Two days after setting a season-low score at the Cowapa district tournament, the Seaside boys golf team shot a season high in the state preview event Wednesday at Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell.
Marist continues to be the favorite to win the 4A state title, as the Spartans again topped the Gulls by 20 strokes.
Marist won the tournament with a 328 team score, with Seaside a distant second at 348. Valley Catholic was third (353), followed by Woodburn (360) and Oregon Episcopal (365). Eight other schools took part.
The Spartans put up a number that should have given the Seagulls a chance, but the Gulls had a day to be forgotten on the tough Emerald Valley course, said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch.
“This should be a good learning experience for us,” he said. “First, we learned that the course needs to be carefully played to score well. Carson (Kawasoe) did that today and Samson (Sibony) did on the front nine.
“On this course you can score on the front nine, then you battle to hold on on the back. We started on the back today and I think it just crushed some kids’ spirits by the time they got to the front. Not just our kids, but the field in general.”
In addition, Poetsch said, “we also learned that Marist can be beat. Take away Curtis (Kunde) shooting 12 strokes over his average, Connor (Merrell) losing 12 strokes to lost balls, and four of our guys shooting their worst score of the year, and we should win this tournament.
“Fortunately, this was a preview and not the real thing. Hopefully we qualify next week (at regionals) then we can come back for some revenge on this course.”
Kawasoe finished second individually with a 76, including a one-under-par on the second nine. Sibony had a 39 on the second nine for an 86, followed by Kunde (90), while Merrell and Mason Shamion both shot 96. Marist’s Nick Watts edged Kawasoe by one stroke for medalist honors.
Seaside plays in the regional tournament Monday and Tuesday.