SK's Sharp cuts a wide swath at state

Sean Duttry said it was a scene right out of professional golf telecast.

The South Kitsap High School boys golf coach was talking about Brady Sharp’s biggest golf moment at the 4A state golf tournament at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick Thursday.

The senior was staring down the biggest putt of his career — a 12-footer on the 18th hole.

After leading nearly wire to wire, Sharp found himself trailing Ferris’ Alex Prugh by one stroke leading up to the final hole.

Sharp watched his hopes of winning in regulation go in flames after hitting a fairway shot a foot out of bounds on the final hole.

He somehow wiggled out of the jam and still left himself a small window of opportunity if he could sink a 12-foot putt to force a sudden-death playoff.

Sharp prepared for his putt like he has countless times in his career.

But he’d never experienced this situation in front of such an intense gallery of spectators.

Sharp was also unaware of the countless eyes gazing upon him. It wasn’t until he heard the roar of the crowd as the ball plopped into the cup that Sharp realized the moment he had just been a part of.

“I blocked them out,” Sharp said. “And then when I sank the putt I heard the crowd and I was like, ‘whoa.’ ”

Duttry said he couldn’t believe the tension and hysteria leading up to Sharp’s putt.

“The place went nuts (when he made it),” Duttry said. “It was the most fun I’ve had watching someone play golf.”

Sharp’s excitement was short-lived, however, on the first playoff hole, which happened to be No. 18 again.

Prugh nailed his approach shot three feet from the pin, though Sharp made another long putt to force Prugh to make the three-footer to clinch the victory.

“Brady did really well,” Duttry said. “When he was in pressure situations he hit his best shots. He missed a couple of short putts, which proved to be the difference.”

After shooting an opening-round 69 to take a one-stroke lead, Sharp played what he called a strange back-nine round of golf.

“I hit four birdies, four bogeys and a par,” he said. “It was strange.”

Sharp shot a 1-under par (71) for a two-round total of 140.

Prugh trailed Sharp by two strokes (71) after the first round before shooting a 68 in the final round.

Sharp and Prugh are no strangers, either. They’ve known each other for eight years, having competed at various tournaments.

And they may actually be college teammates next year.

Prugh has signed to play at the University of Washington, and Sharp said he’s been gaining some interest from the UW.

After carding a personal-best 14th place his freshman year, Sharp said he’s extremely pleased with second place.

But, the competitive fire within him couldn’t help but be disappointed he couldn’t take the top honor.

“I wanted to win it so badly,” he said. “If I’m going to lose it, though, this is the way to do it. (Prugh) is a really good player.”

Sharp said he still can’t believe his prep career is over.

“It really went by fast,” he said. “It felt weird talking about it with coach Duttry. I’m done playing high school golf.”

But it’s not the last time Sharp will be swinging the clubs. In fact, the senior doesn’t have any plans of taking time off away from the game.

“I’ll take a couple days off here and then keep on playing,” Sharp said.

Sharp’s teammate, junior Tristan Wharton, missed the cut by one stroke after shooting an 8-over par 80.

On the girls side, SK junior Kathryn Lawman survived the first-round cut despite shooting a 90 and recovered with an 83 in the final round to earn a top 30 finish at Meadow Springs Golf Course in Kennewick. SK girls coach Tom LaFerriere said the course was extremely difficult for all but the elite four or five golfers.

“Kathryn really struggled yesterday,” LaFerriere said. “But so did a lot of girls, which is why she made the cut.”

LaFerriere said the rough was so difficult to hit out of players had to lay up on the fairway to play it safe.

He was especially pleased with Lawman’s determination on the second day.

“She was the first one out on the practice tee (Thursday morning),” he said. “I was real proud of the way she came back. My goal for her was to crack the top 15 on that day.”

Lawman was able to save a lot of pars and bogeys with clutch putts, LaFerriere said.

The conditions were also more suited to players from the east side of the state, he said.

“It was 92 degrees and Kathryn was hitting irons ten to fifteen yards further than she’s used to,” he said. “The greens are so much quicker over there.”

Lawman, who debuted at state, will look to crack the top 20 next year as a senior.

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