Crook County Cowboys finish fifth at state golf tournament
The Crook County Cowboys couldn't have picked a better time to get hot.
After finishing fourth in the Intermountain Conference regular season, the Cowboy golfers won the regional tournament, earning a trip to state.
Crook County continued their hot streak at the state tournament, shooting two of their lowest rounds of the year and finishing fifth overall in the OSAA Class 5A State Golf Championships, which were held at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis.
"We were fourth in league, and all of a sudden, we caught fire at the end and got fifth at state," Crook County head coach Zach Lampert said. "So that was a good finish for us."
The Cowboys struggled early Monday afternoon in the opening round of the 36-hole tournament. However, they quickly settled down, posting a team score of 342 on the opening day, putting them solidly in fifth place, 14 shots behind Ridgeview, which was third after the opening day.
Crook County shot even better on day two, posting a score of 331, their best score of the year, to finish with a two-day total of 673.
Crescent Valley led wire to wire, easily winning with a score of 307-302—609.
Ridgeview, which was fourth after the opening day, improved to second on day two, posting rounds of 328-316—644. West Albany finished third with scores of 326-325—651.
Corvallis, which was second after the opening day, stumbled on day two, shooting rounds of 325-339—664, but still managed to finish ahead of the Cowboys.
"We would like to have trophied," Lampert said. "That was always one of the goals when you make it to the state tournament, but three of the four teams that we lost to — that's their home golf course. Crescent Valley, West Albany and Corvallis all play at Trysting Tree either all the time or at least once a week, so that was probably a little bit to their advantage. We made up a little bit of ground on Corvallis the second day, but we were just a little bit too far behind."
Ridgeview, which won the Intermountain Conference title, rode the hot shooting of Isaac Buerger to their second-place finish.
After shooting an even-par round of 71 on the opening day of the tournament, Buerger caught fire on day two, firing a four-under-par round of 67.
"Obviously, they were able to ride Isaac, who shot four under the second day," Lampert said. "Buerger is obviously the best player. He had the lowest score in any of the divisions. We don't have a golfer that is capable of shooting that kind of low score, but we were able to hold off those teams that were behind us and actually make that gap a little bigger the second day, so I thought it was a good showing for us."
Crescent Valley's Michael Gray finished second to Burger with a two-day total of 146. Matthew Zaback, also of Crescent Valley, and Aidan Telles of The Dalles tied for third with scores of 148.
The first Cowboy was junior Trenton Brinkley, who tied for 15th overall with rounds of 85-75—160.
"Trenton was the one that came through," Lampert said. "He just got on fire the second day. He had three birdies and had it at even par with four to pay before he bogeyed in. It was pretty cool for him, and he was excited."
Sophomore Hogan Smith was next in for the Cowboys, tying for 18th overall with steady rounds of 83-82—165.
Brodie Kuizenga, a junior, who was the Cowboys No. 1 golfer for most of the season, tied for 24th with scores of 84-85—169.
Sophomore Carlos Sanchez played two of his best rounds of the year, posting scores of 90-91—181 for the two days, good for 46th place. Sanchez counted in the scoring for the Cowboys on day one but did not figure in the scoring on day two.
Cayden Lowenbach was the final Cowboy to play in the tournament, finishing with scores of 96-89—185. Lowenbach tied for 51st in the tournament but did count in the Cowboys' scoring on day two of the tournament.
Senior Addison Peer also traveled to Corvallis with the Cowboys as an alternate but ended up not playing a round.
Although he would like to have earned a trophy this year, Lampert is excited about the possibilities for next season.
Four of Crescent Valley's five golfers graduate this year as does Ridgeview's Buerger. In fact, six of the top 10 golfers from this year will not be back next season.
"That's a lot of firepower ahead of us that is graduating," Lampert said. "Hood River is young like we are, but it is set up so that if we can continue to improve and they are all back next year, there is no reason to think that we can't be right there in the mix. That is definitely going to be one of our goals to start the season."
OSAA Class 5A State Golf Championships
Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis
Team scores — 1. Crescent Valley, 609. 2. Ridgeview, 644. 3. West Albany, 651. 4. Corvallis, 664. 5. Crook County, 673. 6. Churchill, 687. 7. Hood River Valley, 698. 8. Wilsonville, 733.
Medalist — Isaac Buerger, Ridgeview, 71-67—138.
Top 10 — 1. Isaac Buerger, 138. 2. Michael Gray, Crescent Valley, 146. 3. Matthew Zaback, Crescent Valley, 148. 3. Aidan Telles, The Dalles, 148. 5. Seth King, Crescent Valley, 149. 6. Brock Nelson, West Albany, 150. 7. Chase Elliot, Scappoose, 151. 8. Tyler Vassar, The Dalles, 152. 8. Ty Garner, Thurston, 152. 10. Cole Rueck, Corvallis, 153.
Crook County (342-331—673) — Trenton Brinkley, 85-75—160. Hogan Smith, 83-82—165. Brodie Kuizenga, 84-85—169. Carlos Sanchez, 90-91—181. Cayden Lowenbach, 96-89—185.