Big weekends for Curtis Wildung, Riley McKean & more updates on local collegians

This is another update on local collegians, the baseball edition:

Kingston grad Curtis Wildung was named to the team of the week. The Pacific Lutheran catcher, a four-year starter, was 5-for-7 with four doubles in two wins against cross-town rival Puget Sound last week.

Wildung drove in three runs, scored four and added a walk and stolen base for the Lutes (23-8, 15-6 Northwest Conference). Wildung’s hitting .283 for the season. He played for his uncle, Brent Stenman, in the summers on North Kitsap’s Senior Babe Ruth squad.

George Fox’s Riley McKean, a sophomore from North Mason, had one of those dream games on Saturday. McKean, a third baseman, was 6-for-6 with two home runs, four runs scored and six RBI in a 15-4 win over Lewis & Clark. McKean was 1-4 with an RBI in the first game, a 7-1 win. The big day raised his average to .293. George Fox is 16-19 overall, 12-9 in conference play.

More baseball updates:

Kasey Bielec (North Mason, sr.) continues to pound the baseball for Central Washington. The first baseman/second baseman is hitting .396 for the Wildcats (18-21, 9-15 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) with four home runs, nine doubles, three triples and 30 RBI. He has walked 17 times and been hit by pitches eight more and has a .481 on-base percentage. … Tanner Romo (South Kitsap/Everett CC, jr.) hasn’t got untracked offensively (hitting .121 in 31 at-bats) but has played well defensively at shortstop and second base for CWU.

Third baseman Shane Matheny (Olympic HS, fr.) has started all 35 games for Washington State (18-17, 5-10 Pac-12). Matheny is hitting .229 with a home run and is third on the team in RBI with 13.

Logan Knowles (South Kitsap, fr.) is starting at third base for Navy. Knowles has made 19 starts and appeared in 25 games for the Midshipmen (26-13, 8-4 Patriot League). The former SK pitcher/infielder is hitting .234 with two doubles and six RBI.

Linfield pitcher Joe Stevick (Olympic HS, sr.) has made 10 relief appliances for the Wildcats (24-9, 14-7 NWC). He’s 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA. In 18.1 innings, he’s allowed 18 hits and has 10 strikeouts and just two walks. Stevick was part of a D3 national championship team in 2013. Scott Brosius, an 11-year MLB veteran who won three World Series rings with the Yankees, coaches the Wildcats. He’s a Linfield alum.

Landon Cray (Chimacum, jr.) has helped Seattle University (19-15, 11-1 Western Athletic Conference) move to the top of the conference standing, although he’s been out of the lineup of late with an injury. The center fielder is hitting .299 with a .417 on-base percentage. He has a homer, six doubles, three triples and six stolen bases. He was 72-10 in high school as a pitcher and once struck out 20 batters while throwing a no hitter.

Corban 1B Daniel Orr (Kingston/Everett CC, sr.) is hitting .272 with 23 RBI for the Warriors (21-23, 9-11 NAIA West). Orr was 7-for-15 with a couple home runs in a four-game series against NAIA power LC-State over the weekend. Former all-state and all-NWAC player led Corban in about every hitting category a year ago, finishing with a .374 average and 48 RBI.

It didn’t take Tyler Ludlow (South Kitsap, fr.) long to adjust to college pitching. The 1B/DH is hitting .366 with nine home runs and 37 RBI for Jamestown University (N.D.). Nick Torres (Bremerton, fr.) also plays for the Jimmies (17-14, 7-5 North Star Athletic Association). Torres has appeared in six games as a relief pitcher and has a 7.04 ERA with a save.

A.J. Konopaski (Port Angeles, sr.) is having another solid season for Pacific Lutheran. He led D3 in saves (13) and earned All-American status as a junior. He has nine saves and a 1.26 ERA in 14.2 innings for the Lutes this year.

Whitworth’s Arory (also goes by A.J.) Milyard (so., North Kitsap) has appeared in seven games for the Pirates (22-13, 13-8 NWC), all in relief. He has pitched 13.1 innings and has an 8.10 ERA.

