Just a couple of weeks into the high school golf season, it already appears that the battle for the boys’ league championship is coming down to a two-team competition between Chewelah and Lakeside.
In their first meeting of the new season, the Cougar boys lost to Lakeside by 28 strokes at Deer Park. However, at last Friday’s Chewelah Invitational Tournament, the Cougars lost to the Eagles by a mere four strokes. With time to practice on their home course, the Cougar boys hope to beat the Eagles in their upcoming encounter this Wednesday.
The Chewelah Golf and Country Club finally opened on Friday, and that was the first opportunity that the Cougars were able to play on their home course.
“The golf team finally had a few matches this past week,” said Coach Brian Harting. “Due to poor weather before spring vacation, the rest of the season will be jammed into a three week time period.”
On Monday, April 9, the Chewelah boys’ team traveled to Deer Park for their first match of the season.
“We finished in fifth place out of the 20 teams participating with a score of 423,” reported Harting. “We were led by freshman Clint Long with a 79. Matthew Chalmers shot 84, Dylan Long 85, Nic Grimm 86, Josh Olson 89, and Zach Richmond 89.
“I was pleasantly surprised that the boys played so well since our golf course wasn’t open yet, and we hadn’t had a chance to chip and putt at all. Clint played a great first match and his low score will motivate the upperclassmen to really work hard on their game.”
On Wednesday, April 11, the Cougar girls’ and boys’ teams traveled to Lakeside to play the first league match of the season.
The Chewelah girls were unable to field a full team as a couple of players were unable to attend. Individually, the Lady Cougars had four girls participate, with two of those girls playing their first varsity matches ever.
“All of the girls had a tough time with the small greens at Sundance,” said Harting. “Again, with very little opportunity to practice on the area around the greens, it was difficult for them to get the ball very close to the pin.
Morgan Farrington led the team with a score of 121, followed by Hannah Johnson with a 125, Savanah McMillan 127, and Amanda Pugh 146.
“I’m looking forward to getting the girls some practice time now that our course is open,” Harting said, “and I’m sure we can improve all their scores by quite a bit.”
The Cougar boys finished second to Lakeside with a score of 423. Lakeside shot 395 and Colville had 493.
Junior Josh Olson led the team with a 77, Dylan Long came in close behind with an 80, Clint Long 82, Zach Richmond 88, Matthew Chalmers 96, and Nic Grimm 97.
“Along with the small greens, Sundance is pretty narrow,” explained Harting, “and a couple of the boys had trouble finding the fairway off the tee.
“Josh improved quite a bit with his distance control. On Monday he was hitting the ball well, but he had a bit of trouble with yardages. He is hitting it so much farther this year, that I’m not sure he’s trusting the club just yet.”
Last Friday, April 13, the Cougar boys hosted their annual invitational tournament.
“This was the first day our home course was open,” said Harting, but 22 teams and 115 golfers traveled to Chewelah from as far away as Warden, Moscow, and Rossland, BC.
“We finished second, just four strokes behind Lakeside. We closed the gap from Wednesday, but couldn’t quite catch them.”
Olson was Chewelah’s low scorer again with an 80. Chalmers played his best round of the year shooting an 81. Dylan Long had an 83, Richmond 84, Clint Long 87, and Grimm 98.
“It was good to see them play well on their home course,” commented Harting. “Even though it was a short week of practice with the three matches, I can see them starting to find their rhythm from last summer.
“Matthew was very consistent on Friday, and Zach had a great 38 on the back nine here, which is a much more difficult nine holes than the front. Dylan has yet to be our top scorer, but he has the best average after three matches.”
This week the schedule is packed again. The girls travel to Deer Park on Monday. Both teams go to Stoneridge on Wednesday for the second league match of the season. On Friday, they drive to Pullman for a make-up match. Then, on Saturday they go up to Colville for their tournament.
Team scoring – 1, Lakeside 324. 2, Chewelah Blue 328. 3, Moscow 330. 4, Mead 331. 5, Rossland, and Chelan 334. 7, North Central 343. 8, Lewis & Clark 350. 9, Pullman 358. 10, Shadle Park and Warden 361. 12, Rogers 366. 13, Ferris 370. 14, Deer Park 372. 15, Colville and Mt. Spokane 376. 17, Okanogan 398. 18, Freeman 405. 19, University 405. 20, West Valley 408. 21, Chewelah White 460, Newport, and Omak no score.
Northeast A League Match
At Sundance Golf Course
Team scores – Lakeside 395, Chewelah 423, Colville 493, Freeman and Newport no score
Individual results – Newcomb (Lakeside) 75, Swanger (Lakeside) 76, Tyler Olson (Chewelah) 77, Anderson (Newport) 78, Dylan Long (Chewelah) 80
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff