The OSAA Class 5A Boys Golf State Championships should be wide open this year.
With no state tournament in either 2020 or 2021 due to COVID-19, there are very few individuals competing at this year's state championship with any state tournament experience. As a result, there is no record from previous years to help determine a favorite.
Crook County, which won the Intermountain Conference regular season title, was one of four teams to win league championships, thereby bypassing the regional qualifying tournaments. The remaining league champions are La Salle Prep from the Northwest Oregon Conference, Crater from the Midwestern League, and Corvallis from the Mid-Willamette Conference.
The other state qualifiers, which advanced from the two regional tournaments, are Thurston and North Eugene from the Midwestern League, Wilsonville from the Northwest Oregon League and The Dalles from the IMC.
The Cowboys are taking six athletes to state, although only five can compete in each round of the state tournament. Those athletes are junior Palmer Smith, senior Tucker Bonner, freshman Beau Parker, sophomore Alex Iverson and junior Lucas Teskey. Junior Jesse Wood will go with the team as an alternate and could play on the second day of the tournament.
If there is a favorite to win this year's state championship, it could be Corvallis. Not only did the Spartans win their league championship, the team is composed of five seniors — and the state tournament will be held at their home golf course, Trysting Tree Golf Course in Corvallis.
Other teams to watch for include La Salle Prep, Crater and Wilsonville. Both Crook County and The Dalles could contend for a team trophy, but they will have to have steady performances on both days to compete.
Individuals to watch for at this year's championship include William Koch of La Salle Prep, Caleb Glenn of Scappoose, Ben and Marcus Idiart of Crater, Cole Rueck of Corvallis, Evan Hoobler of Wilsonville, Joe Codding of The Dalles, Peyton Widenmann of Thurston and Crook County's Palmer Smith.
The two-day state championship will begin on Monday, May 16, with Palmer Smith scheduled to tee off at 7:30 a.m. on the 10th hole. The four remaining Crook County golfers are scheduled to tee off at nine-minute intervals following Smith. Crook County is paired with Wilsonville and Thurston for day one of the tournament.
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