a legitimate shot at a team title, finished in third place overall with 67.5 points. Lewis & Clark won the team title with 88 points followed by second-place Bellarmine Prep, which tallied 80.5.

The Conquerors actually scored a half of a point more than last year, when they finished with a school-best second-place overall finish.

As has been the case the last several years, seniors Tom Zavada and Kent Hagen led the way for Kentwood. Zavada carded a two-day total of 145 (72-73) en route to a tie for fourth place. Hagen was right there with his teammate, shooting a 147 (72-75) to tie for fifth place. The fourth-and-fifth-place finishes were the best for both Hagen and Zavada in their four years at Kentwood.

Kentridge’s Lauren Sewell rounded out the list of local top-10 finishers, taking fourth at Sun Willows with a 144 (74-70). Sewell, who will play at Oregon State University next fall, took fourth last year, fifth as a sophomore and seventh as a freshman.

“She started out the first day and went bogey, bogey, double-bogey on the first three holes,” Mitchell said. “A lot of kids would have folded after that and come in with an 85. She settled down and got back in a rhythm.

“That’s the way she has been all four years, just so consistent.”


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