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The Bowmen are taking aim at a strong showing at the Class 6A state championships

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Sherwood High School junior Mason Bonn watches his drive on hole No. 18 during play at Monday's Pacific Conference tournament.BANKS — Another tournament, another impressive win for the Sherwood High School boys golf team.

And the Bowmen are looking for even bigger and better things down the road.

Sherwood stayed perfect in Pacific Conference tournament play by taking the top spot at the conference event held Monday at Quail Valley Golf Course.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing how the team can do at state this year," said Sherwood junior Mason Bonn, who claimed medalist honors at Monday's tournament. "We've got a lot of potential. The past few years, we've had potential but haven't been able to follow up on it. This year, we're playing really well."

"It's been good," Sherwood sophomore Jackson Bensel said. "I think we have a really good team this year, and I think we'll be even better next year."

The Bowmen took the top spot at Monday's conference tournament with a team score of 305 strokes, easily putting Sherwood ahead of second-place Newberg, which had a score of 333.

Bonn led the way for the Bowmen at the tournament. He took first place in the individual standings with a one-under-par round of 71.

"It was a good day out there," he said. "I started well. The last few tournaments I started well. I had a good front nine. I struggled a little bit on the back nine, but I birdied 17 to bring it back some."

Bonn started off strong, setting the tone for the day by shooting a birdie 3 on the par-4 hole No. 1.

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Sherwood High School sophomore Jackson Bensel putts during action at Monday's Pacific Conference boys golf tournament."It was good to get momentum early, get off to a good start and get the right mindset," Bonn said.

He also birdied hole No. 6, and ended up shooting a two-under-par 34 for the front nine holes. Bonn carded a one-over-par 37 on the back nine, but got a birdie on No. 17 to finish strong.

"My irons were pretty good," Bonn said of his round. "I hit a lot of greens in regulation and I had some good par-saves."

Sherwood sophomore Colby Fox had a round of 74, putting him in a tie with Newberg's Simon Luedtke for second place in the individual standings.

Bensel carded an 80, putting him in a tie with his Sherwood teammate, senior Cade Dovenberg, for fifth place in the individual standings.

"It was a tough day," Bensel said. "I couldn't get much done today. I couldn't make a put."

Senior Nate Howes had a round of 91 for the Bowmen on Monday.

Sherwood, which also took first place at each of the previous four conference tournaments, has all but clinched the Pacific Conference championship. And, while skill on the course has been key for the Bowmen, there has been another factor to their success this season.

"We get along really well as a team, and that helps," said Bonn, who has a huge lead in the race for the Pacific Conference individual season championship. "We all root for each other. We're having a lot of fun."

"The fun we have, and the connection behind it all, that really helps," Bensel said. "When we're having a good time, we feed off that, and we bring it to the tournament and that helps."

Sherwood has also all but clinched the conference's automatic bid to the Class 6A state tournament.

Bonn has played in the state tournament before (he qualified as an individual last year, and ended up placing 10th), but he's happy to have his teammates going with him this year.

"I'm really excited to go as a team this year," he said. "Having that team camaraderie will be great. It's going to be a lot of fun."

PMG PHOTO: DAN BROOD - Sherwood High School junior Mason Bonn claimed medalist honors at Monday's Pacific Conference tournament with a one-under-par round of 71."For me, it's really exciting, because I've never been to state," Bensel said. "I'm excited to see what this team can do there."

The Class 6A boys golf state tournament will be held May 13-14 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.

"I love Trysting Tree," Bonn said with a smile.

Sherwood will finish Pacific Conference play on Monday with a conference tourney at Rock Creek Country Club.

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