WARRENTON - The race for the Cowapa League boys' golf title could be a lot closer than first thought.

Heavily-favored Seaside still holds the lead after one round of play as the Gulls fired a 328 team score Monday at the Astoria Golf & Country Club.

But just eight strokes off the pace are the Astoria Fishermen, who took advantage of playing the first round on their home course to fire a 336.

"We were right around our average and Seaside was a little off theirs, so they came back to us," said Astoria coach Dan Foss. "It's close enough where anything can happen. The old classic cliche stands - it's not over 'til it's over."

Final-round action takes place today at Alderbrook Golf Course in Tillamook.

The Gulls - who shot a 309 in last year's opening round - will still be a favorite to lock up the league title, while Astoria will have to hold off third-place Scappoose (344) for second place and a trip to state.

Despite playing the final round on their home course, the Tillamook Cheesemakers will have to make up some serious ground following a first-round 366. Banks is at 374, followed by Rainier at 409.

The individual battle for medalist honors could involve as many as eight players.

There is a four-way tie atop the leaderboard after one round, with Seaside's Sean Hamer and Flynn Jiroudek both carding 79s, as did Dylan Marcum of Tillamook and Marcus Kienlen of Scappoose.

Astoria sophomore Alex Ferber is one stroke back at 80, followed by Astoria's Craig Folgner, who tied his career-best at 81.

The Gulls had a team-high five birdies on the day, two each for Jiroudek and Hunter Solt. Jiroudek birdied No. 2 and No. 6 on his way to an even par 36 at the turn.

Hamer's tee shot on No. 3 landed on top of a ridge, but his second shot came within four feet of the pin leading to his only birdie of the day. Hamer is the defending league champion, following his 72-74-146 round in 2005.

Seaside's Joel Bletscher is at 83 and teammate Chris Huong fired an 87, while Astoria's Johnny Wilson carded an 86, and Fisherman Devan Flukinger took nine strokes off his front nine score for an 89.

"I was pleased with Craig (Folgner's) round today, tying a personal best," Foss said. "Alex Ferber played real consistent; Devan Flukinger's comeback was phenomenal for a freshman; and Johnny Wilson struggled a little, but take out those first three holes and he's right there."


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