Golf completes the sweep, wins title

Girls avenge 2007 loss to Skyline, beat Newport by three strokes on final day

Matt Phelps
Mercer Island Reporter

Last year, the final day of the season was a nightmare as the undefeated Mercer Island girls golf team lost to Skyline to finish in second place. This year, the Islanders earned redemption against the Spartans and also won the final meet of the season by three strokes against Newport, 223-226 on Monday.

“This just feels like ‘finally,’” said Islander senior Kirby Thornton. “We always lose by just one match so this is special.”

The wins gives the Islander girls their first undefeated season in the program’s history and the first 3A KingCo title since 1997.

The Islanders win at Tall Chief golf course against the Knights came as Lindsay Chinn led all players with a score of 41 strokes on the par 36 course. But the victory was a true team effort as five Islanders scored in the 40s.

The Mercer Island girls had one of their best matches of the year on one of the toughest courses in the league on Friday. The Plateau Country Club golf course’s difficult fairways tend to chew up even the best drivers. But Mercer Island persevered to beat Skyline 242-268 strokes.

“We are all kind of unfamiliar with the course, which made it even more stressful,” said Chinn. “We just tried to stay calm.”

The importance of the meet was not lost on any of the players. Thornton led the team by completing the par 36 course in 42 strokes. Chinn’s game was one of her best all year for the difficulty of the course.

“My short game was going well,” said Chinn, who shot a 45. “There are so many hazards that I just wanted to get to the green.”

The ability to handle the stress of the big meet atmosphere also aided Lizzy Lee, who shot a 50.

“It was a big win,” said Chinn. “We beat them by a lot more than they beat us last year.”

Mercer Island also beat Bellevue, 227-254, on April 22 behind the play of Thornton and Chinn, who both shot 42 for co-medalist honors on the par 36 course. Kelly Ogishima tied for second at 45 strokes and Thornton rounded out the top five with a 46.

The Islanders will go into Monday’s 3A KingCo medalist tournament at the Snohomish golf course with confidence. All of the players hope to move on to districts on May 12 at a more familiar Riverbend golf course in Kent.

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