By: Tyler Johnsen
*UPDATED* March 11, 2021 – WJGA COVID-19 Statement
Given the ongoing developments and regulations put forth by the state of Washington and CDC, WJGA has implemented a COVID-19 Policies and Procedures guideline to navigate the 2021 season:
With the lifting of state mandates on touch points, such as the flagstick and bunker rakes, the WJGA has modified it’s guidelines in these areas.
WJGA will continue to monitor and adapt these policies as the season progresses.
Several WJGA members have qualified for next year’s USGA Men’s and Women’s Four-Ball Amateurs set to play be played next spring.
The team of Lauryn Nguyen of Seattle, Wash. and Suzie Tran of Poulsbo, Wash. shot 8-under par 64 to earn medalist honors in qualifying for the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball at The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. on September 30th.
Nguyen and Tran birdied three of the last four holes to vault to the top of the leaderboard. Nguyen won the WJGA State Girls’ Championship this past summer as well as in 2017.
The other two teams to advance from this qualifier are sisters Alexa and Momo Udom, both of Portland, Ore., and WJGA members Montgomery Ferreira of Tacoma, Wash. and Lily McCauley of Olympia, Wash. Both sides shot 7-under 65, one shot back of Nguyen and Tran.
These three teams will now go on to compete in the 2021 U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be held April 24-28 at Maridoe Golf Club in Carrollton, Tex.
On the men’s side, the team of Ethan Evans of Mercer Island and Max Herendeen of Bellevue, both WJGA members and multiple-time WJGA State Champions, shot 9-under par 63 to qualify for the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Wash. on October 6th.
Evans and Herendeen were the only team to advance from this qualifier, and they will now go on to compete in the 2021 U.S. Amateur Four-Ball Championship, which will be held May 22-26 at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash. The Home Course in DuPont, Wash. will serve as the companion course for the championship.
Herendeen holed out for eagle from the fairway on the par-4 17th and then birdied the par-5 18th, which propelled he and Evans to the top of the leaderboard.
Washington Golf (WA Golf) is the local representative of the United States Golf Association (USGA) and conducted both qualifiers.
Founded in 1922, WA Golf is a 501c4 non-profit, amateur golf association governed by men and women volunteers. Serving over 71,000 individual members at more than 550 member golf clubs and 270 golf courses throughout the state of Washington and Northern Idaho, WA Golf works to continually expand the game of golf to people of all backgrounds. WA Golf also serves as a statewide representative of the USGA and works closely with a number of allied associations within the golf industry for the betterment of the game.
The Nguyen sisterhood was formed by a little girl named Lily, participating in her first golf program with The First Tee LPGA-USGA Girls’ Golf program. There, she met a teenager named Lauryn, volunteering as a junior coach with Girls’ Golf. When Lily found out that they shared the same last name, she quickly took to Lauryn and introduced Lauryn to everyone as “Chị Lauryn.” In the Vietnamese language, “Chị” means “elder sister.”
The two L. Nguyen’s (as their names appear on the WJGA scoreboard) reconnected at District 6 tournaments and their sisterhood grew to include Sofia (Lily’s older sister), Maya and Kylie (Lily’s cousins), and Brianna (their longtime friend). They became a family – texting each other encouragements before tournaments, traveling to golf events together, and most importantly, making bubble tea runs together.
The girls also share similar life experiences. They are first-generation Americans, born to Vietnamese refugee parents who escaped war-torn Vietnam. They share a humble upbringing, understanding everything their parents have endured, sacrificed, and fought for to provide them with the opportunity to pursue the sport they love.
“It is a privilege to be able to play competitive golf. It takes a lot of time, resources, and support. For me to be able to pursue this game for over a decade, to make it to some of junior golf’s most elite tournaments, speaks to a level of privilege that I’m not sure I will ever be able to pay back,” states Lauryn.
To that end, the Nguyen sisters teamed up to organize the 1st Annual Nguyen Junior Am Fundraising Tournament at North Shore GC on September 26th, to give back to WJGA – an organization that has helped them learn the value of perseverance through competitive golf.
“WJGA has allowed me to grow so much in my game while making great friendships, having fun, and learning grit & determination. I’m inspired to give back to such an amazing organization,” exclaims Maya.
Each Nguyen sister chaired a major role in the Jr/AM: Brianna is the sponsorship chair, Kylie is took care of tee prizes/trophies, Maya is handled registration, Lauryn was in charge of tournament rules and contests, while Sofia and Lily took care of raffle prizes and communication with the host course.
Through all their incredible efforts, the Nguyen Sisters helped raise $24,415 for WJGA at the event, a truly remarkable effort. So with that WJGA gives the special group of Nguyen Sisters a very big THANK YOU for their incredible efforts on behalf of WJGA!
