St. Helens boys golfers battle at regionals
The Lions were right there.
The St. Helens boys golf team, competing in the Special District 1 regional tournament at Quail Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday, was right there with the district's best, and just missed winning a berth to the Class 5A state tournament.
In the end, the Lions finished seventh in the field — the top five teams qualified for state, set for May 14-15 at Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell — after shooting 366 the first day and 372 on the second. Those scores marked the Lions' two best team scores of the season.
"We are extremely proud of the way the boys went out and battled in this tournament," said St. Helens coach Clark Lawrence. "We were far from favorites to make it, but the guys played smart, made good swings and had great integrity throughout."
In Tuesday's round, Crescent Valley notched a 316 to finish first, followed by Corvallis at 339, Silverton at 343, Wilsonville at 354, St. Helens at 366 and Woodburn at 371.
In that opening round, junior Alex Cross set the pace for St. Helens with a 15-over-par 87. He was followed by sophomore Tyler Tolleshaug at 90, senior Caleb Carter with a 94 and senior Chase Parkhurst at 95.
On Wednesday, Crescent Valley was even better, shooting 310 to win again and followed this time by Silverton's 327, Woodburn's 347, Corvallis' 348, Wilsonville's 357 and St. Helens' 372.
Carter stepped up on day two of the event with an 87, followed there by teammates Tolleshaug and Cross at 94 and Parkhurst at 97.
Josh Teyema and Liam Tindall teamed up to fill the Lions' fifth slot at regionals.
Cross' "87 was the best round he has shot in his life, and the 94 is not far off his second best," Lawrence said. "He really put in work around the green and got comfortable with his swing at the perfect time."
Regarding Carter, the team's senior leader, Lawrence said "Caleb had a few rough holes on Tuesday, cut most of them out Wednesday, and knows he still left plenty of (shots) out there that he shouldn't have taken, but he battled both days and finished the tournament strong, going 2-under on the last three holes."
Tolleshaug, after taking on a greater role this year and proving his ability to compete at the varsity level, showed promise for years to come.
"He played a very solid tournament for us and will only continue to improve throughout his career," Lawrence said.
Parkhurst also finished his St. Helens career strong, posting two solid, consistent rounds in his last rounds as a Lion.
"He put the effort in both days and really played for the team, limiting mistakes and working around the green to keep small mistakes from turning into big ones," Lawrence added.