Around the NWAC:

Olympic College: Alex Sablan (South Kitsap, so.) leads the Rangers with a .353 batting average and 22 RBI. He has 11 doubles and two triples. … Matt Noll (Bremerton, fr.) is the Rangers’ third-leading hitter with a .260 average. Batting leadoff, he has four doubles and a triple. … Go to for complete OC and NWAC statistics.

Edmonds: Outfielder Jesse Moore (South Kitsap, redshirt fr.) is hitting .322 with five home runs, 27 RBI and 10 stolen bases for the defending NWAC champs. Paul Gehring, former Bremerton High, Olympic College Centralia CC and York College catcher, is the top assistant at Edmonds.

Tacoma: Catcher Riley Paschal (Central Kitsap, fr.) is hitting .176 in a backup role for the Titans.

Pierce: Conner Sharp (South Kitsap, fr.) has appeared in four games, pitching six innings with a 9.00 ERA.

Bellevue: Outfielder Dylan Vchulek (Bainbridge, fr.) is among the NWAC’s top hitters with a .356 average, 10 stolen bases and five RBI. … First baseman Tino Peleti (Bainbridge, fr.) is hitting .212 with a homer and six RBI for the Bulldogs. … Tracy Casey Bohlmann, former Central Kitsap, Bellevue and Hawaii Pacific Hilo pitcher, is an assistant at Bellevue.

Everett: C/DH Tyler Pinkerson (South Kitsap, fr.) is hitting a robust .364 in 21 games for the Trojans. … Shortstop Kevin Whatley (South Kitsap, so.) is hitting .219.

Shoreline: Drey McInnes (Bremerton, fr.) starts at shortstop and bats leadoff for the Dolphins. He’s hitting .226 with a home run.

Green River: Catcher/infielder Rob Ackerley (Bainbridge, fr.) has played in 23 games and is hitting .253.

Yakima: Pitcher Shane Crowell (North Kitsap, fr.) is 3-0 with a save and 4.21 ERA. In 21.3 innings, he’s allowed 22 hits, 11 runs, struck out 10 and walked five.

Grays Harbor: 1B Bryce Gourley (.200 in 11 games) and OF Mitchell Gourley (.229 in 15 games), both from Port Orchard, are playing for the Chokers.





Gold Mountain alums doing OK in the Masters

At least six golfers who have passed through Gold Mountain on their way to successful PGA careers were playing in the Masters the past two days.

You probably have heard of some of them.

Justin Spieth is having a historic tournament, setting a record for the lowest score through 36 holes (64-66—130). Spieth’s connection to Gold Mountain? The lad from Texas won the U.S. Junior Amateur  in 2011.

Dustin Johnson set a Masters record with three eagles on Friday enroute to shooting a 67. He’s tied for third at 137, a really good score, but seven back of the Spiethmaster. Johnson was at Gold Mountain in 2004 when he tied for seventh in the Husky Invitational while playing for Coastal Carolina.

Jonas Blixt is tied for 19th after rounds of 72-70. Blixt was a senior at Florida State when he passed through Gold Mountain for the NCAA regionals in 2008. Blixt tied for second with Spieth at the 2014 Masters, which was won by Bubba Watson, and was fourth at the 2013 PGA Championship.

Keegan Bradley won a PGA Championship in 2011, the same year Spieth was running the table at the Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain. Bradley played his college golf for St. John’s and he found his way to Bremerton for the 2006 U.S. Amateur Public Links. He lost in the second round of match play. Bradley is tied for 27th at Augusta after rounds of 71-72.

Florida’s Billy Horschel also lost in the first round at the 2006 APL. He missed the cut at the Masters, as did Luke Donald, a native of England who was playing for Northwestern when he finished in a four-way tied for second at the 1998 Husky Invitational. Donald was the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year in 2011, when he won four events and wound up as the No. 1-ranked player in the world. Horschel tied for fourth at the 2013 U.S. Open and made 23 straight cuts at one point during that season.

