Beaverton's Wolfe recognized by PNGA
Beaverton's Mary Scott Wolfe may have learned the game locally, but she's taken her talents beyond it, and where it goes from here has yet to be determined.
The 2020 Jesuit alum and Gonzaga sophomore was recently honored as the Pacific Northwest Golf Association's (PNGA) Women's Player of the Year.
PNGA Player of the Year candidates are nominated by the state and provincial golf associations that comprise the region (British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and are selected by a vote of the PNGA Championship Committee.
Joining Wolfe on the list of honorees were Men's Player of the Year winner Joe Highsmith, Senior Men's winner Tom Brandes, and Junior Girls honoree Kennedy Knox — all from Washington; Junior Boy's winner Jeevan Sihota of Victoria, B.C.; Women's Mid-Amateur winner Amanda Jacobs and Senior Women's honoree Lara Tennant — both from Portland; and Tualatin's Robby Ziegler, who was the Men's Mid-Amateur recipient.
Wolfe said she was surprised by the honor, but at the same time, she was also appreciative of what it means both regarding her game and the work she's put in to hone it over the years.
"I was surprised, because I wasn't even aware of the award," Wolfe said. "But it was a great honor, because it shows all the hard work that I put into it and it really does mean a lot."
And she's been doing that work for almost a decade.
Wolfe began playing golf at the age of 11 after attending a junior camp at RedTail Golf Center in Beaverton. She'd played soccer and lacrosse to that point, but she said she really enjoyed the individual aspects of the game she'd only partially been exposed to prior while at the driving range with her dad.
It wasn't long after those summer days at RedTail that she ended her soccer and lacrosse career and focused solely on the game that would become a big part of her teen life.
"It's hard to explain, but I think I just liked the challenge of it," she said. "Growing up playing soccer and lacrosse I had only experienced team sports, so this was a change for me. But I liked that individual part about it and I also liked seeing immediate results and just being out there by yourself."
In the summer following her seventh-grade year, Wolfe began working with Skout Golf, a golf training program with facilities in both Tigard and Aloha dedicated to the development of junior golfers.
Over the next six years, she worked diligently with instructors and her "teammates" at Skout, fine-tuning her full-swing mechanics, short game, and physical fitness by way of diet and strength training. She speaks glowingly of her time in the program and says she owes much of her success to the skills and knowledge she gained along the way.
"I was just talking about it with my mom the other day, that I don't know where I'd be without them (Skout) because golf is such an individual sport, but they made it so we practiced with a group of people, which is more fun than just spending hours working by yourself," Wolfe said. "They've helped me a bunch, and there's no way I'd be here without them."
And where she is is Spokane, Washington, attending and playing golf for Gonzaga.
Wolfe earned a scholarship from Gonzaga and after being a part of two team state championships at Jesuit High School, helped lead the Zags' to a West Coast Conference title this past spring — the first in program history. Individually, she posted six top-20 finishes during her freshman year, including a 10th-place finish at the WCC Championships, and was second on the team with a stroke average of 74.86.
She went on to finish second at last summer's Oregon Women's Amateur at Bandon Dunes and won the PNGA two weeks later at The Home Course in DuPont, Washington. The win came at the expense of her teammate, Cassie Kim, whom she defeated by a match play score of 3-and-2.
Wolfe said the win was the biggest — individually — of her golf career, but added that there's certainly more to accomplish both on and off the course going forward.
The sophomore is studying kinesiology and hopes to apply her education to a still-undetermined field after graduation, but with still three more years of college golf to play, along with countless years of competition ahead of her beyond school, Wolfe said there are still goals left to accomplish on the links.
"I'd love to win a college tournament individually, and a big goal of mine is to qualify for the U.S. Women's Amateur," she said. "But we're always striving to win our conference, and our goal as a team is to make it to NCAA Regionals.
"With golf, there's always stuff to do."
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