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Golfer snatches second at State
Islander Greg Gildea recently placed second in the state in his age division in the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) state tournament.
With scores of 73, 76 and 79, Gildea also tied for 11th overall in the high school boys division. This year’s tournament was hosted by the Meridian Valley Golf and Country Club in Kent and the Fairwood Golf and Country Club in Renton.
WJGA is a statewide program that includes several hundred boys and girls in six districts throughout the state. Gildea previously won his district championship by nine strokes, shooting 71 and 69 at the two-day tournament, for a four under par total.
“I felt pretty good,” Gildea said of winning Districts. “I was confident with my game, and I was excited to go on to State.”
Gildea has had a successful summer in competitive golfing. In July he competed in the Pacific Northwest Golf Association’s Men’s Amateur event in Walla Walla. The event draws the top college players from the Northwest as well as several junior golfers.
With a field of 164 in stroke play, Gildea shot even par for the two days to tie for 18th and easily make the cut of the top 64 for match play.
He won his first match against a college senior from Canada and was the only junior to make it to the round of 32 players. He then lost a heartbreaking match after 22 holes against Mason Casper, a college senior from Utah who is the grandson of legendary golfer Billy Casper.
“I was in the final 32. That was pretty big in the Northwest, so that was good,” Gildea said.
Gildea has golfed for a half-dozen years and plays with a team at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma, where he will be a junior. He said he hopes to continue golfing in college.
“I like that ... its not a team sport,” he said. “I like to be rely on my own ability rather than other people’s, and I love that it’s outside.”