Just like dynamite, great high school golfers can come in small packages. Take Chewelah’s Josh Olson, for example. He may have been one of the shortest players on the course last Tuesday, but the veteran Cougar senior whipped every other golfer from both the Northeast A League and the Caribou Trail League to earn the title of Bi-District Medalist.
Olson toured the 18-hole course at the Chewelah Golf and Country Club in 73 strokes, finishing three strokes ahead of Nate Yockey from Lakeside and Ryder Lewis from Omak, who both shot a 76.
Yockey and Lewis entered Tuesday’s competition as district champions. Yockey won the District 7 title at Sundance the previous week. Likewise, Lewis was the District 6 medalist on the Colockum Ridge course.
So, all five feet, four inches and 120 pounds of Josh Olson beat the best that both leagues had to offer. In addition, he led the Cougar boys to a bi-district golf championship.
“Josh shot a front nine score of 38,” explained Coach Brian Harting, “and he played the back nine holes one under par. He even birdied the par four sixteenth hole.
“Josh was consistent. He finished with 15 pars, two bogies, and one birdie. He has really been working hard on his putting the past week, and it paid off for him. This will be his third trip to the state tournament.”
Accompanying Olson to the state finale in Tacoma will be Clint Long, Matthew Chalmers, Nic Grimm, and Savanah McMillan.
Long shot 86 to finish in eighth place. He shot a 44 on the front nine holes and a 42 on the back nine.
“Clint never seemed to get comfortable on the course,” said Harting. “I’m not sure if it was being a little nervous or just trying too hard. This score is a little high for him and I expect him to bounce back this week. He is a really solid player. This will be his second trip to the state tournament.”
Chalmers also seemed to struggle a little at the beginning of the tournament, according to Harting.
Matthew shot a 46 on the front nine by starting four over par on the first three holes,” explained the Cougar coach. “Then, he settled into a pretty good rhythm and shot par on three of the next four holes. He played the back nine holes much better, shooting 40 with birdies on number 12 and number 16. Matthew has done an extremely good job this season for recovering from difficult starts. He always seems to find a key in his swing that gets things turned around for him. This will be Matthew’s first trip to the state tournament.”
Grimm finished in tenth place with a score of 88.
“Nic also shot 46 on the first nine holes by bogeying three of the first four holes,” said Harting. “He shot a 43 on the back nine with a birdie on the 563-yard par five hole number 13 and then shot even par on three of the last four holes. This will also be the first trip to the state tournament for Nic.
“All four of the boys had better back nine scores, which is kind of strange. I think the back nine here in Chewelah usually plays more difficult than the front nine.”
McMillan finished second in the girls’ division of the bi-district tournament. She will be Chewelah’s lone girl competing at the state finale. It will also be her first time competing on the state level.
“Savanah finished in a tie for second place with a score of 97,” Harting said. “She shot 48 on the front nine and 49 on the back nine. She parred both par threes on the front and the difficult 182-yard par three number 17 on the back. She gained a little distance from the rest of the pack on those three holes.”
In all, 38 boys and 22 girls played the Chewelah course on Tuesday of last week.
This year’s state golf tournament will be played at the Lake Spanaway Golf Course near Tacoma. Golfers played a practice round on Monday. The two-day tournament started on Tuesday. The field was cut in half after the first day and only the remaining golfers played the second half of the tournament on Wednesday.
Boys Team Results
Chewelah 60, Lakeside 46, Omak 29.5, Freeman 22.5, Chelan 21.5.
Boys Individual Results
Josh Olson (Chewelah) 73, Yockey (Lakeside) 76, Lewis (Omak) 76, Cowell (Chelan) 77, Campasino (Lakeside) 83, Anderson (Newport) 85, Raab (Freeman) 85, Clint Long (Chewelah) 86, Matthew Chalmers (Chewelah) 86, Daigneau (Omak) 88, Swanger (Lakeside) 88, Schwint (Quincy) 88, Nic Grimm (Chewelah) 88, Bain (Cascade) 88, McClure (Freeman) 89, Darcy (Freeman) 90, Burchett (Chelan) 91, Larson (Chelan) 92, Rojeski (Lakeside) 92.
Girls Team Results
Chelan 24.5, Okanogan 10. No other school had a complete girls team.
Girls Individual Results
Wiese (Newport) 94, Savanah McMillan (Chewelah) 97, Cooper (Chelan) 97, Bassett (Quincy) 100, Vanderweide (Okanogan) 101, Cooper (Chelan) 103, Jackson (Chelan) 104, Cook (Cascade) 105, Baum (Okanogan) 106, Viehouser (Lakeside) 108, Duff (Omak) 109.
By Geno Ludwig, The Independent Staff
In This photo: Five members of the JHS golf team have advanced to the State golf tournament at Lake Spanaway May 21-22. Pictured are (back row l-r) Clint Long, Nic Grimm, Matthew Chalmers, Josh Olson, (front row l-r) Coach Brian Harting, Savanah McMillan, Assistant Coach Bob McBride. Firnichie McMillan photo