Steve Jones couldn’t help but say he was disappointed.
The South Whidbey Falcons boys golfers lost a Cascade Conference match by four strokes to the league-leading Archbishop Murphy Wildcats. The loss put South Whidbey’s conference record at 4-2.
Archbishop Murphy won the match with 394 strokes, while South Whidbey finished second with 398 strokes and Cedarcrest finished third with 414 strokes.
“We didn’t win and it’s very disappointing,” said head coach Jones. “We were outplayed, but we still performed very well.”
The close loss failed to stifle the excitement, as three Falcon golfers turned scores in the 70s and one in the low 80s. South Whidbey senior captain Shane Thompson, emerging from what he called a bad run of golf, finished with a team-low 73 strokes after an 18-hole round, good for a second-place finish overall.
“It feels great to be in control of my game again,” Thompson said. “It’s just really nice for me to know and be confident of where my ball is heading consistently.”
“To a point, it is a good thing to finish second,” Thompson added. “One side of me says that it is great and that I love getting second place and leading the team. But, the other side of me wants to win every match and shoot beyond my expectations, because I know I’m capable of it.”
Falcon junior Harrison Price took third place with a score of 76. Jesse Portillo was in fourth place with 79 strokes. Senior Connor Mock was the Falcons’ fourth-leading scorer and took fifth place overall with 80 strokes.
Archbishop Murphy’s Ryan Fenton, one of the Cascade Conference’s top golfers, finished first with a score of 70.
“Even though we lost, it was still very exciting,” Jones said. “We had three boys shoot in the 70s and one in the 80s. Conditions were fine, a little chilly, but no wind—a fair day for almost everybody.”
Falcons Patrick Parnell and Tyler Nelson’s scores dipped significantly from the top four. Parnell scored a 90 and Nelson a 97. Jones said the difference between the fourth-best team scorer (Mock, 80 strokes) to the fifth-best (Parnell, 90) was one reason the team lost.
“In golf, you have your six varsity golfers and you drop the highest (worst) score,” Jones said. “It is incredibly vital those six golfers have their best rounds. Today they didn’t play their best.”
The Falcons hold first place in the Cascade Conference standings based on total strokes of 1,691. Archbishop Murphy is second at 1,851 and Cedarcrest is third with 2,158, among the conference’s 2A schools.
The week’s two matches would have been better punctuated by a first-place finish Thursday. A home match at Useless Bay Golf & Country Club two days earlier on Tuesday was all about South Whidbey.
For Price, the match Tuesday was the continuation of an already outstanding season.
For Thompson, it may be a sign that he’s getting out of his slump.
They tied for first place at the Cascade Conference match on April 19. Price and Thompson concluded the day with the same score of 67 strokes, which, along with Granite Falls golfer Austin Berg, was a three-way tie for first.
The Falcons finished in first place with a total of 354 strokes through 14 holes (par 59), Cedarcrest finished second with 410 and Sultan finished third with 515 strokes.
Mock finished close behind with a score of 69, and Austin Fields of Coupeville finished fifth overall with a 71.
Cedarcrest and Sultan did not have individual golfers place in the top five. Granite Falls had two golfers and Coupeville had one.
The Falcons play at King’s home golf course against the Knights and the Wildcats of Archbishop Murphy on Thursday, April 28 for a chance to tie their head-to-head matches with the Wildcats.
“It’s a really intense thing between us and Archbishop [Murphy],” Price said. “We constantly acknowledge the team competition.”