Even though one league tournament remains, the Cowboys have already cinched up the Intermountain Conference title.

PMG PHOTO: LON AUSTIN - Crook County's Tucker Bonner tied for medalist honors last week, shooting an 87 at Indian Creek in Hood River to help the Cowboys secure the Intermountain Conference league championship.Despite winning a state golf championship in 2016 and finishing fifth in 2019, Crook County High School head boys golf coach Zach Lampert had never won a league title — that is, until now.

On Monday the Crook County Cowboys wrapped up the Intermountain Conference boys golf championship. The Cowboys earned the title despite the fact that there is still one more IMC boys golf tournament left to play.

The Cowboys have amassed 30 team points with one tournament left to play. The Dalles is in second place with 19 points, while Redmond is currently tied at 12 points with Ridgeview. Rounding out the scoring is Hood River Valley with nine points and Pendleton with six.

Teams earn 10 points for a tournament victory, seven points for second, five for third, four for fourth, three for fifth, and two points for second.

"It's my first league title," Lampert said. "Even when we won state, we got second at district. We wrapped it up. We have 30 points and The Dalles has 19. You get 10 for winning, so we are good no matter what."

The league championship means that the Cowboys do not have to attend the regional tournament and are automatically qualified for the state tournament, which will be held at Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis later this month, May 16-17.

Crook County had dominated the first two IMC tournaments, winning each one easily. On Monday, April 25, it was more of the same as the Cowboys finished 12 shots ahead of second-place The Dalles at a league tournament held at Indian Creek Golf Course in Hood River.

Crook County finished with a team score of 363 at Indian Creek. They were followed by The Dalles (375), Redmond (380), Ridgeview (417), Hood River Valley (423), and Pendleton, which failed to have a complete team finish the event.

Crook County senior Tucker Bonner tied with Kenneth Miller of The Dalles to earn medalist honors with a round of 87. Teammate Alex Iverson finished third with a round of 89, while Palmer Smith — who has led the Cowboys all season — finished sixth with a score of 92. The final Cowboy to count in the scoring was Lucas Teskey, who finished ninth with a round of 95. Jesse Wood also competed for the Cowboys, finishing with a round of 103.

In addition, Beau Parker — who has been on the CCHS varsity team most of the season but was recently replaced by Wood — actually shot the lowest round of the day, posting a score of 85 competing as an individual.

"I was worried not having him in the lineup," Lampert said of playing other golfers ahead of Parker. "I had a feeling he might play well there. But I had to be fair to the kids that had been beating him. Both Teskey and Wood beat him the last two tournaments and a qualifier, so he didn't make the top five and played as an extra."

Lampert added that if Smith can get down around 80, and if everyone else play at the same level they did on Monday, that the team should be competitive at the state tournament.

Not only have the Cowboys dominated the team scoring at the IMC events, they are also in control of the individual scoring. With one event remaining, Smith is leading the league with 73 points, while Bonner is third with 59 points and Iverson fourth with 55 points. Despite only counting in the scoring in two of the three tournaments contested so far, Parker is tied for eight in the individual scoring with 25 points.

The Cowboys played at The Dalles Country Club on Monday, May 2, in the final IMC tournament of the year. Following that, the team hosts a Central Oregon tournament at Widgi Creek Golf Club in Bend today, May 3, with tee times scheduled to begin at 1:20 p.m. Today's tournament is Crook County's final scheduled tournament before state.

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