The golf gods are on the Crimp family’s side — for now.

Kathryn Crimp, an Ellensburg High School alum, who’s heading off to St. Martin’s University this fall, won the 2A state title last spring, and on Monday, her uncle Keith Crimp qualified for the U.S Senior Amateur after shooting a 1-over 73 at Sunland Golf and Country Club in Sequim.

“Right now, the Crimps are on a roll,” Keith said.

Keith grabbed the second and final spot of the 40-man field at the qualifying site. John Von Lossow of Union shot an even-par 72 to earn medalist honors.

Playing around 6,300 yards, Keith said Sunland required straight tee shots with not much room for comfort, and the sloped and quick greens made it even more challenging. And the scores showed, with not a single round under par.

Keith went bogey, bogey to commence, and then bogeyed the par-4 5th. He made birdie on the short par-4 6th but again dropped back-to-back bogeys for a 4-over 40 on the front.

He three-putted twice on that 9.

“I got off to a bad start, wasn’t playing worth a darn,” he said.

But he settled down, birding the short 488-yard par 5 12th. Then two more birdies on No. 16 and No. 18 to finish 1-over. He missed only one green in regulation on the back.

He knew 73 would be on the cusp of qualifying, and being one of the first groups off in the morning, he had to hang around and wait for the remaining players to finish.

“You hate to hope people falter, but at the same time, you know, you want to go and hope that this is your chance,” Keith said.

Keith is a well-known amateur in the state of Washington. He’s a two-time winner of the WSGA Senior Men’s Championship (2013, 2014), and in 2010, won the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur Championship.

This is the first time he’s qualified for the U.S. Senior Amateur Championship, which will take place at Old Chatman Golf Club in Durham, N.C on Aug. 24-29.

Stroke play will occur for the first two rounds (Saturday and Sunday), and then the top 64 golfers move on to match play. Round of 64 begins on Monday, rounds of 32/16 on Tuesday, and then quarterfinals/semifinals on Wednesday. The final two players will compete in stroke play on Thursday.

Keith and his wife will be flying out to N.C. on the 21st.

“Take one thing at a time,” Keith said. “Qualify first and then get into match play. Match play, you know, anything can happen. They’re all good quality players, you just never know.”

BUSY WITH GOLF

Keith, 69, and his twin brother Frank purchased Ellensburg Golf Club in 1985 and have been the owners since.

Keith worked as a school teacher — primarily at Sunnyside High School — for 25 years at the same time until his retirement from teaching in 2001. For the next 10 years, he was working full time as the course’s superintendent, but he was getting tired of the blue-collar work and turned the position over to his son Matt.

After winning the Washington State Senior Men’s Amateur Championship in 2010, he wanted to play in competitive golf as much as he could.

“And I said, ‘Well, that was fun. I’m going to see how much better I can get,’” Keith said. “I don’t think I’ve really got any better, but it’s just a lot of enjoying playing golf. I don’t want to work all the time.”

Since 2011, Keith’s been working in the pro shop about twice a week. If he isn’t competing in a tournament, he’s out playing a couple of times a week at the course. He and his wife travel quite a bit, too.

And for about six years now, a group of four to eight golfers from Ellensburg head down south to play golf for a week and enjoy the warm weather.

Being a co-owner with his brother has given him freedom.

“If there’s a tournament, I just go to it,” Keith said. “Say, ‘Hey, Frank, I’m gone.’”

Keith’s playing in nearly every amateur event he can in the Pacific Northwest. He vies in tournaments hosted by the WSGA, PNGA, Northwest PGA, and USGA qualifiers.

Last April, Keith finished fifth at the WSGA Champion of Champions in the senior men’s flight with a total score of 143 (1-under).

At the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational last May, playing with a mixture of amateurs and pros, Keith placed T-48th with a total score of 221 (5-over) in a field of 149 golfers. In the amateur division alone, he placed 12th.

Qualifying for the U.S Senior Amateur has already forced him to drop out of three other tournaments: The Northwest Open, WSGA Mid-Amateur, and a scramble tournament at Ellensburg Golf Club. If he doesn’t make match play at the U.S Senior Amateur, he’ll stay enrolled in the Mid-Am.

“I just enjoy the competition and getting away,” Keith said. “It’s kind of my passion. I guess competitive golf is my passion.”

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