Great play, unknown rules liven up week on links for golf teams

Junior Jennifer Pan shoots for par on the third hole at Useless Bay Thursday. Pan is undefeated in North Cascades Conference play this season. - Matt Johnson
Junior Jennifer Pan shoots for par on the third hole at Useless Bay Thursday. Pan is undefeated in North Cascades Conference play this season.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Their games were good this week, but it was the little things that affected the result on the course for the South Whidbey boys and girls golf teams.

On Thursday, the Falcon girls -- in their first North Cascades Conference playoff match of the season -- dropped a matchup against Mount Baker they would have won but for an obscure rule.

Though junior Jennifer Pan maintained her NCC unbeaten status with a 91-stroke round of 18 at the meet at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club, the team's third-best golfer, Hailey Mansfield, had rules trouble that disqualified her 105-stroke day. Mansfield lost all the balls she took with her on the course, did not finish one hole, but finished the round with a found ball. Her coach, Tom Sage, said she thought the rules of the game prevented her from borrowing a ball from another player. She could have, he said, but even he did not know that until consulting a rule book.

Losing Mansfield's score gave Mount Baker a 576-580 win on the day. Also adding their scores to the South Whidbey total was Adrienne Hawley with a 100, Jessica Johnson with a 119, Nici Eaton with a 126 and Jenna Lindus with a 144. Lindus filled in for an injured Marcie Strong at the last minute.

Earlier in the week, the South Whidbey boys had a better day at Useless Bay. In a nine-team invitational, the Falcons took third place honors behind teams from Kamiak and Snohomish with a team round of 421 for 18 holes.

Sophomore Drew Aernie led the team with a 79 and was followed by Bryan Wilson at 81, Jeff Strong at 82, Reed Dettrich at 88 and Kevin Carter at 91. Nate Saban of Kamiak was the medalist with a 75.

On Thursday, the tournament warm up paid off for the boys at Lake Padden Golf Course. In the first round of NCC playoffs, they beat Blaine 403-453 in a four-way meet that was never in doubt. Shooting in the low 80s or below, the Falcons were untouchable. Strong led the way with a 77, with Wilson close with a 78. Dettrich had a round of 80 on the day, Carter an 83 and Aernie an 85.

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