McCullough, who graduated this month from Wyoming with a degree in management, plans to play the 2018 edition of the tournament Monday through Wednesday at Meridian Valley and then turn pro after the Mexican Amateur.

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The college kid is back to defend his title.

Last year, Drew McCullough, a Richland High School grad who had just finished his junior year at the University of Wyoming, won the Muckleshoot Casino Washington Open Invitational at Meridian Valley Country Club in Kent.

The tournament, which began in 1922 as the Washington Open, is a premier event for Northwest club and teaching pros. McCullough said pros treated him well but he nonetheless picked up the “obvious” and understandable vibe that they preferred that a pro, not an amateur, hoist the trophy.

McCullough, who graduated this month with a degree in management, plans to play the 2018 edition of the tournament Monday through Wednesday at Meridian Valley and then turn pro after the Mexican Amateur. He has tour aspirations and the athletic talent that enabled him to play varsity basketball in addition to golf in high school.

McCullough, who won one college tournament in four years, shot a 7-under final-round 65 for a three-round total of 6-under 210 to win by a stroke last year.

Being an amateur, McCullough wasn’t able to collect the $8,000 first-prize that went to Shane Prante, the assistant pro at Spanaway Lake Golf Course who was one stroke behind. McCullough was the first amateur winner since Josh Immordino in 2006.

This year’s field of 114 pros and 54 amateurs includes 11 former champions, including five-time winner Jeff Coston of Blaine, who won in 2016 at age 60.

This will be the 12th time overall and sixth in a row that the tournament is being played at Meridian Valley. Par will be 72 and the course will be 6,707 yards the first day.

The tournament’s pro-am and charity auction will be held this weekend. The beneficiary is the Folds of Honor charity that provides scholarships for spouses and children of military personnel killed or seriously wounded in action.

Notes

Leslie Folsom of the Rainier Country Club will seek a record 10th Seattle Women’s Golf Association championship in the annual tournament, to be played this year June 18-21 at the Sand Point Country Club.

Bette Moore, 91, of Mountlake Terrace made the second hole-in-one of her life this month when she used a driver to ace the 135-yard 14th hole at Walter Hall Golf Course in Everett.

Moore’s first ace was 20 years ago when her late husband, Gleason, was alive.

She said her reaction to the first ace was purposely restrained “because he played golf for 55 years and never had a hole-in-one. I didn’t make a big deal about it.”

This time? “I’m on my own and enjoying every minute of it.”

• Spots are open for the White Horse Golf Club Women’s Team Scramble on June 6. The plan is to have 50 two-person teams compete in a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The low-gross and low-net twosomes will combine to earn a foursome berth with an LPGA Legends Tour pro in the June 8 pro-am for the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup at White Horse. The entry fee is $125, and the entry deadline is May 23.

The Legends (LPGA women pros over age 45) tournament is the weekend of June 9-10.