Cowboys fourth at regionals
The Crook County Cowboys played possibly their best golf tournament of the season at the Special District 1 Regional Tournament, shooting two of their best three rounds of the year.
"It went pretty well for us," Crook County head coach Zach Lampert said. "We had some good rounds and some bad ones, but I think it was two of our best scores of the year, so that was encouraging."
However, at the end of day two of the event, which was held in Banks, the Cowboys were on the outside looking in.
Although they were the top Tri-Valley Conference team in the tournament, the Cowboys finished in fourth place, failing to qualify for state.
Cowapa League teams Valley Catholic, Scappoose and Seaside swept the top three places in the tournament.
The Cowboys finished fourth, followed by Banks, Astoria, Molalla, Tillamook, Corbett and Gladstone.
Valley Catholic ran out to a 22-stroke lead on day one and were never headed as they finished with a two-day total of 634.
Scappoose finished with a score of 669, while Seaside totaled 684.
The Cowboys posted scores of 369-368 to finish with a two-day total of 737, 13 shots ahead of fifth-place Banks.
"We knew going in that we were a ways behind the top three," Lampert said. "But we wanted to give ourselves a chance in case one of them stumbled. We were the lowest scorer of our league, so we were happy with that and will take it as a learning experience."
Brodie Kuizenga led the Cowboys, finishing 12th overall, shooting rounds of 98-77 — 175.
According to Lampert, Kuizenga would have been in contention for a possible state tournament berth if not for two holes on Monday, an 11 on the ninth hole and a 10 on 17.
Kuizenga hit the water on his second shot on the ninth hole, then dropped on a down slope before hitting three more balls into the same water hazard.
He recovered to play well the remainder of the day, until the 17th hole.
Then on Tuesday, Kuizenga rebounded to shoot the best round of his career.
Hogan Smith also had a solid tournament, placing 15th overall with rounds of 86-90 — 176.
Rounding out the scoring for the Cowboys were Tannon Joyner 88-104 — 192, Trenton Brinkley, 97-97 — 194, and Cayden Lowenbach, 99-109 — 208.
The Cowboys have their entire roster back next season and hope to be improved. However, with the team moving up to Class 5A, there is still no guarantee that they will qualify for state.
"We will be moving up, so we are going to have tougher competition, but we should be getting a lot better too," Lampert said. "I think that this team as a group should improve together and advance along together and have a chance to be pretty darned good in another year or two."