Last year Joe Highsmith let it slip away. He's back
in the lead after a record 65. (WSGA photo)
CLE ELUM, WA (August 9, 2017) - Joe Highsmith of Lakewood, Wash. shot 6-under 65 in today's second round of the 91st Washington State Men's Amateur, setting a tournament course record on the par-71 Tumble Creek Club in Cle Elum, Wash. He jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a 3-shot lead over Derek Bayley of Rathdrum, Idaho, heading into tomorrow's final round.
Related: Bayley and Fitzpatrick Match 67s at Washington State Am
Highsmith, the Bellarmine Prep rising senior and 2016 WSGA Junior Boys' Player of the Year, didn't record higher than a four on any hole in today's record-setting round.
With temperatures nearing 100 degrees in the afternoon, and with today's round taking place on the difficult Tom Doak-designed Tumble Creek layout, Highsmith was one of only three players to break par on the day.
"I got off to sort of a slow start today, but birdied three in a row to finish the front nine," he said. "I didn't make any bogeys, and birdied all the par-5s, so that set me up pretty good."
In last year's championship, Highsmith had started the final round with a 4-shot lead, but bogeyed the final hole in regulation to miss a playoff by one shot. He has set his sights on this year's title. His season so far this year has been prepping him for this championship, winning the individual (and team) WIAA 4A High School State Championship in the spring, and then qualifying for last month's U.S. Junior Amateur, making it to the Round of 32 before bowing to eventual champion Noah Goodwin.
Bayley was co-leader at the start of today's second round after firing a 5-under 67 on the Rope Rider course in yesterday's first round. He shot even-par today at Tumble Creek.
Bayley, a rising senior on the Washington State University men's golf team, is also setting his sights on this championship. Last year, he lost in a marathon 6-hole playoff (which Highsmith had missed out on), and is seeking to close the deal this year. Last month he finished runner-up in the PNGA Men's Amateur.
A few other players still in the hunt are Sean Fitzpatrick of Mill Creek, Wash. The co-leader (with Bayley) after yesterday's first round, Fitzpatrick sits tied for third. Earlier this year he won the Capitol City Amateur (in Lacey, Wash.) and had qualified for last year's U.S. Mid-Amateur.
Also tied for third is Tyler Salsbury of Enumclaw, Wash. A recent graduate of the University of Washington where he played on the men's golf team, Salsbury won this championship in 2014.
View results for Washington Amateur
ABOUT THE Washington Amateur
54-hole Individual Stroke Play (Gross only). Cut to
60 players and ties after 36 holes. Must be a
of a WSGA member club.
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