Brittany Kwon finished at two-under par after the opening round of the WSGA Women's Amateur golf tournament at Gold Mountain Thursday

By George Edgar
For West Sound SportsPlus.com

BREMERTON — Since the statewide quarantine began in March, practicing and keeping up her golf game had been tough to do for Brittany Kwon. The University of Washington freshman golfer was chomping at the bit to get back out on the links.

Kwon finally got to play some tournament golf at the Washington State Amateur Championships at Gold Mountain outside of Gorst and apparently, the layoff didn’t seem to affect her game, at least in the score.

Kwon shot a two-under 70 to be the first-round leader at the amateur. She was the only golfer to post a score under par.

Kwon was two-under after the front nine, then double-bogeyed the first two holes on the back nine. She stayed even the rest of the way until back-to-back birdies on the par-three 17 and the par-five 18 to finish at two-under.

“I was kind of nervous getting into my first tournament,” said Kwon, a 2019 graduate of Central Kitsap High School, who was the first four-time winner at the state high school golf championships. “I was hitting the ball solid. Overall, my play felt pretty good.”

During the quarantine, Kwon decided to put the time to good use. She hung out with her friends from Bremerton and went hiking around Lake Cushman and Serene Lake. When she did get to practice her game, she was in her backyard, working on her putts and chipping out.

“I wasn’t going out to play, so what else could you do?” Kwon said. “I like being outdoors. Quarantine got me to realize that.”

This is the first tournament for a majority of the competitors at Gold Mountain. Most of the golfers were playing their first competitive golf since the quarantine started, some even longer.

“I haven’t played any competitive tournaments,” said Jessica Zelasko of Gig Harbor, a graduate of Bellarmine Prep. Her school played prep golf in the fall, opposed to most other high school leagues. “I was just looking to get back into competitive play on the first day.” 

Zelasko finished with an 8-over 80 for the day, making only one birdie, with seven bogeys and a double-bogey on the par-five 14. She will play collegiately at Weber State in Ogden, Utah.

Another West Sound golfer, Suzie Tran, finished at 82, 10 shots over par. Tran, a homeschooled-upcoming freshman at North Kitsap, opened with a triple-bogey on the first hole.

“It was a rough day,” Tran said. “I hope to improve over the next few days.”

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