Greller paces Tigers at 6A golf championships
Ray Greller is a grinder.
CORVALLIS -- Following a relatively disappointing first day at the Class 6A golf state championships, the Newberg sophomore returned for the second day and knocked seven strokes off his score to lead the Tigers with a top-25 finish at Trysting Tree Golf Club.
"I have to tell a lot of my kids what they need to practice on. Ray knows what he needs to practice on," Newberg coach Ron Quant said. "He just goes and does it. If he didn't putt well or hit well, he'll be on the practice green. That's who he is. He knows what areas he needs (to improve on)."
After shooting a 78 in the opening round on the par 72 course, Greller matched or improved his score on all but one hole in the second round, shooting a 71 for a two-day score of 149, placing him 23rd overall in the individual standings. The seven-stroke improvement was the best among Newberg's golfers, four of whom shot better on the second day to help the Tigers finish 14th overall with a team score of 653.
"He's a grinder on his game," Quant said of Greller. "He works hard. It's fantastic to have a leader like this in his stage of life."
It was the third straight post season appearance for the Newberg High boys golf program, which made its state championship debut in 2019 and followed with a trip to the culmination tournament last year and winning the Pacific Conference title this spring.
And while the Tigers finished at the bottom of the standings at the two OSAA events in 2019 and 2022, Quant celebrates all the effort that has gone into making the program ascend to a tournament regular over the past half decade.
"Our parents have been unbelievable," Quant said. "Tim Burke, the athletic director, has really helped with backing the golf program. My assistant coaches, most of whom are volunteers. I've got Dave Porter, who is a PGA professional at Pumpkin Ridge for many years, is one of our volunteers. Mark Brown, who is going to be the AD at Newberg, has been out as a volunteer assistant. I'm lucky to get these guys, they've helped out tremendously."
Greller joined the program in the midst of the Tigers' rise, winning the individual district title as a freshman in 2021 and placing 61st with a score of 84 at last year's culmination tournament at Stone Creek Golf Club in Oregon City.
With a second year under his belt, the sophomore improved on his freshman campaign, shooting a career-best 69 in the final match of the regular season and coming two strokes shy of matching the score at Trysting Tree.
"I don't want to call him a golf addict, but he loves the game. I don't think he missed a single volunteer off-season session, except for one lab," Quant said. "In golf, you get out what you put into it and Ray is reaping that right now."
Greller opened the tournament on the first day with five consecutive pars before scoring a double bogey on the par 3 sixth hole. He recovered to shoot plus-one on his next seven holes before tallying two bogeys and a double bogey in three of his final five holes to finish tied for 33rd in the standings.
The second day, Greller opened on the 10th hole with a birdie and played even par across all 18 holes. His 27 pars across both days led the field, and his seven-stroke improvement tied for the 11th-best jump in the standings.
Elsewhere for the Tigers, senior Logan Chadwick finished his high school career with a two-day score of 164 (84, 80), tied for 67th overall.
"Logan has really come on this year," Quant said. "I've been telling him since his freshman year that he can play varsity level. Now he's finding out that he can do it."
Junior Palmer Thompson followed with a 167 (80, 87) to finish tied for 77th, while fellow junior Drew Harris was just behind at 175 (89, 86) to place tied for 84th.
"Palmer may have the most talent on the team," Quant said. "I think Palmer has another step that he can take.
Flannigan, a freshman, rallied from a plus-20 score on the first day to finish in 86th at 176 (91, 85).
"There's no doubt that Liam's going to be a really good player and I like his work ethic," Quant said.
Summit High School won the team championship with a score of 552 (280, 272), finishing 39 strokes ahead of runner-up Tigard at 591 (302, 289). The Storm were the lone team to finish below par as a team.
Summit placed four of its golfers within the top seven, led by individual state champion Brody Grieb, who shot eight-under 134 (65, 69) to best Mountainside's Collin Hodgkinson 135 (67, 68) and teammate Sam Renner 136 (70, 66).
Zielsdorf leads Newberg girls
EUGENE -- Gabbi Zielsdorf tied for 57th at the Class 6A girls state championships at Emerald Valley Golf Club May 16-17.
The Newberg sophomore played relatively even across two days, shooting a 98 in her opening round, followed by a 97 on day two to finish with a final score of 195, 51 over par.
Cleveland senior Kyra Ly led the field with a 14-under 130, winning the state championship by a 16-stroke margin. Jesuit placed first in the team standings with a score of 649 (322, 327).
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