For a second straight week, The Dalles and Hood River boys golf teams battled over 18 holes, with the Eagles coming out on top but with the Riverhawks closing the gap on their Gorge rival.
The most recent competition was April 19 in a five-team tourney at The Dalles Country Club. Hood River won with a 381, followed by The Dalles at 392; La Grande was third at 407, followed by Seaside (418) and Pendleton (476).
“I’m really proud of our team for getting second place, particularly since they’re such young players who were competing in just their second high school tournament,” said The Dalles Coach Dan Telles. “They come out to practice every day so that they can try to get better, and they performed as well as I could expect them to. They’re improving every week. This is quite a bit different than coming out to a course and playing with your mom and dad. There’s a lot more pressure on them to do well when they’re playing in a tournament.”
Course conditions affected the play. “We did not play to our potential as a team, but there are a few things that contributed, I think,” HRV Coach Erin Mason said. “The course conditions are a little rough right now, due to lack of water during prime season and some construction around the course to do improvements. They are doing some great upgrades that will make the course better in the future.
“Coach Telles, understanding this condition, made this a preferred lie tournament for all the players.”
Despite the win, Mason, ever the perfectionist, was looking for areas his linksters could improve. “Overall, we played OK; it was a win in the end but there are many things we can improve on,” he said. “The main thing is course management and shot selection when in trouble on the course. We averaged over bogey golf in this contest and that’s not acceptable as I know our potential is much lower. I take the course conditions into account, as well.”
Curtis Kunde of Seaside won the match with a 77, followed by HRV’s duo of Ren Tappert (81) and Dylan Santee (86). The Dalles took the next two spots; Joseph Codding shot 87 and Spencer Taylor 90. The 87 was a personal best for Codding, who birdied the par-5 second hole. Taylor’s 90 also was a personal record.
Mason said he is pleased with his team’s progression. “Overall, I am happy with our progress. There are always a few hiccups along the way, and we will power through it. I was happy to get Charlie Wilson and Jake Beukelman out there, as well, today on the JV side. I think it’s great to get them some match-style competition.”
Codding, who has been playing golf since age 10, said he wants more this season than to simply beat his personal best. “I’ve only had two tournaments so far, so it’s not too hard to beat my personal best score. I’m trying to get much lower scores though and I’m hoping to shoot in the 70s range by the end of the season. That’s the goal I’ve set for myself and I’m hoping to reach that point. “It’s a joy to be out on the golf course because there’s lots of great people out there who are really fun to be around.”
The Dalles scoring foursome also included sophomores Kenneth Miller, who shot 105, and Chase Sam, who shot 110. The Dalles and Hood River were scheduled to play April 26 at Indian Creek in Hood River (result was after the printed edition deadline). Their next event is May 3 at 10 a.m. at The Golf Course at Birch Creek in Pendleton.
A Class 5A Intermountain Conference District Tournament or possibly an unofficial state tourney is tentatively scheduled for May 17 at the conclusion of the season, known as Culminating Week. Details of that event have not been finalized and a site has yet to be determined, but it could possibly be at Indian Creek Golf Course, Hood River.