Manke crowned at Highlands Par-3 Championship event

Updated: October 1, 2022

The course couldn’t have been in better condition. The golf couldn’t have been more exciting. The inaugural Washington State Par-3 Championship had it all!

Brett Manke and Sam Highsmith battled for the title until the final hole of the two-day event (where a Manke birdie at the 17th became the difference) and there were all kinds of sideline “stories” to tell.  Manke nearly slam dunked it and almost won a $100,000 hole in one prize to end it all.

Makenna Kelpman set a new Women’s course record for 18 ho

les at Highlands, a 65, to earn her top women’s honors. Local legend, Dirk Thompson, the Highlands club champion, finished 5th but attracted big crowds in pursuit of the top spot and was in the spotlight all weekend thanks to his recent course record-setting 22 for nine. He also had a 25/55 in the first round, a stroke back of Highsmith and tied with Manke.

Others in the running at that time were Brandon Moore and Jeff Cooper with 55s, Ed Klein with 56, and Casey Jinks at 57. The second day saw an epic battle. Highsmith started out with a sizzling three under par nine score of 24. Manke followed closely with a steady even par 27 to leave him four strokes out of the lead. Could he come back? 

The final nine holes found a large crowd following the two golfers around the course. On No. 17 Manke took a one stroke lead with a key birdie.  As the crowd followed the leaders up the final fairway Manke held on to his one-stroke lead for the victory and the Coveted Tartan Vest.

When all the dust had lifted the scores stood with Manke at 108 for 72 holes, Highsmith at 109, Brandon Moore at 110, Jeff Cooper at 115 and Dirk Thompson at 116. Congratulations Manke! 

Topping the day off, it was learned that PGA pro Troy Kelly of Kitsap had also decided to play “unofficially” with his 9-year-old son Mason, and Scott Sargent (Troy’s high school team-mate) had joined them with his 11-year-old daughter Priscilla.  (The two youngest players.)  Kelly had a 108 with two 9 hole 25’s and an 18-hole score of 54. He wasn’t playing in the competition, but it makes the champs and contenders look pretty good.