Did you know? The University of Washington will host the NCAA West Regionals on May 14-16 at Gold Mountain.





Getting excited about the Pumas and US Open Cup

The Sun’s soccer expect, Jeff Graham, is home with his newborn baby, so I’m going to ramble on with a little soccer news about your hometown Kitsap Pumas.

If you’re a fan of the Pumas, you probably know by now that they will open the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup against FC Tacoma of the National Premier Soccer League on May 13. The game will be played at Mount Tahoma High School at 6:30 p.m.

The winner of the first-round game will play the Sounders FC 2, the first-year USL side, on May 20 at Starfire Complex in Tukwila at 7:30 p.m. Here’s the complete Round 1 and Round 2 draw.

The Pumas’ 1-0 victory over the Laredo Heat for the 2011 USL Premier Development League championship at Bremerton’s Memorial Field remains the highlight for the franchise, which hosted the Final Four. Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Here’s Jeff’s game story and my column after that championship match.

The Pumas, which lost the PDL championship game to the Michigan Bucks 2-1 a year ago, are one of 91 teams competing for the championship of the United States. The Open Cup is the second-longest, continuously- running soccer tournament in the world. This is the 102nd edition and my favorite memory was the run the Pumas made in 2011.

Kitsap won a first-round match on the road at El Paso, took down a solid Colorado Rapids side at home in the second round and then traveled across the water to take on the Sigi Schmid’s Sounders. Before an enthusiastic crowd of 3,811, the Pumas hung with the MSL boys before falling, 2-1.

It was great drama and entertainment and the performance carried the team, then coached by current Seattle University head man Peter Fewing, to the PDL championship later in the season.

Now, they’ve got another chance to make a run in a really cool tournament. It looks like new coach Cameron MacDonald, an assistant a year ago, has done a nice job of assembling another quality team, one that will challenge for another PDL championship. The Northwest Division is comprised of just seven teams. Here’s the Pumas’ PDL schedule.

If they can get past Tacoma FC and Sounders 2, they would likely face a team from the North American Soccer League (Division II). Third-round winners will earn dates with a team from the MSL.

The odds are against it, but how much fun would it be if the Kitsap Pumas could find a way to earn another shot at the MSL Sounders, who won a record fourth US Open Cup a year ago?

Also: Here’s a look at Karamba Janneh, an exciting striker signed by the Pumas. He placed for the Ocala Stampede, which lost to the Pumas in the national semifinals, a year ago. … The Victoria Highlanders, one of the most successful PDL teams in terms of organization and attendance, ceased operations in February, but recently announced they will field a team in the Pacific Coast Soccer League, an adult league based in British Columbia.

Opening Day: Thoughts and links about the Mariners

Before you hear the umpire yell “Play Ball!” today at Safeco Field, here’s some thoughts about the Seattle Mariners, one for every inning of today’s game (1:10 p.m., ROOT TV):

1, The Skipper: After going through Bob Melvin, Mike Hargrove, John McLaren, Jim Riggleman, Don Wakamatsu and Eric Wedge, I think the Mariners have finally found the right guy to lead this club in Lloyd McClendon. He seems to have that right mix of fire and steadiness. He knows how to keep his veteran stars like Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano happy, and instill confident in the role guys. He’d been a manager before in Pittsbugh, and worked seven years under Jim Leyland in Detroit. Seattle improved 16 games in the win column in McClendon’s first year. He’s got more talent to work with now. It should be, as all of the pundits are telling you, a fun season.

Here’s a really good story by Jerry Crasnick about McClendon carrying the torch as the only African-American manager in the majors.

 2, If Fernando Rodney stumbles, and I don’t know why I think he might, I’m not worried. Yoervis Medina, Carson Smith, Danny Farquhar, Tom Wilhelmsen — part of a bullpen that was as good as any in baseball a year ago — all have what it takes to be closers. Farquhar saved 16 games in 2013 when he was thrust into that role. Here’s an analytical look at why some think Rodney, who had 48 saves in 2014, might fall off a bit in 2015.

