Sports

Falcon golfers play through early challenges

Emily Houck and Shane Thompson examine the putting green on the first hole at Battle Creek Golf Course. The match was South Whidbey golf’s lone jamboree with Kamiak and Lake Stevens high schools. - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Emily Houck and Shane Thompson examine the putting green on the first hole at Battle Creek Golf Course. The match was South Whidbey golf’s lone jamboree with Kamiak and Lake Stevens high schools.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Wind howled through the trees and gusted on the greens at Battle Creek Golf Course.

A steady rain kept the balls heavy, the grounds soft and the golfers’ clothes soaked.

But the weather didn’t deter the South Whidbey Falcon golfers from their first competition. Since the match was a jamboree, the three teams played through nine holes.

“I thought they did great,” said Falcon girls golf coach Tom Sage. “They were out there in horrible conditions, and gave it their all.”

“It’s difficult to play golf bundled up,” he added.

South Whidbey competed against Kamiak and Lake Stevens high schools, both Wesco 4A programs.

Sage and the Falcon girls golf program lost five golfers, only two graduated. Others chose to spend the spring doing something else. Sage said his guess was that students need to get jobs during their senior year. That led to new players vying for six varsity spots.

“Any time you get experience, especially when you play with better schools, it helps you,” Sage said.

Given the recent weeks of cold temperatures, rain and wind, South Whidbey’s golfers were prepared. Sage said he offered to let his team leave practice an hour early on Wednesday during a downpour. The team chose to stay, and finished the practice a half-hour later than the scheduled end at 5 p.m.

The scramble format jamboree required a team effort, a bit unusual in the traditionally individualistic game. Players paired up, one boy and one girl from each team. After teeing off, the players decided which ball to continue from.

The scramble style is different from a “best-ball” format, in which both partners play out the hole and score the best stroke.

With the season in its first week, Sage said he couldn’t tell who would emerge as his top players.

“It’s so early in the season that it’s hard to tell,” he said.

Kamiak won the jamboree, South Whidbey finished second and Lake Stevens was third. Kamiak had three consecutive years of state tournament experience from 2007 to 2009. Knights golfer Reid Martin finished the two-day tournament seventh (2007), first (2008) and in 15th place in 2009.

 

 

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