SK sending four golfers to tourney

Molly Ingham stared futility in the eye last weekend during the Narrows League golf tournament at Spanaway Lake Golf Course.

The South Kitsap High School senior watched her goal of a third straight trip to the state tournament end in frustration.

Tied for the final state berth, Ingham and Port Angeles’ Nancy Swope duked it out in a playoff.

Ingham lost the one-hole playoff and her hopes of making it back to state were slim as a first alternate.

Overcome with sadness, Ingham later found a way to congratulate teammate Kathryn Lawman for making it to state.

Lawman, who qualified with a 10th-place finish, said she was upset she’d have to go to Canyon Lakes in Kennewick on May 20-21 by herself.

The duo’s gloom was short-lived, however.

Ingham, who is Arizona State-bound, learned Monday morning she will participate in the state tournament.

Bellarmine’s Chris Yun, who placed third at the league tournament, had to have her appendix removed, which opened up a spot for the alternate to fill.

Ingham said her emotions hit an all time low and high.

“It definitely was not a good feeling knowing I wasn’t going to state my senior year,” Ingham said. “I couldn’t get anything going. It was just a bad golf day.”

Ingham said she was shocked when SK coach Bob Murphy told her she was going to state.

“I don’t think an alternate has ever gone to state,” Ingham said. “I figured I was done. At first, I didn’t know how to feel. I had just become all right with not going.”

Ingham said she’s going to enjoy state this time around more than the previous two trips.

“The best part is that I won’t be by myself,” Ingham said. “I’ll be with my teammate. Now I really don’t have anything to lose. I’ll try play like I know I can play.”

Lawman said isn’t setting any lofty goals her first time out.

But if she is able to encompass all aspects of her game, Lawman said she thinks she can make the cut.

“This is my first major tournament,” Lawman said. “I’m just going to go in and have fun and hopefully play my game.”

While the girls side was filled with drama, the boys junior duo of Brady Sharp and Ryan Aker dominated the field with second and third place finishes, respectively.

Sharp, who will be making his third trip to the state tournament, shot a two-round total of 147, three strokes behind Bellarmine’s Eric Ahn.

Aker was just one stroke behind Sharp for third place.

Sophomore Tristan Wharton almost joined his teammates.

Needing a 5-over par in the second round, Wharton was 3-over through the first 12 holes before a triple bogey sank his chances on the 13th hole.

“It would have pretty awesome to have Tristan with us,” Aker said. “That would have increased our chances for a state title.”

Aker said he’s confident he and Sharp can score low enough to bring home a team state title.

Last year both made it to the second round of the state tournament but floundered on the final day.

Sharp looked to be on his way to making his goal of a top 10 finish after shooting a 1-under 71 in the first round to stay within three strokes of the lead.

But he went 9-over par in the final round to finish with an 81 and tie for 30th place, 13 places further than his 17th-place finish two years ago.

The duo still managed to place eighth in the state.

Aker, who was pleased he made the cut last year, said the goal is for a top 10 individually and hopefully a team title.

“My confidence is growing,” he said. “It’s a huge boost going into state. I’m going in thinking I can be a state contender.”

Aker said his game has changed dramatically since last year.

“I’ve grown a lot over the year,” he said. “I’m hitting the ball a lot longer and I’m starting to putt and chip well under pressure.”

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