3, Expecting big things:   When Taijuan Walker got an opportunity last season, he wasn’t ready for it. Physically, yes, but mentally, no. Now he’s ready to take steps toward establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball. Walker’s delivery is so smooth and the ball just flies when he releases it. You wonder how he generates so much power. It’s kind of like a Freddy Couples drive. Effortless. He starts the season as Seattle’s No. 4 starter. He might be No. 2 by the end of the year.

4, Reason for caution: I wrote about it last month, and several others have made the same point. The outfielders are going to have to prove to me that they can produce on a consistent basis. Based on what we saw a year ago I think it’s justified to be a little concerned about center fielder and leadoff hitter Austin Jackson (.229/.267/.260 slash line after coming over from Detroit). And, OK, I don’t follow baseball like I used to but I’d never heard of Seth Smith or Justin Ruggiano until the Mariners acquired them. Dustin Ackley? He’s a career .245 hitter. Rickie Weeks is the one piece I’m reasonably confident about. To borrow a quote from Lou Piniella, “He’s a professional hitter.”

5, Experience: I like the fact that the Mariners are no longer a young team. This is a veteran team, with stars like Hernandez, Cano, Nelson Cruz, Kyle Seager and Hiashi Iwakuma. There are no rookies on the club. Art Thiel of sportspress.nw writes that the Mariners have no one younger than 24 or older than 34 in Monday’s starting lineup. I also like the fact Seattle won’t be counting on Justin Smoak this season.

6, Speaking of Iwakuma: With King Felix and Walker, and talented lefty James Paxton and  newcomer J.A. Happ garnering a lot of preseason attention, Hishashi Iwakuma tends to get   overlooked at times. We forget how good he is. When he’s got the splitting diving, he’s one of the premier pitchers in the game. Remember 2013 when he was 14-6 and finished third in the Cy Young balloting (Felix was eighth that year). Kuma ranked second in the AL in WHIP (a club-record 1.006), third in ERA (2.66), innings (219 2/3) and opponents’ batting average (.220), fourth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.40) and quality starts (23), and fifth in opponents’ OPS (.630). He battled some arm issues a year ago, but still managed to make 28 starts and finished with a 15-9 record and 3.52 ERA. The arm was strong this spring, and I think you can look for another All-Star type of season out of the right-hander, who is in the final year of a 3-year, $20  million deal.

7, Beer: Yes, it’s expensive, but the options at Safeco Field are endless. I bet you can’t sample one of each before the end of the season.

8, In case you missed it: This is the preview about the Mariners from Sports Illustrated, Lookout Landing, and a prediction column by Larry Stone of the Seattle Times about the Mariners putting it all together after years of disappointments (there are also links to other previews stories). And Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune (his stuff also appears in The Sun) had a good story on Opening Day starter Felix Hernandez.

9, Road trip: The Mariners are in San Francisco to play the defending World Champion Giants on June 15 (Monday, 7:15 p.m.) and 16 (Tuesday, 12:45 p.m.), and the Giants are in Seattle June 17 (Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.) and June 18 (Thursday, 7:10 p.m.). That’s a four-game series I’d like to see.



Villopoto wins in Thailand

In case you missed it — and I did — Ryan Villopoto has already secured his first victory in the World Motocross Grand Prix Championships.

After placing seventh in the season opener at Dubai, where some critics wondered if the American was really all that, the rider from Poulsbo bounced back to win in Thailand.

Villopoto won four-time Supercross championships, stamping himself as one of the all-time greats, but decided to skip the 2015 season and head to Europe for the MXGP World Championships. It’s the first time in the modern era of motocross that a U.S. rider has competed in the full series. For Villopoto it’s a one-shot deal. He says he’s retiring at the end of the year.

The next race is March 29 in Argentina.

Chandler, Edwards, Owens, Sumners, Walker, Pocock elected to state HOF

The Washington State Hall of Fame announced its class of six inductees on Thursday morning. Here’s the press release:

Chris Chandler and James Edwards, who starred at the University of Washington then went on to long pro careers in football and basketball respectively, are among six individuals voted this year into the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame.

