March 16, 2005
KANEOHE, Hawai`i - Although the official start of spring is still a few days in the future, the season is well under way for the Washington State women's golf team and its two-time All-American Kim Welch.
A year after capturing a nation-best five tournament victories during the spring, Welch has began this spring on a similar torrid pace.
The senior from Sacramento, Calif., once again made history by claiming her second consecutive Donnis Thompson Invitational title with a one-stroke victory over teammate Jay-Lee Longbottom and San Francisco's Joan Shimozaki, Wednesday at the par 72, 5,829 yard Kaneohe Klipper Golf Club.
The win was Welch's second this spring (she opened the spring with a win at the Inland Cup, Feb. 14) and her 10th career triumph. Welch's victory spearheaded a win by the Cougars in the team competition.
Propelled by an opening round score of 310, Tuesday, WSU cruised to its second consecutive team title, and third this spring, by besting San Francisco by 13 strokes. WSU has not finished lower than second in the four tournaments the team has competed in thus far this spring.
Welch entered the day tied with Longbottom for second, a stroke behind Hawaii's Dale Gammie for first. Battling windy conditions on the island, Welch overtook Gammie and the rest of the 49-person field by tying for the lowest final round score of the day with a 4-over 76 to post a 54-hole total of 235 (+19).
Not far behind was Longbottom, who posted her second-best career finish. In addition, Longbottom recorded her ninth career top 10 effort. The senior from Perth, Australia tallied a final round 5-over 77 to end the tournament at 20-over 236.
The tandem of Welch and Longbottom led a quartet of Cougars who finished in the top 13. Junior Anastasia Kostina completed the event in a tie for 11th while her older sister, senior Maria Kostina, tied for 13th.
Anastasia has not finished out of the top 11 in any of the eight tournaments she has competed in this season while Maria posted her fourth top 13 effort of the year.
The Cougar contingent was completed by freshman Tracy Broders, who, competing in her first collegiate tournament, ended the event in 34th place.
Welch and the Cougars return to action at the Duck Invitational in Junction City, Ore., March 21-22.
Welch comes to Oregon attempting a fourpeat at the event, having captured the Duck Invitational title each of the past three years. WSU will look to make it three in a row for the team title.
Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational
March 15-16, 2005
Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course
Par 72, 5,829 yards
1. Kim Welch (76-83-76 - 235, +19); T2. Jay-Lee Longbottom (76-83-77 - 236, +20); T11. Anastasia Kostina (80-87-85 - 252, +36); T13. Maria Kostina (78-86-89 - 253 +37); 34. Tracy Broders (90-90-89 - 269, +53).
1. Washington State 976; 2. San Francisco 989; 3. Hawaii 996; 4. Middle Tenn. State 1004; 5. UTEP 1023; 6. Weber State 1048; 7. San Diego State 1049; 8. Hawaii-Hilo 1068; 9. Osaka Gakuin 1070.
Top Five Individuals:
1. Kim Welch, WSU (76-83-76 - 235, +19); T2. Jay-Lee Longbottom, WSU (76-83-77 - 236, +20); T2. Joan Shimozaki, USF (78-82-76 - 236, +20); 4. Dale Gammie, Hawaii (79-79-82 - 240, +24); 5. Maggie McGill, MTS (77-86-82 - 245, +29).