Tigard boys triumph at regional golf tourney
WOODBURN — Their season was on the line.
But that didn't seem to bother the Tigers. After all, they were confident — very confident.
And, as it turned out, they were confident for a good reason.
The Tigard High School boys golf team claimed a berth to the Class 6A state tournament by storming to victory at the Special District 2 regional tournament, held Tuesday at the OGA Course.
"We had an overflow amount of confidence," Tigard senior Abel Rodriguez said after the tournament. "We knew we had the top team."
"We knew we'd win," Tigard junior Kai Alexander said with a smile.
"We did it for the team," Tigard junior Zane Friesen said. "We didn't want this to be the seniors' last match."
The top two teams at Tuesday's regional event, which included three teams from the Three Rivers League and three teams from the Mt. Hood Conference, as well as the top five individuals, who are not part of the top two teams, advance to play at the Class 6A state tourney, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell.
Tigard earned its trip to the state tourney by placing first at Tuesday's regional event with a team score of 315 strokes. Central Catholic finished second, and earned the other team berth, with a score of 318.
The Tigers used a balanced attack to get the victory on Tuesday. Senior Nathan Mallory led the way with a score of 78. Rodriguez, Alexander and sophomore Graham Oelke each shot a 79. Friesen had an 89.
"We kept our heads up," Rodriguez said.
"We kept smiling all the time," Mallory added. "We played like we wanted to make every shot count."
The Tigers are now taking high hopes to the state tournament.
"We want to win," Oelke said.
"We're playing to win," Alexander added. "We're going to have to have four scores in the low-to-mid 70s each day."
"We're going to have to take it shot for shot," Friesen said.
Tualatin sophomore Bryce Hatcher earned one of the individual bids to state, shooting a 79 at the regional tournament. Sherwood sophomore Mason Bonn had already garnered a state-tourney berth, qualifying as the No. 1 player out of the Three Rivers League.
Lakeridge sophomore Aaron Buck, West Linn junior Sebastian Hardin, West Linn sophomore Jackson Forsyth and Centennial freshman Sam Schuhl earned the other individual berths to state.
On the girls side at Tuesday's regional tournament, Tigard earned a team berth to the Class 6A state tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis. The Tigers placed second in the team standings at the regional event with a score of 375. Lake Oswego took the top spot, and the other team bid, with a score of 345.
Tigard senior Victoria Gailey, who had already earned a state berth as the top player out of the Three Rivers League, claimed medalist honors at the regional event with a blistering score of 67. She got plenty of help from her Tigard teammates.
Tiger sophomore Kate Cameron shot a 96, freshman Olivia Spyker had a 100, sophomore Maddie Rough carded a 112 and sophomore Emma Grant had a 116.
Tualatin senior Haley Barnard and Sherwood sophomore Ally Plusquellec earned individual bids to the state tournament.
Barnard stepped up to shoot an 88 on Monday, which put her seventh among all players in the tournament. Plusquellec shot a 91 to claim her second straight trip to the state tournament.
Lakeridge freshman Maddie Baker, St. Mary's Academy freshman Halle Richards and Central Catholic senior Clarice Wong earned the other individual bids to state.
Action at the Class 6A girls state tournament will begin at 12:15 p.m. each day. Play at the Class 6A boys state tournament will start at 12:30 p.m. each day.