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Hausdorf surges to top-20 AJGA finish

"If Trophy Lake wasn't already John Hausdorf's favorite golf course, it might've advanced in his estimation after last week.Hausdorf didn't conquer the top-notch resort-style layout during the three-day American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Junior Championship at Trophy Lake July 18-20. But he played it well enough to finish 17th in an elite field of 66 players from around the western U.S. He sandwiched a passable second-round 80 with an opening 75 and a final-round 73 - just 1 over par - that matched some of the best rounds of the week.I'm pretty happy with it, the Keyport 15-year-old, who'll be a junior at Central Kitsap High School this fall, said of his 54-hole total of 228, which left him 11 shots behind the boys winner, Matt Kern of Castro Valley, Calif. Kern won the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with Breene Murphy of Los Alamitos, Calif., for the title.I shot a 70 here once, Hausdorf said. But this is the second-best round I've had here. In this tournament, I think that's pretty good.Ironically, Hausdorf almost wasn't included in the exclusive tournament field. His original application was sent back, but after another golfer cancelled he was invited as an alternate.Greg Lavoie of Pasco, the leader through the first two rounds, faded with a third-round 79 and finished in a three-way tie for fourth.Kern's 2-under-par 70 tied for Thursday's best round, with several other golfers - including Bainbridge Island's Joe Lanza - coming in at 71.Hausdorf rolled in a 25-foot putt for birdie on par-3 No. 3 hole, then carded back-to-back birds after the turn, on Nos. 10 and 11. He avoided disaster down the stretch, overcoming a lost-ball penalty at 18 and getting up-and-down for bogey. Were it not for that misadventure, he would've finished the day at even par, or better.My goal was to play better than I did yesterday, Hausdorf shrugged. I wished I'd played better, but I guess I'm happy.Another CKHS junior-to-be, Carlee Hanson, had more trouble with speed traps than sand traps during her three-day tournament stint. Hanson was ticketed by a state trooper in Gorst on the way to her first-round tee time Tuesday, and the understandable result was an 86.I usually get butterflies before I start a round, thinking about how I'm going to play, the 16-year-old said. But after that happened, I couldn't think about anything else all day.Hanson and Lanza turned in two of the tournament's better rebound performances Wednesday. Hanson fired a 76, just 4 over par, to get back into the thick of the 16-strong girls field. Lanza, who struggled to an opening 85, turned his fortunes around with a 75 Wednesday and kept the momentum rolling with Thursday's spectacular 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for 20th at 231.I don't know what was different, Lanza said Wednesday after a rock-solid second round that included two birdies. I just know my swing felt a lot better today than it did (Tuesday). Everything felt better.Hanson finished with a third-round 79 for a three-day total of 241. That left her 22 shots behind the runaway winner, defending champ Erica Blasberg of Corona, Calif., whose 54-hole total of 219 included a course-record 69 Wednesday, 3-under-par.Blasberg opened and closed with rounds of 75 for a whopping six-stroke victory over runners-up Lani Elston of Spokane and Jennifer Tangtiphaiboontana of Long Beach, Calif. Her second-round score was the only sub-70 round turned in by either gender.After (the first round), I really just wanted to get back on track and shoot in the 70s, said Hanson, who found out she'll be playing in this week's Washington Junior Golf Association state championships as an alternate. Things were better (Wednesday) because I hit so many greens. That was the big improvement. But I don't know how many three-putts I had. It was a lot.The local players, all of whom were having their first experience in an AJGA tourney, came away with positive feelings.This is really as good as it gets, said Lanza. We've all been treated really well. They (the AJGA) really puts on a good show.Hanson, who played four tournaments in The Junior Tour around the Southwest last winter, said, The Junior Tour was fun, but it was nothing like this. That was to prepare for this."

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