Curtis Kunde, Seaside golfer

Seaside golfer Curtis Kunde, golfing at Gearhart Golf Links in 2019, played well in three tournaments on the Oregon Coast last week.

There was no golf in the spring, but that hasn’t stopped certain Seaside golfers from competing in big tournaments this summer. And doing well in those tournaments.

The latest accomplishments came last week, when a pair of Gulls took part in annual summer youth tournaments.

On a weeklong trip down U.S. Highway 101, Seaside High School senior Curtis Kunde competed in back-to-back events at the Salishan Golf Links and the Florence Golf Links Aug. 17 and Aug. 18, then finished the week at a tournament in Coos Bay.

Competing in the boys age 16-18 division, Kunde finished third overall in the Salishan Junior on Aug. 17, followed by a 10th place finish Aug. 18 in the Florence Junior event.

Kunde capped his week Aug. 20 with a second place showing in the Coos Junior, at the Coos Golf Club in Coos Bay.

Gaige Pilot of Woodland High School in Washington state shot an even-par 72 to win the single day event, just one shot ahead of Kunde.

Both golfers had a one-over par 37 on the front nine, before Kunde birdied the first two holes on the back to take the lead, and still held a two-stroke lead through 14.

But Pilot, who parred six of the first seven holes on the back nine, pulled to within on the 15th, then birdied the last two holes for the win.

Kunde carded a one-over par 73, while Ty Mairs finished a distant third at 83.

In the Salishan Junior on Aug. 17, Kunde opened the day with a double bogey on the first hole, but bounced back with birdies on the fifth and seventh holes for a three-over par 39 on the front nine.

He birdied the 10th hole on his way to another 39 on the back nine for a 78.

Jonathan Scott, a junior at Sprague High School, shot a four-over par 75 to finish first, ahead of Conner Henderson (77) and Kunde, whose 78 was enough to edge Pilot, who shot 79 for fourth.

One day later at the Florence Golf Links, Brock Nelson (junior at West Albany) and Pilot, tied for first with a one-over par 72, while Kunde finished with a nine-over 80 for 10th place.

After a 42 on the front nine, Kunde parred six of the first seven holes on the back nine, and birdied the 18th hole to finish with a 38 on the final nine holes.

Kawasoes compete in Walla Walla

Meanwhile, local golfers were also golfing in the 2020 Northwest Open Invitational, held last week at Wine Valley Golf Club in Walla Walla, Washington.

Amateur Nathan Cogswell of Meridian Valley Country Club won the tournament by one stroke over PGA professional David Phay of Whidbey Golf Club.

A junior at Seattle University, Cogswell carded a 10-under par 134 (68-66), topping the field of 168 golfers.

Ilwaco’s Blake Kukula finished in a nine-way tie for 49th with a 146.

Others in the field included John Thorsnes of the Astoria Golf & Country Club, who finished 107th with a 154; Astoria golf pro John Kawasoe shot a 156 (77-79) in a six-way tie at 121st; and Seaside junior Carson Kawasoe finished 151st with a 164 (84-80).

Gearhart champions

The Gearhart Summer Championships were held late last month.

Division titles were won by Mike Fritz (Men’s Championship); Nic Mulflur (Men’s Livingstone); Gene Stallings (Men’s Egan); Jenny Frank (Ladies Zaharias); and Craig Honeyman (Men’s Old Tom Morris).

Upcoming tournament

Entries are now being accepted for the upcoming Pacific Golf & Turf Pacific Northwest Pro-Am Championship, scheduled for Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 at the Astoria Golf & Country Club.

Astoria hosted this event in 1963, 2010 and 2015. For more information, go

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or

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