The others are figure skater Rosalynn Sumners, women’s basketball phenom Joyce Walker, the late Post-Intelligencer sports columnist John Owen and legendary racing shell builder George Pocock.

 “This is a wonderful class for our hall of fame that started in 1960,” said executive director Marc Blau. “It was selected by a panel of experts, many of them sportswriters and broadcasters, from throughout the state.”

Chandler, who earned letters in five sports at Everett High School, was MVP of two bowl games as a Husky. In his 17-year NFL career he passed for 170 touchdowns and more than 28,000 yards. He led Atlanta into the 1999 Super Bowl after a 14-2 regular season record.

Edwards, a 7-footer from Roosevelt High School, played 19 seasons in the NBA following an All-American career as a Husky. He won two NBA championship rings with Detroit (1989, 1990) and one with Chicago (1996). He scored 14,862 points and collected 6,004 rebounds in his pro career.

Walker is considered one of the best female basketball players in state history. She led Garfield to a state championship and in the 1980 tournament opener outscored the entire Renton team with 40 points in a 68-35 victory. She starred at Louisiana State where she averaged 25 points, played in Europe and later was one of the first women to play with the Harlem Globetrotters. She is the girl’s basketball coach at Garfield and formerly assisted at Kingston.

Sumners, who grew up in Edmonds, was world figure skating junior champion in 1980, U.S. champion in 1982, 1983 and 1984 and a silver medalist in the 1984 Winter Olympics.

  Owen was at the P-I for 36 years until 1993 and seven times was named state sportswriter of the year. He was sports editor as well as columnist for much of that span and also wrote a popular food column “Intermediate Eater” that he continued to write after retiring. Owen died last year.

Pocock was a native of England and a master boatbuilder who was invited by UW rowing coach Hiram Conibear to establish his shell-building business on campus. He mentored UW coaches and athletes and became famous internationally as a boat-builder and rowing authority. His expertise and contributions to the 1936 UW crew that won the Olympic Gold Medal are described in the best-selling book “The Boys in the Boat.”

 The State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame was started by sportscaster Clay Huntington of Tacoma. The addition of this year’s class will bring the total of inductees to 195. An induction ceremony will be held at Safeco Field prior to a Seattle Mariners game at a date to be determined. Plaques honoring hall of fame members are on display in the Tacoma Dome at the Shanaman Sports Museum.

For additional information visit


Collegians: Flora, Seattle U come up a victory short

Seattle University’s Jarell Flora,  senior guard from Bremerton, scored just five points in an 82-61 loss to New Mexico State in the Western Athletic Conference championship game at Las Vegas on Saturday.

A victory would have advanced Seattle U (16-15) to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1969.

Flora is Seattle’s second-leading scorer (14.0 points) and third-leading rebounder (4.6).  He was a second-team All-WAC selection. The 6-foot-3 guard finished with 165 3-pointers in his career, fifth all-time in school history.

There’s a chance Flora hasn’t played his last college game as the Redhawks could be a candidate for the College Basketball Invitational, or possibly the NIT.

Jalen Carpenter (jr., Bremerton) was Weber State’s leading scorer (11.8 points) and rebounder (7.9). Weber State finished 11-8, 7-8 in the Big Sky Conference.

Rhyley Callaghan (fr., South Kitsap) and Deonte Dixon (fr., Bremerton) helped Peninsula to a third-place finish at the NWAC Championships. Callaghan averaged 17.5 points, 15th in the NWAC, and was the conference’s fifth-leading shooter from the free-throw line (87.2 percent).  Dixon averaged 16.4 points and 4.1 rebounds.

Western Oregon’s Dana Goularte (sr., South Kitsap) was a second-team All-Great Northwest Conference pick. For the second straight year, she ranked among the conference’s top five in scoring (15.6 points, fifth) and rebounding (8.6, second). Goularte led the Wolves (8-18) in 13 statistical categories this season.

Krista Stabler (jr., Central Kitsap) was an honorable mention All-GNAC pick for St. Martin’s.  She led the Saints (11-16) in scoring (12.1 ppg) and assists (48).