District Championship week is here! All leaderboards will be online this year here:
The Washington Junior Golf Association has announced its COVID-19 Policies and Procedures for the 2020 tournament season. The policies will be implemented at the start of the 2020 season on Monday, July 13th and remain in place through the summer. The policy is subject to change at anytime depending on the rules and regulations set by local and state governments:
The highest priority of the Washington Junior Golf Association (WJGA) is protecting the health, safety, and well-being of all players, spectators, volunteers, host facility staff, and WJGA staff when participating in a WJGA tournament. The following are a set of policies and procedures the WJGA has created for upcoming association operations. The WJGA has created these policies and procedures to keep golf safe and follow guidelines set forth by local and state government officials.
It is the responsibility of our WJGA member families & friends to fully read, understand, and follow these policies and procedures set forth by the WJGA. Not adhering to these policies and procedures may result in a WJGA Code of Conduct violation and any penalty that may come with it.
All WJGA players, spectators, volunteers and WJGA staff are expected to self-screen prior to being on-site at tournaments. WJGA asks that you please stay at home if you do not feel well, have a fever, and/or display any signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19. Refunds will be issued to encourage your safe cooperation.
General Safety and Sanitization Guidelines for Participating in WJGA events
- Players must practice social distancing at all times while on property i.e. maintain a six-foot distance from others (except household members). This includes the driving range, practice putting green, teeing area, etc.
- Per Washington State Mandate, masks must be worn indoors, including inside clubhouse and pro shop.
- Sanitizer will be available at starting tees and scoring areas.
- Scores will be posted online only. There will be no physical scoreboards.
- There will be no awards ceremonies. 1st and 2nd place trophies will be given out immediately after the completion of play in each division if convenient. If a player does not receive their trophy they will be mailed.
- Players and spectators are requested to leave the golf course as soon as possible after the round to avoid gatherings.
- Players should not participate in traditional handshakes or hugs, prior to, during or after the round.
COVID-19 Tournament Operations
- Every player in the 8-11 and 12-13 divisions will be required to have a walking scorer for each round they play. The walking scorer may be a parent, guardian, sibling (at least 16 years old), or family friend. The walking scorer will receive the scorecard at the starting tee and serve as the official score keeper for the round.
- It is recommended that players and spectators arrive at the golf course no earlier than forty-five (45) minutes prior to their starting time.
- WJGA is suspending pre-tournament onsite registration this year.
- No required WJGA activities will take place inside the clubhouse; however, based on facility policy, the clubhouse may be open to players, and spectators.
Driving Range / Practice Facilities
- The driving range and practice facilities may be limited or unavailable depending on the facility. Course specific driving range information will be sent to players by email prior to each tournament.
- Players must be near their assigned starting tee 15 minutes prior to their tee time. The starter will announce groups into the teeing area once it is ready.
- Players will be given their scorecards, notice to competitors and be advised about all the rules of the day.
- Starter’s boxes will be removed from all starting tees. Players should come prepared with tees, ball markers, pencils, permanent markers, sunscreen, bug-spray, etc.
- Each player or walking scorer will keep their own score and the score of another player in the group.
Bunkers / Rakes
- Bunker rakes will be removed from the golf course. If they are not, please do not touch any rake.
- Modified preferred lies in the bunker – Lift, Clean & Drop: Player may drop a ball at knee height in the same bunker, within 1 club-length of the original spot, not nearer the hole. The ball must remain in the bunker.
- Players are encouraged to smooth sand with their feet or club before they leave the bunker.
Flagstick / Hole
- Players must not touch or remove the flagstick at any time. Touching or removing the flagstick is a violation of our updated code of conduct policy and may result in penalty.
- Ball must be holed out no matter the preventative measure taken place to avoid touching the flagstick (i.e. pool noodles, cups cut upside-down, etc.).
- Do not swap scorecards at scoring.
- Players will verbally verify each other’s scores. Two signatures will not be required and the card will be considered signed when verbally agreed to and all players have left the scoring area.
- There will be no playoffs. If there is a tie for 1st place, there will be co-champions, and any ties for final qualifying spots will be determined by scorecard playoff.
Ball Washers and Benches
- Since it may be impracticable for host facilities to remove their ball washers and benches from the golf course, the WJGA recommends players do not use them if they are present.
- There will be no limit to the number of spectators that may attend a WJGA tournament. Spectators on-site will be required to maintain proper social distance of at least 6 feet from everyone except for people from their same household. It is recommended that spectators 65 years of age or older, or spectators with pre-existing health conditions carefully consider their participation in the event.
- Spectator carts must be preapproved per WJGA policy (i.e. disability/handicap placard). Only one person may ride in the cart at any time (unless the approved person cannot drive a golf cart, then two people would be allowed).
- Spectators will not be allowed on the driving range or practice putting green.
Food and Beverage / Water
- Players must be prepared to start the round with their own water.
- Spectators are highly encouraged to carry extra water and food with them as on-course water may be severely limited or not available.
- Golf course food available for purchase may be limited depending on the facility. Course specific information will be emailed to tournament participants prior to each tournament.
**Guidelines are subject to change at any time **