Washington State Par-3 Championship crowns 2023 champion

Updated: September 3, 2023

Mitch Peterson, who played his college golf at Olivet Nazarene University in Illinois, found the right time to get hot as he shot a 36-hole total of 106 to win the Angus Cup, Coveted Tartan Vest and Champion’s trophy at the 2023 Washington State Par-3 Championship at Highlands Golf Course in Tacoma.  The competition took place Saturday and Sunday August 5 and 6.  Peterson edged out Jahan Bains, 2022 champion Bret Manke and last year’s runner up Sam Highsmith.  Bains and Manke completed the 36-hole course at one over par while Highsmith came in at 3 over.  

Peterson, who just recently moved to the area, had opened with a course record 4-under-par 50 for his first 18 holes of the tournament before shooting a 2-over-par 56 in the second round. He held on to win the tournament in the face of a strong close by defending champion Manke and Bains.  Weber State, and former Bellarmine Prep women’s golfer, Jessica Zelasko opened up with a women’s course record 53 for the first 18 and won the women’s trophy with a 116 finish.  Zelasko’s strong overall score brought her a 10th place overall finish in the open division.

Taking home the winner’s trophy, having his name permanently inscribed on the Angus Cup and donning the Coveted Tartan Vest gave Peterson the ability to appear in the Champion’s walk at the 2024 contest where he will be defending his Championship against an increasingly strong field.

Former PGA pro, Troy Kelly, playing unofficially with his 10-year-old son Mason, and high school teammate Scott Sargeant with 11-year-old Priscilla Sargeant, also completed the 36 holes in 106 strokes after opening with a four under par 23 – one stroke off the course record of 22 set by Highlands  “Legend”   Dirk Thompson. 

Washington Par-3 Championship

At Highlands Golf Course (Par-27)

Mitch Peterson              50-56 – 106

Brett Manke                              54-55 – 109

Jahan Bains                             53-56 – 109

Sam Highsmith             53-58 – 111

Stephen Sibbett            55-58 – 113

Harrison Stenberg                    56-58 – 114

Dirk Thompson            56-58 – 114

Kasey Johnston                        52-62 – 114

Ethan Tarbet                60-56 – 116

Jessica Zelasko             53-63 – 116

When Highlands Golf Course owner Jack Connelly re-created the Washington Par-3 Championship, little did he know the buzz the tournament would start. The event reinvented itself a couple of years ago and now, the field has filled up.  This year 72 golfers vied for the coveted Tartan Vest and the right to have their name permanently engraved as a Washington Par 3 Champion on the Angus Cup.