Enumclaw’s Tyler Salsbury played his way to the pinnacle of the state’s amateur golfing world, winning the Washington State Amateur Championship.
The three-day tournament, put on by the Washington State Golf Association, was contested at the Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla.
Salsbury, an Enumclaw High graduate, finished at 209, just one stroke ahead of Kirkland’s Frank Garber and Richland’s Cole Lorenzo. He had rounds of 68 and 70 the first two days of the tourney, respectively, to climb to the top of the leader board. On the final day, he held off the rest of the field, using back-to-back birdies on Holes 12 and 13 to stretch his precarious lead. A bogey on No. 15 made things more interesting, but Salsbury played par golf over the final three holes to take the title and trophy.
Salsbury, who will be a junior on the men’s golf team at the University of Washington, started the day with a 2-shot lead over the field and carded an even-par 71 on Day 3.
“Growing up, this was the one tournament I really wanted to win,” Salsbury said. “It really feels awesome. And I really love this golf course.” Salsbury also won the only other championship he played at Wine Valley, the 2011 WJGA Junior State Championship.
“I got off to such a good start the first two rounds, quickly under par both times,” Salsbury said. “Today I’m 2-over after four holes and I’m thinking ‘Oh my gosh, what am I doing?’” Salsbury turned it around and stood on the 18th tee with a 1-shot lead. Garber was already finished, and Lorenzo was playing in the group in front of Salsbury, who was in the day’s final group. “I was playing for birdie (on the last hole),” Salsbury said. “But when I saw Cole make par, I felt a little better.” Salsbury 2-putted for par on the final hole to seal his victory.
The state’s premier amateur championship traditionally attracts the region’s finest players. The list of past champions includes a healthy dose who went on to play professionally.
A year ago, Salsbury finished in a tie for eighth place.
The prestigious victory was just the latest accomplishment for the young golfer who took up the game at the age of 3. He was a four-year member of the Enumclaw High varsity team and qualified for the state tournament all four seasons. Highlights since graduating from EHS include qualifying for the U.S. Amateur in 2012 and winning the Puget Sound Amateur in May 2013.