Golfers try their hand pro golf course

The boys golf team found out what it was like to play on a professional golf course last Friday, and the weather conditions didn’t help.

In an eight team field of 3A and 4A schools, Sweet Home finished seventh in the Junction City Invitational on the Shadow Hills links, a course used on the Nationwide Tour. Sam Waller, who led the Huskies with an 87, was matched in the final pairing of the day with the first and second place golfers by a luck of the draw. Unfortunately, he finished 16 shots behind the leader.

“He wasn’t overmatched,” said coach Tom Horn. “He drove the ball out there with those guys, but he didn’t have the short game to match.”

Waller missed too many five and six foot putts to stay in contention with his 43-44 round. The course wasn’t that much tougher for Waller except for the greens.

“The greens were a bit slick,” stated Waller. “They had some tough pin positions.”

He also wasn’t overwhelmed by his pairing. As a matter of fact, he felt it helped him, watching how the Siuslaw golfer lined up his putts and then working on that technique himself.

“When I play with my brother, he always beats me by a lot,” noted Waller. “I’m always playing with guys better than me. I think it helps me.”

Other scores for the three other Sweet Home golfers were: Kenny Jones, 92; Matt Zollman, 95; and Sean McGuyre, 98. McGuyre’s round was a little deceiving, having suffered through a three water ball hole on a par three for an 11.

In action earlier in the week, both the boys and girls continued to plow through league play.

The girls took fourth in the four team meet at Mallard Creek, losing to Stayton for the first time this year as the Eagles used a new golfer they hadn’t seen before. Chelsea Gagner led the Huskies in their first 18 hole match of the year with a 57-46 (103). She had a 10 on the first par 4 but came back with a birdie on number nine before settling down to consistent play by shooting her second 46 of the year on the back nine.

Oakley Tyler and Lisa Wiens shot their best rounds of the year. Tyler shot a 59-52 while Wiens led the team on the front nine with a 54. A 12 on the par 4 tenth hole cost her a great round as she came home with a 62. Abby Knight was the Huskies fourth scoring golfer with a 119.

“I’m looking for the girls to have a good week,” said Horn, noting the improvement in all the players’ rounds. “They will just start setting higher goals and raise their expectations.”

For the boys, it was a positive turn around as they beat Molalla, their main opponent in league, for the first time, and it was by a resounding 17 strokes. The Huskies, though placing second, were still 27 strokes behind Stayton, one of the league’s two powerhouses. Waller took 4th place with an 83, followed by fifth place finishers McGuyre and Zollman, who both carded 86.

Kenny Jones rounded out the scoring with a 97.

“We’ve been real consistent in our team scores,” said Horn. “We need to all have that one break out round. If they bear down, I think they can get it.”

The boys host at Mallard Creek in league play on Tuesday before competing in the Cottage Grove Invitational at Tokatee on Thursday. The girls’ only match is league play at Santiam on Thursday.