Senior Wildcats end golf careers at state


News-Times editor

Two senior golfers from Oak Harbor High School ended their prep careers this week by playing in the state 4A golf tournaments in the Tri Cities.

Kate Waller played at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, where she tied for 27th. She opened Monday with a first round score of 85, then fell to 91 on Tuesday for a combined 179 strokes. Tournament winner was Renee Skidmore of Cascade who carded a 152. Gonzaga Prep won in the team scoring.

The boys 4A tournament was held at Meadow Springs in Richland. Oak Harbor’s sole entry, Shane Wells, tied for 17th by shooting 76 on day one and 78 on day two.

“I was very proud of him,” said Oak Harbor Coach John Matzen. “He did a little better than what he’s been playing all year.”

Wells’ combined score of 154 tied him for 17th with five other golfers, well above the minimum qualifiers with 172 strokes. Top player for the tournament was Gregg LaVoie of Pasco, who was playing on his home course. He shot 76-71 for a 147 total.

Top boys team at state was Auburn Riverside, followed by Kamiakin and Jackson.

Both tournaments were made more difficult Tuesday by winds that blew over 20 miles per hour. Wells was able to make the right club selections and hold his own in the breeze. He shot 10 over par for the two days with a consistent performance that included 26 pars and 10 bogeys. While he never birdied, neither did he record a single double bogey or worse.

“Shane expected to play well and he did,” said coach Matzen.

The experience was Wells’ third state golf tournament. Although his high school career has concluded, he hopes to play golf next year on the Skagit Valley College team.

On the girls’ course, Oak Harbor’s Waller started the first day well when she shot 40 on the front nine, but then she slipped to 45 on the back nine. Her 85 was good enough to make the cut which required an 88 or better.

On day two, Wells’ score ballooned to 95.

“It wasn’t what she expected but Canyon Lakes is a difficult golf course,” said Coach Scott McPhee. “Dust was flying everywhere. It was pretty nasty.”

Camille Merritt, a sophomore, accompanied Wells to the state tournament. She scored 95 in her first and only round. “It was her first time and she learned a lot,” said McPhee. “She knows what she needs to do next year.”

While Wells hoped to do better, she enjoyed the experience in Kennewick, according to her coach. “She’s such a great kid it didn’t get her down,” he said.

With here golf career as a Wildcat at an end, Wells is looking forward to playing next year on the golf team of Carlisle College in Minnesota.

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