Elisa Sallee made her last drive meaningful.
The Sequim High senior stood at hole 18 at the class 2A state tournament at The Classic in Spanaway with a hunch she might not make the cut for the second round.
“From the tee box, I told myself this is my last drive of my high school career and I want to make it count. And I ripped it straight down the middle,” she said.
“That was a good feeling.”
Sallee made her third trip to state on May 21 with junior Maddy Fisher, who returned for a second year.
Fisher qualified for state, taking fifth at the Olympic Meet on May 2 at Gold Mountain Golf Cascade in Bremerton, while Sallee won a sudden-death hole on May 14 at the Gold Mountain to take the fifth and final Olympic League state spot.
Unfortunately, Sallee’s hunch about missing the cut was correct. She shot 107, and Fisher missed out on day two by one stroke, shooting 105.
“It’s a tough course,” coach Garrett Smithson said. “Traditionally the cut is around 96 but 104 was the cutoff this year. They both were pretty cool and calm and collected.”
Pacing the first day was Cherokee Kim of Steilacoom, shooting a 77 and 79 the next day to win state with a 156. The top three Olympic League finishers were Sally Fletcher of Klahowya in eighth (178), Dana Fox of Port Angeles T-14th (190) and Aimee Zehrung of Kingston T-23 (202).
Smithson said both Sequim girls anticipated going to day two but started with some rough holes before evening out later on.
“Both girls saw some family members come for the first time to state. It was a fun day, but a bummer how it ended,” he said.
Sallee said she’s a little upset with herself about state.
“I know what I’m capable of, but it’s not the end of the world,” she said.
“I wasn’t happy with the outcome but happy to get the chance to go again.”
Looking at the experience, she was glad to play with golfing friend Emily Vernick and shoot par on hole seven.
She plans to keep playing through the summer and is scheduled to play in at least one tournament. In the fall she’ll attend Washington State University, possibly looking into biology as a major.
Smithson said overall the year was a good one for the Wolves, who finished third in league.
“North Kitsap (7-1) and Kingston (7-0-1) and Sequim (6-1-1) are fairly evenly matched,” he said.
“We tied Kingston the last match of the season (253-253 strokes) and if we’d win that, we would have finished co-champions. One shot kept us from that.”
He anticipates the team being just as good next year, too.
“We know Maddy’s goal will be to get state and into day two,” Smithson said.
“We have an eighth-grader coming up who will probably jump to No. 1, Alex McMenamin. She is quite the player. I’ve been watching her since she was 7 or 8 years old at junior camps. She’ll run into Elisa’s spot and we’ll basically have the same team as this year.”