Sadee Jones (sr., North Mason) was an All-Cascade Collegiate Conference first-team pick for Evergreen State. Jones averaged 15.6 points and a conference-leading 8.6 rebounds a game despite her 5-foot-6 stature. Jones had 14 double-doubles. Irene Moore (sr., King’s West/Olympic College) was a reserve guard for Geoducks (16-10). Brittany Gray (sr., Bainbridge/Skagit Valley) averaged 15.9 points and 9.3 rebounds in 12 games before using up her eligibility.

Ashli Payne (so., Olympic HS) and Sawyer Kluge (fr., Bremerton) helped Umpqua to a 27-5 record and third-place finish at the NWAC Championships. Payne, who is playing in the NWAC All-Star games on Sunday at Clackamas, Ore., averaged 17.8 points (5th in the NWAC), 10 rebounds (4th), 4.3 assists (8th) and 2.1 steals (18th). Kluge averaged 14.7 points (18th) and was seventh in the conference in free-throw shooting (81.6 percent).


Shane Matheny (fr., Olympic HS) is the starting third baseman at Washington State. Matheny was hitting .229 with a home run and seven RBI going into Saturday’s Pac-12 game at USC. He had started all 17 games for the Cougars (11-6).

Central Washington first baseman Kasey Bielec (sr., North Mason) was 9-for-15 in a four-game series against Northwest Nazarene and it hitting .397 with four HRs and 16 RBI for the Wildcats (12-10). Infielder Tanner Romo (jr., South Kitsap/Everett CC) is a backup infielder at CWU.

Catcher Curtis Windung (jr., North Kitsap) is hitting .243 with a home run for Pacific Lutheran (14-6).

Tyler Ludlow (fr., South Kitsap), a first baseman, is hitting .292 (7-24) with a double for Jamestown (N.D.). Nick Torres (fr., Bremerton) is also playing for the Jimmies (8-4). Torres has a save and 6.23 ERA in 4.1 innings after appearing in three games in relief.

Arory Milyard (so., North Kitsap) is a relief pitcher at Whitworth (11-8). He’s got a 6.97 ERA after six appearances and 10.1 innings (10 strikeouts, 4 walks, 13 hits, 8 earned runs).


Alissa Buss (so., South Kitsap) and Erin Kinney (so., Bainbridge) are holding down the left side of the infield for Linfield (11-5). Buss, playing shortstop, is hitting .441 (26-for-59) with a double and triple. Kinney, a third baseman, is hitting .306 (15-49) with a home run and 9 RBI.

Emma Keller (fr., North Kitsap) was hitting .353 (12-34 with 2 doubles) for the NAIA Jamestown (N.D.) Jimmies (10-8). She has made two pitching appearance and had a 14.8 ERA for 5.2 innings of work. Kalea Chapman (jr., Juneau, Alaska/Olympic College) is a backup utility player for the Jimmies.


UNLV’s Carl Jonson (sr., Bainbridge) tied for 43rd at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, which was played at Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas this week. UNLV finished 10th in a field that included 10 of the top 25 teams in the country. Jonson ranks No. 168 in  the World Amateur Golf Rankings, down 12 spots from the previous week.

UCLA’s Erynne Lee (sr., Central Kitsap) is coming off a victory in the Bruin Wave Classic and is off until the Liz Murphy Collegiate Championship, which begins March 27 in Athens, Ga. Lee’s victory boosted her from No. 55 to No. 29 in the women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings.



The argument: multi-sports athletes vs. one-sports athletes

This isn’t anything knew, but it’s a good reminder about a topic that seems to pop up all of the time.

The author of the blog, Mark Rerick, is from Grand Forks, N.D. He’s a coach, an athletic director, and a dad, and his post on his blog about multi-sports athletes vs. one-sport athletes received more than a million views.

Rerick talked with the Grand Forks Herald after his post went viral.



