STATE GOLF: KR's Sewell, KW's Li place among elite at state tournament

  • BY Wire Service
  • Thursday, June 4, 2009 2:35pm
  • Sports

Kentridge’s Lauren Sewell continued ascension on the golf course last week during the Class 4A state tournament at Pasco’s Sun Willows Golf Course.

Kentwood’s Rui Li, meanwhile, was once again fraught with frustration.

The two juniors, among a small handful of favorites to win the tournament, once again showed they belonged among the state’s elite status as Sewell snagged fourth place while Li delivered a sixth-place showing.

“I reached a lot of my goals,” said Sewell, who carded a two-day total of 147. “One big one was to shoot even par and to do better than last year.”

Sewell’s consistency helped her reach both of those goals. She shot a 72 on the tournament’s first day and a 72 on the second. In addition, Sewell moved up the state leaderboard. She finished seventh as a freshman and fifth last year as a sophomore.

The highlight last week at Sun Willows for Sewell, however, proved to be one particularly impressive putt. Locked in a tight-fisted battle with Li, Sewell sank a putt on the 12th hole from roughly 60 feet away to secure a birdie.

“I was just trying to get it as close (to the hole) as possible,” said Sewell, who already has verbally committed to play at Oregon State University after high school.

The putt — and, of course, Sewell’s overall performance — left a lasting impression on Kentridge coach Charlie Mitchell.

“It was a pretty impressive putt, especially considering the circumstances,” he said. “A couple breaks go her way and it could be a different story. She could have won it.”

Things didn’t go quite as smoothly for Li, whose sixth-place finish wasn’t quite as high as anticipated.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of fun down there,” said Li, who carded a two-day total of 147, shooting a 71 on the first day and a 76 on the second.

The Kentwood junior entered the second day tied for second place with Lewis and Clark’s Chessey Thomas and Jackie Brown of Bethel. The sweet-swinging Li, however, simply couldn’t find her stroke.

“The second day, I just couldn’t get anything going,” she said. “I struck the ball probably the worst I have hit it in long time.”

Li took 10th as a freshman and would have taken second last year if it wasn’t for a scorecard glitch that led to her disqualification. Like Sewell, she entered the tournament among a small handful of favorites, but wasn’t able to deliver.

“I was just really tense,” Li admitted. “I didn’t realize it, and when I am (tense) I tend to make some poor swings. I am still trying to learn how to relax on the golf course.”

Lewis and Clark’s Thomas won the title, carding a two-day total of 139. Thomas was followed by Seo Hee Moon of Kamiak (140) and Bethel’s Brown (141). Lewis and Clark also won the team title with 121.5 points followed considerably by Richland (69.5).

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