Glancing at walking scoreboards as far as he could see, Enumclaw’s Tyler Salsbury thought he was in the clear for his first Washington Junior Golf Association state championship.
But when he walked to the 17th tee where there was a three-group wait, he asked Shoreline’s Chris Babcock how he was playing. When Babcock said he was 6-under for the round, suddenly Salsbury realized he was no longer the leader.
“My heart just dropped,” Salsbury said.
But Babcock’s tee shot on the long par 3 sailed left and into brush, ended up making double bogey and the steady Salsbury finished off what he started – winning the WJGA boys title at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
Salsbury’s even-par 72 gave him a three-round total of 6-under 210 total – just ahead of Babcock (68) at 211.
“To me, this is No. 1 – and my goal since I have been playing golf,” said Salsbury, twice a WJGA state runner-up who has given the University of Washington an oral commitment. “I wanted to win a state championship.”
On that same par-3 17th, Salsbury hit his 5-iron tee shot to within 10 feet for an easy par, and he also made par on the finishing hole to close out the victory.
Salsbury, Babcock, University Place’s James Feutz (tied for fifth at 216) and Kirkland’s Frank Garber (WJGA winner in 14-15-year-old age group) all qualified for the state’s Hogan Cup squad, which will be played Aug. 12-14 in Portland.
Auburn’s Alexus Song won the WJGA girls title.