Golf notes: Seattle Golf Show, Snorting Elk, Free golf, U.S. Open practice round tickets & more

The golf show, the golf show

Sunday is the final day of the Seattle Golf & Travel Show at CenturyLink Field Event Center.

Cost is $14 for adults with youth 17 and under free.  Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Go to this website for more information.

Snorting Elk

The annual Snorting Elk tournament, held at Kitsap Golf & Country Club, drew a full field with 20 more golfers with handicaps of 0 or less. The field is probably the best for any tournament held on this side of the water.

Congratulations to Randy Grosz, a former Kitsap member now living in Portland, for putting it all together every year. Somebody from Oregon won with a 4-under 67. We’ll try to get complete results.

Free golf

In case you missed it, you can play Port Orchard’s Village Greens, an executive course run by Kitsap County Parks & Rec, for free on Monday, March 9 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 871-1222 for information. PGA Club pro Ron Weir is also staging free clinics (12:30-1:30 p.m. full swing; 1:30-2:30 p.m. short game).

Practice round tickets available for U.S. Open

Tickets for the four rounds at the 2015 U.S. Open, being held at Chambers Bay in University Point on June 18-21, have been sold out, but you can still buy tickets for the practice rounds.

For $100, you can buy a gallery ticket for all three practice days (June 15-17). They are free for active-duty military and children 12 and under who are accompanied by an adult ticket holder.

For more information to to purchase tickets online, visit

U.S. Open qualifiers

The Home Course in Dupont (May 11) and Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla (May 12) will be the only state courses hosting 18-hole local qualifiers for the  U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. They are two of 111 local qualifying sites across the country.

Pros and amateurs with a handicap 1.4 or lower are eligible. The top scorers at the local  qualifiers advance to play in sectional qualifiers, which take place June 8 in a 36-hole format at 10 courses around the country. Japan and England will host international sectional qualifiers on May 25.


UCLA’s Erynne Lee, a senior from Central Kitsap, tied for third individually and helped the No. 5-ranked Bruins to a second-place finish at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate in Baton Rouge, La. Lee finished at 1-under 215, moving up to No. 48 in the Golfstate collegiate rankings and dropping her scoring average to 72.9 in 18 rounds. The Bruins and Pepperdine co-host the Wave Classic March 2-3 at the El Callabero Country Club in Tarzana, Calif. No. 3 Washington is the highest-ranked team in the field.

UNLV’s Carl Jonson, senior from Bainbridge, shot 75-75-76 and tied for 49th at the John Bruns Collegiate in Hawaii. Jonson’s scoring average is 73.6 after 18 rounds. His best finish this season has been a sixth. The Rebels host the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters on March 9-11 at Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas.

Troy Kelly update

Central Kitsap grad and former UW golfer Troy Kelly has missed the cut in all four PGA Tour tournaments he’s entered this year. Still on a major injury exemption, Kelly has six tournaments left to earn $563,111 or 353 FedEx Cup points to maintain full-time playing privileges.

And finally, some linkage

ICYMI, Kitsap Golf & Country Club is opening its doors to the public beginning April 1. I wrote about it earlier this week.

Tiger Woods still No. 1 when it comes to earning money off the course, but the gap is closing, according to this Golf Digest story.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune wonders if Tiger Woods will be ready for the U.S. Open.

Jimmy Walker leads the PGA Tour money list with $2,281,345 in winnings. Ryan Moore of Puyallup is currently No. 10 and former Husky great Nick Taylor, a Canadian, is No. 26. Here’s some others: No. 42 Andres Gonzales (Olympia/UNLV), No. 61 Alex Prugh (Spokane/UW), No. 75 Spencer Levin (No. 75, grandfather was a Bremerton High grad/New Mexico); No. 94 Michel Putman (Tacoma/Pepperdine), No. 122 Andrew Putman (Tacoma/Pepperdine), No. 184 Kyle Stanley (Gig Harbor/Clemson).



Links: The selling of ‘Beast Mode’ & Shaq & Tark & More

The debates rage about the future of Marshawn Lynch, but there’s no question about his growing brand. The Seahawks’ running back is cashing in off the field.

