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Prep golf: Gonzaga Prep, Tommy Kimmel claim Greater Spokane League titles

Gonzaga Prep picked an opportune time to put it all together.

The defending State 4A champion Bullpups, led by sophomore Tommy Kimmel’s 8-under-par 64, captured the Greater Spokane League boys title with an impressive round Wednesday at Deer Park Golf Club.

G-Prep, which entered the day tied with Central Valley, posted a team score of 19-under 269, believed to be a record in a GSL match. Four Bullpups underclassmen broke par, including Matt McGann’s 66, Hayden Gamache’s 69 and Nate Plaster’s 70.

The Mead girls took home a lot of hardware. Senior Cami Culp closed with a 75 to clinch player of the year honors. The Bloom twins, Charlotte and Libby, made All-GSL first team with freshman Taylor Mularski on the second team.

The Panthers won the GSL title for the first time since 1996.

Kimmel wrapped up player of the year honors with the best tournament score of his young career. He made eight birdies and didn’t come close to a bogey. His longest par putt was a 2-footer on No. 9, his 18th hole of the day.

He had a memorable ball-striking day and took advantage with a number of short birdie putts.

“My wedges were so on point. You can really get it close here with the greens being so soft,” said Kimmel, whose 8-under score in relation to par is believed to be an individual record in a GSL event. “I was hitting my lines all day (on the greens) and my speed was good. I had a lot of tap-ins.”

Kimmel’s worst score in five GSL events was a 73. He finished 6 under in five league matches. He was coming off a birdie-less 78 at Qualchan on Tuesday at the Inland Empire Invite. Plaster and McGann carded 72s with Plaster winning in playoff.

“No birdies yesterday, I saved them all for today,” Kimmel said. “I didn’t have my greatest day, but we got the win (Tuesday) and that’s all that matters.”

Central Valley played well with five players carding scores between 70 and 75. The Bears finished at 293. Senior Riley Hadley posted a 2-under 70.

“I can’t ever remember having five guys shoot 75 or better and not be No. 1,” CV coach Steve Rasmussen said. “As good as I feel about how we did, I’m very impressed and congratulations to Gonzaga Prep.”

The Bullpups and Bears figure to stage two more battles to end the season. The District 8 4A is Monday and Tuesday at MeadowWood with the top three GSL teams (G-Prep, CV and Mead) battling the Mid-Columbia Conference’s top three for three state berths. The state tourney is the following week at Qualchan.

Culp was cruising along before inadvertently hitting playing partner Kami Twining’s ball on No. 15. Instead of having a 6-foot putt for birdie, Culp ended up making par and absorbing a two-stroke penalty.

She bounced back with a couple of chip-and-one-putt pars to finish off her round. G-Prep junior Darby Rickel birdied No. 18 to shoot the day’s low round of 74.

“It’s the best golf day I’ve probably ever had. It doesn’t seem real right now,” Culp said of the individual and team title. “Beside the one little hiccup, I played really good.”

Mead and Lewis and Clark shared first with scores of 322. The Panthers, Tigers and G-Prep advance to districts against the MCC’s top three teams Monday and Tuesday at MeadowWood.

Mt. Spokane and Shadle Park claimed the top two spots in 3A boys and girls. Shadle Park senior Sam Pauly closed out his strong GSL season with a 3-under 69.

Four state berths, two for boys and two for girls, will be up for grabs against MCC counterparts at districts Monday and Tuesday.

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