SPOKANE — Coming into the 2019 season, Kathryn Crimp knew that she had the potential to win state, but it was going to take two solid rounds to do so.

Her only goals for her senior year were to win districts (check) and place better than her ninth place finish at state last year (check).

Not only did the Ellensburg High School golfer finish higher on the leaderboard at the 2A WIAA state tournament at Meadowwood Golf Course in Spokane, she took home the trophy firing a final round 71 (-1) to earn first-place honors in her last high school event with a total score of 146.

“It doesn’t feel real,” Crimp said. “All the hard work has finally paid off, very emotional.”

Indeed, this was a remarkable season from Crimp. She went from one round in the 70s as a junior, to all 10 this year. Everything was finally synching up for her.

She’s qualified for state the past three years and her ninth place finish — at the time — was her best. Her freshman and sophomore seasons, she placed in the top 20.

And what a way to go out before she heads to St. Martin’s University, shooting her first ever under-par round in a competitive match.

“Every round was in the 70s and she’s been working hard forever like her whole golf career,” said EHS girls coach Andrea Bannister. “And this season all came together and it paid off. It’s nothing but 70s this year and then shoot a 71 today which is her best ever, it’s awesome.”

Crimp was paired in the second to last group with Lily McCauley (75) and Jada French (77). Crimp sat one stroke behind the leaders (McKenna Canty and Brooke Gelinas) who each shot 74.

It was anybody’s game.

“There’s a possibility I could win, but I was just like ‘OK, there’s still eight other girls who have a chance to place or to win,’” Crimp said.

It was rocky to begin for Crimp, maybe due to nervousness. After an opening bogey on the 345-yard par-4, Crimp missed the next three greens in regulation, but was still able to get up-and-down for pars.

She settled down for an even-par 36 on the front.

“A little shaky to start, but I knew there was a lot of golf to be played,” Crimp said. “And I was hitting it really good on the range and putting decent, so I knew that it could get better.”

Crimp had a lead on McCauley and French after the two had ado on the par-4 10th. The group birdied the 12th hole, which was a 460-yard par-5, and Crimp was two strokes ahead of both of them for the day.

Birdies from Crimp and McCauley on the par-4 14th pushed the margin larger on French who was already behind two strokes before the second round. Crimp still had a two-shot advantage over McCauley.

After Crimp striped her drive down the middle like she had done all day on the following hole, McCauley pushed hers into the water, making bogey to trail three shots. She carded another bogey and it was home free for Crimp.

Crimp got up-and-down on the uphill par-3 17th, but bogeyed the par-4 18th for her 71.

McCauley shot 74 and French 75.

Then it was the waiting game for the final group as Crimp awaited her destiny.

But all three girls shot in the low 80s, having Crimp beat the field by three strokes, as McCauley was the runner-up (149).

“I wasn’t feeling nervous up until the 16th hole,” Crimp said. “It was there that I started feeling it, and I was having to tell myself to breathe. Yeah, it was very stressful those last three holes, but we managed to do it.”

Bannister walked the last 11 holes with Crimp. The topic of golf was avoided during their conversations in between shots especially in the final stretch.

“Just trying to keep it light, keep her head just so she’s not thinking about it,” Bannister said. “I didn’t want her to get stressed, so just have fun.”

Crimp might have settled the nerves in the final round because she was paired with McCauley again after the two played together on Tuesday. But also playing with French, too, who is going to be her teammate at St. Martin’s this fall.

“I think it was kind of a blessing not playing in the final group just because I probably would have stressed myself out more,” Crimp said. “Yeah, it was really nice playing with them.”

Crimp hit 10 fairways, 10 greens, and had 27 putts.

Ellensburg finished fourth as a team with a score of 58.50. Sammamish High School took first with a score of 107.50.

Senior Kali Jones placed tied 32nd with a total score of 186 (92, 94). She earned the Sportsmanship Award as well for her honesty at the state tournament.


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