DUPONT, WA (April 27, 2016) - The 7th Washington
State Golf Association Champion of Champions
concluded play today at The Home Course in DuPont,
Wash. This year's field consisted of 144 champions from
around the state of Washington and Northern Idaho,
competing in four divisions. It was the largest and
strongest field in the history of the championship.
Jake Koppenberg of Bellingham, Wash. matched
the low round of the week, a 5-under par 67, in
claiming the Men's title. Koppenberg had finished in
fourth place last year, but came from behind in today's
second round with birdies on three of the final four
holes to pull away from second-place finisher Sam
Warkentin of Bainbridge Island. During his collegiate
career at Western Washington University, Koppenberg
had set scoring records in 2008 and 2009 for the Great
Northwest Athletic Conference. Last year, he qualified
for the U.S. Amateur. He continues to volunteer as a
golf coach at WWU.
"I tried not to make any big numbers," Koppenberg
said. "I made a double-bogey on the first day, but got
over it pretty quick. Just tried to keep it as simple as
possible, make it a low-stress event. I didn't follow any
of the other scoring today, but I had a number in my
head that I thought I needed to shoot." That number
was 6-under, but he ended at 7-under for good
Koppenberg will compete next week for Team
WSGA in the PNGA Cup at Richmond (B.C.) Country
Club. He also plans to compete in the Washington State
Men's Amateur at Tacoma Country & Golf Club in
Warkentin shot a final round 4-under par 68. Last
year he won the Washington Junior Golf Association
State Championship, and was named the 2015 WSGA
Junior Boys' Player of the Year.
Brandes, who has been named the WSGA Senior
Men's Player of the Year the past six years, shot rounds
of 69-69, playing bogey-free golf on both days to win
the Senior Men's title. "I was paired with Rob
Bringardner today," Brandes said, "and he made nine
pars on the front side, so I wasn't exactly pulling away."
But Brandes birdied the par-5 10th and Bringardner
double-bogeyed the short par-4 11th and that started to
put some separation between Brandes and the field.
Brandes also won this title in 2012. Pete Higgins of
Mercer Island, who won last year and was attempting to
defend his title, tied for second, four shots back of
In the Women's division, Sarah Lawrence of Duvall,
Wash. blistered the field with 11 birdies over two
rounds, including a 5-under par 67 in today's final
round, matching the low round of the week. Lawrence
has competed in the IMG Academy Junior World
Championships, as well as American Junior Golf
Leslie Folsom of Tukwila, Wash. was attempting to
make it a three-peat, having won the title in 2014 and
2015. She started today just three shots back of
Lawrence, but stumbled on the front nine, eventually
finishing in third place.
Smego outlasted Ginny Burkey of Eugene, Ore. in a
three-hole playoff for the Senior Women's title. This is
the second title in this championship for Smego, having
also won in 2014.
"I was actually glad just to be able to finish,"
Smego said. "I'd been having some back issues since
yesterday, and I didn't hit too many great shots today
but hit just enough good shots to be able to make it into
the playoff with my good friend Ginny."
Smego and Burkey have known each other since
college and have teamed together in the past to win
multiple state and regional championships, including
last year's WSGA Women's Best-Ball and PNGA
Women's Senior Team titles.
Alison Murdoch of Victoria, B.C., who won the
Women's title in 2010, finished in third place, four shots
out of the playoff.
View results for Washington Champion of Champions Golf Tournament