Lynnley Browning of Newsweek writes about how you market an athlete who doesn’t talk to the media:

The less Lynch speaks to the media, the more his popularity grows. He doesn’t even want to talk about his company right now. Mitch Grossbach, president of M3/Relativity, which oversees the development of BeastModeonline, says Lynch couldn’t speak to Newsweek for this story because he was “in no mood to talk right now. He’s emotionally debilitated by [the loss]—he needs a week to recover.”

In a world of professional athletes happily shilling everything from Cialis to car insurance, Lynch’s verbal striptease is a test case for how to grow an emerging rock-star athlete into a brand worth millions. “He’s maintaining the irony of not talking, and that has made him more marketable and more endearing with fans and consumers,” says Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing expert who is executive creative director at Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco. “It’s the antithesis of how you would go about becoming a marketable star, and it’s working.”


Washington Huskies star Shaq Thompson figures to a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Peter King of Sports Illustrated’s MMQB recently caught up with Thompson:

The NFL is still trying to figure out what position best fits Thompson, who wasn’t a good fit for baseball. He went 0- for-39 with 37 strikeouts during his pro baseball career:

King writes:

… In his freshman year at Washington, coaches created a hybrid safety/linebacker position just to get him on the field. Over the next three years, he played five other positions. His mere presence was a weapon. “We put him at personal protector, not only because he’d be good at it,” says Huskies coach Chris Petersen, “but also, teams would be so worried about us snapping the ball to Shaq that they backed off on trying to block our punts.”

That’s the paradox of Shaq Thompson: Nobody knows exactly what he is. They just know they want him.


Alexander Wolff of Sports Illustrated  writes about Jerry Tarkanian, the former UNLV basketball coach who died Wednesday. He was 84.

The headline says it all: Always A Rebel: Jerry Tarkanian was college sports’ original honest man

Wolff writes:

Tarkanian spent most of his professional life as a poster boy for disreputability. Today, with the NCAA itself in broad disrepute, it’s almost as if he lived just long enough for public opinion to catch up to him. There would be much worse things than if, in death, Tarkanian were to earn something like vindication.


You want more offense in baseball? Raise the strike zone. MLB is taking a look at doing just that. Read this story by Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.

Passan writes:

At baseball’s GM meetings last November, the room of executives teemed with discussions about how to jolt offense in a game lacking it. Radical ideas were proposed, from putting rules into place on defensive shifts to the possibility of forcing relief pitchers to throw to more than one batter. Generating the most agreement was the problem of the low strike.


Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes about college football’s most intriguing head coach. Tony Sanchez guided Bishop Gorman HS to an 85-5 record in eight seasons.

Wetzel writes:

Sanchez is a rare breed; the college football coach hired directly from the high school ranks. He’s just the fifth in the modern era – Jim Bradley to New Mexico State in 1973, Bob Commings to Iowa in 1974, Gerry Faust to Notre Dame in 1981 and Todd Dodge to North Texas in 2007.

None lasted very long.

UNLV is arguably the worst program in the country, posting a pathetic eight two-win seasons across the last 11 years. It’s been to four bowl games … ever. The glory days are that time they finished tied for third in their division of the Mountain West.


Charles Barkley doesn’t like analytics, but analytics like him. Neal Paine of compared Barkley to power forward greats Karl Malone and Tim Duncan.

The numbers breakdown came after Barkley ripped Houston Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey for his over-reliance on analytics. Morey in turn ripped Barkley on Twitter:

Best part of being at a TNT game live is it is easy to avoid Charles spewing misinformed biased vitriol disguised as entertainment

Here’s Sir Charles’ words that sparked the debate:

“I’ve always believed analytics was crap. … I never mention the Rockets as legitimate contenders ’cause they’re not. And, listen, I wouldn’t know Daryl Morey if he walked into this room right now.”

“The NBA is about talent,” Barkley added. “All these guys who run these organizations who talk about analytics, they have one thing in common — they’re a bunch of guys who have never played the game, and they never got the girls in high school, and they just want to get in the game.”