Birch Ridge Golf Report: Juniors get job done on their home course

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Thursday, August 6, 2015 11:31pm
  • Sports

The last week has been awesome! The Alaska Junior State Championship was held on the Kenai Peninsula for the first time in the tournament’s lengthy history. Local miniature duffers Katelin Richards, Anika Richards, Danica Schmidt and Max Dye all won championships in their age divisions.

I had the pleasure of following Shane Sundberg, 10, during his final round where he narrowly lost to Ben Broyles, 12, out of Anchorage. Shane finished second. The golf was great! These kids can really play.

Shane had the lead going into the final nine holes before Broyles posted a 36 to win by two strokes. Shane shot 85-82 for a two day total 167. That’s pretty amazing for a 10-year-old!

Katelin Richards posted a 78 on Day 1. Katelin is 13! Wow! All the kids were fantastic. They all represented Birch Ridge Golf Course, Soldotna and its surrounding areas beautifully!

Our golf course is fortunate to host the Alaska Junior Golf Association Soldotna Masters each summer. The event brings juniors, and their families, from all over the state to Soldotna to compete. To take it a step further and host the State Championship for the first time (we’re scheduled to host again in 2018) is a really cool thing! Junior golf is so important to what we do. We’re very excited that our local juniors have an opportunity to play high level tournament golf right here in Soldotna every year.

Bill Engberg is the man. He does so much for all the kids. He gets the course conditions dialed in. Really, the course is about as good as it can be right now. He’s like a bald version of a golf Superman! A lot of the praise for our course hosting these major junior golf tournaments and the success our kids have in those events belongs to Bill. That guy is doing heck of a job! Hopefully he doesn’t read this, though, I don’t want him to know I’m saying nice things about him.

Old Folks Golf

Thirteen follicly challenged golfers engaged in fierce senior vs. senior golf action Wednesday morning. The seniors moved to Wednesday to accommodate the Alaska Junior State Championship earlier in the week. The date change may have confused and/or rattled some more routine-oriented golfers.

A four-way tie for first includes Mike Hollingsworth, Ed Robinson, Vic Hussey and John “The Last DJ” Davis. Steve Tachick reeled in closest-to honors at the sixth hitting a golf shot of unprecedented quality. Hollingsworth matched Tachick’s feat at the eighth. Steve also claimed long putt supremacy at the ninth. Everyone else merely participated.

Tuesday Morning Ladies League

Denise “The Conqueror” Cox ran roughshod over her helpless opponents Tuesday afternoon in Ladies play. Cox had the fewest putts, low gross and low net in one of the greatest performance in the history of Birch Ridge Golf Course. The only question remaining is will anyone dare challenge Denise next Tuesday!?

Thursday Night Couples

Great golf runs in the Jelsma family. With his wife, Susan, in New York City, Darell Jelsma paired with his granddaughter Audrey to post a net 68 in the Mully Madness format. The Jelsma duo narrowly edged Steve and Sally Tachick (net 69) who were closely followed by Pat and Myrna Cowan (net 69.5). Gary Dawkins and Lori Riggs-Bishop enjoyed the evening.

Joke of the Week

Sally said to her husband, “You think so much of your old golf game. … I bet that you don’t even remember when we were married!”

Said her husband: “Of course I do, my dear! It was the last day I played well!”

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