Centennial Highs Derek Melvin walked to the final green knowing he needed to sink a birdie putt to win the Mount Hood Conference boys district golf tournament. His ball had rolled to a stop of the front half of the putting surface, while the pin was placed in the back corner. Nothing tricky was in his way, just 25 feet of tabletop grass.
I knew it was make-able. I stepped up with confidence and gave it a good roll to get it to the cup and give myself a chance, Melvin said.
Within seconds his ball disappeared, falling to the bottom of the cup to edge Barlows Joseph Knight by a single stroke for the district crown.
Melvin and Knight separated themselves from the rest of the contenders with an even-par run through the front nine that left them several strokes up on the leader board heading to the finish.
Melvin built a two-shot lead early on the back-nine only to give it away on the 14th hole where he suffered a double-bogey, while Knight sank a birdie putt.
It sounds a bit strange, but that hole freed me up, Melvin said. It relieved some stress, knowing that I had to go on the attack.
That he did with a series of pars on the next three holes, only to see Knight answer with some unlikely shots. Knight chipped in for par on the 15th, and punched out of the trees on the par-5, 17th, eventually lifting a lob shot to within inches of the hole leaving him a tap-in that kept him one stroke ahead walking onto the final tee box.
I was thinking theres no way he makes par on any of those holes but he did, Melvin said. We were matching each other shot for shot.
Melvin finished with a 4-over-par 150 for the tournament, while teammate Dylan Browning was third with a 153.
Barlow advanced to state with a second-place team finish, coming in with a 635 total five strokes behind champion Central Catholic. Knight led the Bruins with a 151, while Dillon Battles came in with a 154 tying him for fourth overall.
St. Marys won the girls tournament with a 637 total, coming in 51 strokes ahead of runner-up Central Catholic. Alison Brennan won the tournament with a 152, and the Blues had three of the top five finishers. Central Catholics Sophia Schiavone and Barlows Shelby Hunt tied for second place with 153s.
View a photo gallery from the boys tournament at daveball.exposuremanager.com.