Mt. Hood Conference boys golf district tourney ends in three-way tie
Barlow's Ethan Hoover didn't have all the shots in his golf bag Tuesday, but he had enough to climb the leaderboard.
Hoover made an eagle at the second hole, a birdie at No. 16, and shot a round of 1-over-par 74 Tuesday for a two-day total of 157, finishing tied with David Douglas' Andrew Barker and defending champion Nick Lasko of Clackamas for medalist honors at the Mt. Hood Conference boys golf championships at Glendoveer East Golf Course in Portland.
Barker closed with a round of 2-over 75, Lasko shot an 81, and Central Catholic's Logan Kelly shot 77 — the only other golfer to break 80 in the second round — and finished one stroke off the pace at 158.
First-day leader Thomas Gray of Central Catholic followed up his opening-round 74 with an 85 and finished fifth at 159.
In the team race, Central Catholic went from two shots down to first-round leader David Douglas at the start of Tuesday's play to even through the first nine holes, before pulling away on the back nine to win by 14 strokes, 645-659.
Clackamas, the three-time defending league champions, finished third at 674, and Barlow was a distant fourth at 717.
Hoover, Barlow's big, long-hitting junior, started the day nine shots off the lead, but got things turned around when he hit his drive a good 300 yards-plus at the 533-yard, par-5 second hole.
"I was on the downslope about halfway down the hill," Hoover said. "The yardage marker said it was 200 yards to the hole, but I knew it wasn't going to play that long.
"So, I hit a little 7-iron and played it about 175-ish, I ended up being pin high and just to the right around 18 feet, and I made the putt."
At No. 16, the 339-yard par-4, Hoover drove his tee shot in the right, green-side bunker, popped a sand wedge onto the green about 12 feet past the pin, and made the putt coming back to move to 1-over for the round and 11-over for the tournament.
"There wasn't much to today's round," Hoover said. "The course was playing a lot easier for me today. There were a few tough pins, but it could be that it felt easier because I was playing better.
"It's fun being co-medalist, but I know I could have put up a lot better number for the two days, and I'm sure Nick and Andrew feel the same way. But I played pretty well today."
Fairways and greens
Barker, the David Douglas junior, was thrilled that the Scots were leading the team race after Monday's first round, but felt he hadn't done his "fair share" after opening with an 82.
"I was like, 'You know what, I'm going to go do this for my teammates and just hang in there and see what I can do to help us all out,'" Barker said. "I didn't really pay attention to where I was coming into today. I just went out to play good golf and thought, 'Let's see what happens.'
"I hit the ball relatively well on Monday, so I thought if I could just hit the ball a little bit better and get a few putts to go in, good things would happen. It ended up being exciting."
Barker made the first of his two birdies on the day at the 156-yard, par-3 third hole, which was playing closer 130 yards for Tuesday's round. He hit a knock-down 9-iron to within 2 feet of the hole and made the putt.
His other birdie came at the 408-yard, par-4 11th hole when he hit a 6-iron from 170 yards out to about 11 feet and made that.
If he could have held it together coming home, he probably would have won the tournament outright, but he stumbled twice.
"I kind of choked," Barker said. "I was 1-under through 13 and then I double No. 14 and I bogeyed No. 15. It wasn't the finish I was looking for, but, all in all, I hung in there."
Lakso, the defending league champion from Clackamas, was only two shots off the pace at the start of Tuesday's round, but joined several of the other early front-runners in backing up to the field on day two.
Lasko made a 4-foot putt for birdie at No. 6, a 10-footer for birdie at No. 14, and 3-footer for birdie at No. 15, but everything else was a struggle.
"I didn't have my best swing out there and I didn't have the best feel for the greens, and the greens were pretty inconsistent both days," Lasko said. "Just a lot of factors that kind of killed the confidence a little bit. It was a battle out there, for sure.
"I definitely would have liked to have hit as many greens as I did Monday when I hit 16 out of 18. If I could have done that, I think I would have given myself more opportunities to make birdies."
Lasko's round hit a major speed bump at No. 10 when his tee shot clipped a tree and the ball kicked 30 yards right into a patch of dried-out rough. From there he chunked the ball back toward the fairway into thick rough, then hit into a green-side bunker, needed two shots to get on the green, then two-putted for a triple-bogey 7.
"That was a good example of me getting unlucky," Lasko said. "If the third shot would have carried a foot further, it would have cleared the bunker. Instead, it hit the bunker and rolled down in front of this pile of sand that was about two inches tall right behind it.
"There's not much I can do about things like that. I just tried to move on and make up for those shots as best as I could."
Lasko, Barker, and Hoover were ranked first, second, and third, respectively, in the league's individual points race heading into the district tournament, so Lasko and Barker earned the Mt. Hood's two automatic individual berths into the May 13-14 OSAA Class 6A state tournament at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.
Hoover has another chance to qualify for state at next Tuesday's Mt. Hood Conference/Three Rivers League regional qualifier at the OGA Course in Woodburn where six teams — Barlow, Clackamas, David Douglas, Lakeridge, Tigard, and West Linn — will vie for two other team berths and two other individual spots to state.
Centennial's Sam Schuhl (80-84-164) and Jacob Schuhl (86-85-171), and Sandy's Lane Conger (91-86-177) and Devin Pedro (95-87) also advanced to Tuesday's regional tournament.
Lasko was recognized as the Mt. Hood Conference's player of the year for the second season in a row and was joined on the all-league first by Barker, Hoover, Central Catholic's Gavin Swartley, and Gray.
Second-team honors went to Evan Inglesby of Barlow, Sam Schuhl of Centennial, Matthew Bollie of David Douglas, Alex Lasko of Clackamas, and Logan Kelly of Central Catholic. The league's sportsmanship award went to David Douglas' Max Chubare, while David Douglas' Tyler Sutterthwaite was named coach of the year.
Mt. Hood Conference district championships
at Glendoveer East Golf Course, Portland
Monday-Tuesday, April 29-30
Team scores: Central Catholic 326-319-645, David Douglas 324-335-659, Clackamas 339-335-674, Barlow 369-348-717, Centennial incomplete, Reynolds incomplete, Sandy incomplete.
Individual scores (Par: 36-37-73)
Andrew Barker, D. Douglas 82-75-157
Ethan Hoover, Barlow 83-74-157
Logan Kelly, C. Catholic 81-77-158
Thomas Gray, C. Catholic 74-85-159
Evan Ingelsby, Barlow 80-81-161
Joel Scheetz, D. Douglas 79-82-161
Gavin Swartley, C. Catholic 84-78-162
Sam Schuhl, Centennial 80-84-164
Alex Lasko, Clackamas 85-82-167
Matthew Bollie, D. Douglas 78-90-168
L.Cooney/M.Matterazzo, C. Catholic 82-82-169
Kalen Beggs, C. Catholic 88-82-170
Cal Milligan, Clackamas 88-82-170
Jacob Schuhl, Centennial 86-85-171
Jake Cochran, D. Douglas 85-88-173
Lane Conger, Sandy 91-86-177
Max Chubare, D. Douglas 91-92-183
Devin Pedro, Sandy 95-87-182
Kellen Akers, Clackamas 94-90-184
Hunter Johnson, Clackamas 90-94-184
Jojo Guzman, Reynolds 97-91-188
Gage Miller, Barlow 96-98-194
H.Stotts.J.Knifong, Barlow 110-97-207
M.Bratcher/A.Lowery, Barlow 110-104-214
Cole Debois, Reynolds 124-111-235
Ryan Webb, Sandy 127-122-249