Players, coaches and parents jockeyed for position to get a clear look as the last few State 4A boys tournament scores were posted on the wall outside of The Creek at Qualchan pro shop.
Observers worked calculators on their cellphones, quickly adding up team scores. It was obvious it was going to be tight for the top three spots.
“I’ve never been so stressed in my life,” Gonzaga Prep sophomore Tommy Kimmel said, waiting for the final results.
The numbers didn’t add up for the Bullpups, who came up just short in their bid for a second consecutive state title. G-Prep shot 307 on a blustery Wednesday for a two-day total of 600, three strokes behind state champion Kamiak and three shots in front of third-place Eastlake.
“A slice of humble pie for the Bullpups today,” coach Dennis Dougherty said.
Mt. Si’s Drew Warford, a University of Washington commit, captured his second consecutive state title. He shot a 1-under-par 71 – the only player to break par Wednesday – for a two-day total of 2-under 142.
G-Prep junior Nate Plaster, co-leader after a first-round 69, closed strongly with birdies on Nos. 16 and 18 for a 75, sharing second place with Mount Vernon’s Kyle Cooley (73) at 144.
“The course was playing tough, but I’m really disappointed,” Plaster said. “Wild shots, terrible putting. I could not make a putt.”
The second-place team finish stung the most.
“I’m really disappointed, to be honest,” Plaster said. “We did all we can do, obviously, but we could have played better. That’s golf, I guess.”
G-Prep had a slim two-stroke lead entering the second round but seemed to be playing catch-up after the front nine. Several Bullpups were stung by penalty strokes after finding hazards and/or ponds in the first six holes.
They weren’t alone as scores soared with the swirling winds, tough pin locations and pressure of the final day of state. Of the top 20 placers, 14 shot higher second-round scores, three shot lower and three stayed the same.
“The front nine it was blowing,” said Kimmel, who shot a 75 for a 149 total and a share of 10th. “Birdies were not easy to come by. I turned at 1 over and I thought that would be close to the best of the day.
“The course was playing so long, a two-club wind a lot of times. I had 166 (yards) over the creek on 18 and barely cleared it with a hybrid. It was definitely tougher (than Tuesday).”
Kamiak shot 302 after Tuesday’s 295. Eastlake came in at 308, 13 higher than its first day. G-Prep’s score was 14 strokes higher than its first round.
“We had several stretches of holes that were tough for us as a team,” Dougherty said. “It’s definitely difficult to look back at three strokes out of 600 over two days. I know Nate wanted to win the team title, that’s what they all cared about and that’s what all their work was for, but you have to go out and do it.”
Warford wasn’t immune to finding trouble, but he saved par several times with his short game.
“I’ve been playing golf with him for a long time. We’ve battled a lot,” Plaster said. “He’s a very consistent ball-striker, wedge player, solid all the way around. He’s a wizard with the wedge.”
Central Valley (626) took fifth place. CV’s Brayden Miles and Garrett Packebush tied for 25th at 155. Mead’s Zane Mularski (153) shared 21st place.
Mead took home the second-place trophy, finishing with a two-day total of 684 at Hangman Valley, nine shots behind Redmond. The Panthers trailed Redmond by five after the first day.
For Mead, GSL Player of the Year Cami Culp (85-82) tied for 25th, Libby Bloom (85-84) tied for 29th and Taylor Mularski (83-88) shared 33rd.
“The girls battled hard in tough, windy conditions,” coach Keith Ross said. “The girls have mixed emotions about coming so close – nine strokes over eight counting rounds – but when we reflected on the season in our van ride home they were all smiles.”
Lewis and Clark (699), led by Darby Rickel’s two-day 165, placed fifth. CV’s Kami Twining tied for 14th at 160. Bellarmine Prep’s Julia Bordeaux (142) was the individual winner.
Bellevue (602) won the team title and Mercer Island’s Ethan Evans (143) took individual honors by two shots at Indian Summer Country Club in Lacey. Shadle Park’s Sam Pauly (161) tied for 27th.
Bellevue cruised to the championship and Central Kitsap’s Brittany Kwon was the individual winner with a two-day score of 139 at Hawks Prairie in Lacey.
Mt. Spokane’s Tessa VanWert (185) tied for 40th.
Clarkston’s boys finished ninth at Liberty Lake behind Brady Everett (166, 26th) and Mike Iacobelli (167, 29th). Cheney’s Thomas Baycraft (162) shared 16th. Lynden’s Jordan Medcalf (147) won the individual title and Ridgefield claimed the team title.
West Valley’s Alyssa Amann (94-82) was the top area girls placer (18th) at MeadowWood. Sammamish won the state title. Ellensburg’s Kathryn Crimp took individual honors.
Newport captured fourth place behind Nick Mackey (159, ninth) and Ben Krogh (166, 15th). Seattle Academy earned the state title. Charles Wright Academy’s Gyan Baines finished first with a 150 at Olympia Country Club.
Deer Park’s Amy Selanders finished tied for 14th after rounds of 84 and 91 at Tumwater Valley. Emersyn Walker (69-72) led Charles Wright Academy to the state championship.
Colfax finished second with 31 points, 10 behind champion Crosspoint at Tumwater Valley. The Bulldogs’ Bennett Gray was fourth with a 36-hole score of 153 and teammate Augie Allenbach (159) was eighth.
Davenport’s Kristof Panke (152) finished third, eight shots behind first-place Blake Kukula of Ilwaco.
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