Trojan golfers battle through tough conditions for a chance at State


Jackson Conner

On May 13 Auburn Golf took four golfers, three boys and one girl, to district qualifiers at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Washington and after a very nice day for golf 2 were able to move on. Evan Jilbert (11) and Jillian Tinsley (12) shot an 89 and 101 respectively and qualified for the second day.

The next day, the weather was not as kind to them. Off and on rain descended upon the Peninsula and resulted in some wet and possibly challenging golf conditions. Jilbert said, “the rain did not really affect my game, it was just cold because I was completely soaked.”


Photo by: Jackson Conner – iPhone
Evan Jilbert lines himself up to make a huge putt.

The rain coupled with some strong wind gusts did cause some casualties. Jilbert’s umbrella was broken after it blew away and possibly even more traumatic, Jilbert’s hot dog got drenched after the wind blew his bag over. After having a rough hole, Jilbert was frustrated and remarked: “I just wanted at least my hotdog, but no I (couldn’t) even have that.”

While the weather and a few unlucky holes contributed to a 103 (14 strokes more than his 89 the previous day), there was a few positives to draw from Jilbert’s day. After a hole in which Jilbert had a double par, Coach Jeremy Sagle told Evan “All I want you to do is get a birdie.”


Photo by: Jackson Conner- iPhone
Evan Jilbert attacks the green with his 7 iron.

Like something out of a movie, Evan proceeded to birdie the next hole. 6 holes or about 90 minutes later, Jilbert birdied another hole and was really starting to heat up as his round finished.

While Jilbert may not have gotten the round he was hoping for on Day 2, he was still happy to make it there and his setting his sites on state for the 2020 season.

About a couple thousand yards away, senior girls golfer and 2018-2019 team captain Jillian Tinsley was in the middle of her round. Similar to Jilbert, Tinsley squeaked past the Monday cut line with a 101 and moved onto Tuesday looking to do some damage.

Photo by: Jon Morehead
Jillian Tinsley putts it towards the hole in the heavy rain.

Also, like Jilbert, Tinsley had to battle through some very rough conditions on Tuesday. Luckily, Tinsley finished before the heavy onslaught of rain came around 6 pm but she still had to deal with the annoying off-and-on, cold rain/wind problems. Tinsley said “The hardest part about dealing with the weather conditions was just staying focused and not letting it affect my game or my goal of making state.”

Jill ended up doing a good job of battling through the rain and ended up shooting a 105, only 4 strokes higher than the previous’ day score of 101. However, unfortunately, that score did not qualify her for the state tournament but her run was still very impressive.

Photo by: Jon Morehead
Jillian Tinsley stands over the ball before she chips on the green.

Tinsley was the only female golfer to even qualify for day 1 and throughout the tournament, she showed she is among some of the better golfers in the West Central District.

A big reason for Tinsley’s success was her coach and reigning 2018-2019 NPSL Girl’s Golf Coach of the Year Jon Morehead. Tinsley remarked that Morehead helped her overcome her weaknesses during the season and really helped her “push through 18 holes on both days.”

While none of the Auburn golfers qualified for the state tournament, they showed tremendous improvement throughout the season and helped Auburn to have its most successful golf season in three years. Tinsley has been a great role model and senior leader for the rest of the girls and she will be missed next year. For Jilbert and the rest of the non-seniors, they will come back harder than ever next year with the state tournament firmly planted in their crosshairs.