Spartan golfers run away with state title

A strong trio advances to second-day play, ensuring a high tourney score.

The Spartan golfing quartet of Hans Olson, Jamie Neill, Paul DeBarros and Austin Hurt headed to Spokane’s Creek at Qualchan this week with one goal in mind: come home with the biggest hardware.

Paul DeBarros Austin Hurt and Hans Olson shot within three strokes of each other at 149-150-152, and by advancing three golfers to second-round play and closing strong, the Spartans claimed the state title.

The team total of 77 points was more than enough to hold off Bellingham, who managed 58.5 with their twosome.

The Bainbridge girls, playing across town at the Hangman Valley Golf Course, finished ninth with a 27.5 score, kept close with a first round score of 80 shot by Katie Saucier, good enough for a tie for seventh place.

She had trouble with the wet grounds on the second day finishing 13th, with a two round score of 164. Melanie Trygg finished 94-96-190.

The cool and condensation of Bainbridge Island followed the players over the pass to create playing conditions similar to what the Spartan golfers had experienced over the last month of practice.

Eighty boys teed off Wednesday to test their skills and patience over the birdie-stingy, bogie-happy layout at Qualchan. The cut settled at 78, six over par.

DeBarros and Olson shot three-over 75s and Hurt posted 76 to form a blockade in the middle of the pack in the first round. Neill couldn’t find enough birdies to erase a string of bogies and finished his season with an 83, but only 10 percent of the field bested or tied par.

To be eligible for the team title, each school needed two players to advance to the second and final day. Bainbridge was the only team to send three players on, and became the team to beat.

The golfers were greeted by a steady drizzle Thursday morning as Hurt launched a 300-yard drive off the first tee into the wind, leaving him a 40-yard pitch to the back flag. The birdie putt couldn’t find enough lip to hold it, and so went the day for the rest of the crew.

Hurt did manage to eagle the par-four 10th from the fairway, but couldn’t get anything else to drop and closed with a two-over 74, good enough to place in a tie for the 14th position.

DeBarros followed with another 74, in spite of an almost disastrous 16th hole. He persevered through the nasty double-bogey and a two-putt par from 4 feet on the 17th, finishing with a flourishing birdie on the final hole that placed him all alone in 13th.

Olsen cruised through the front nine in 34 strokes, but had that number reverse itself on the back side to finish with a 77, nailing down the 19th spot. The senior captain ended his Spartan career battling every demon on the course and still managed to break the top 20.

The state championship trophy is the fourth earned by the boys golfers over the long season. The Spartans also won the Metro conference, District 2 qualifying and the Bill Egbers Memorial tournaments to round out the 2004-2005 slam.

Austin Hurt, Paul DeBarros and Jamie Neill return next year to defend the titles, while Hans Olson moves down the coast to St. Mary’s College in California, to replace former BHS golfer Joe Lanza on the Gaels’ roster.

* * * * *

A fine weekend on the links

With the Bainbridge golf teams celebrating their prep state success, it’s time for the adult golfers to set their own good example.

This weekend provides two excellent golf tournaments that benefit worthy causes, in addition to giving local hackers access to the pros.

Today, the first running of the Charles Moriarity Surf ’n Turf Classic gets going at Restoration Point. Providing a picturesque location, the golf links at the Seattle Country Club are rarely opened to the public.

It is organized to benefit the Charles Moriarity Foundation, which offers counseling and adjunct resources for families and patients suffering through cancer.

The event takes advantage of the unique site features and offers a combination of fly fishing and golf foursomes for those who have pre-registered for the tournament, which begins at 9 a.m.

Founded in 1999, the cause of the foundation mirrors the life of the local businessman it is named after, said spokesperson Patricia Hennessey, who will be at the event to ensure all participants and guests are well provided for. Golfers can benefit the foundation by purchasing a mulligan, basically a do-over to make up for a mistake, or go the mercenary route via a hired-gun, a golf pro on the course whose name was not disclosed.

“All for the good cause,” said Hennessey. “It’s about having fun and furthering the mission of the Charles Moriarity Foundation.”

The fun on the links continues all day Sunday with the 14th annual Fred Shaffer Memorial golf tournament, which pits the golf pros from the two island country clubs playing 36 holes on both courses. Normally taking place mid-month, the Fred Shaffer was moved to this weekend due to a busy summer schedule.

Beginning with Meadowmeer at 8 a.m., the Fred Shaffer benefits Helpline House with a lunch and auction held at Wing Point Golf and Country Club. It finishes with an afternoon tee time and awards presentation at Wing Point country club.

Last year there were 40 in the gallery at the early start, swelling to the hundreds by the afternoon. The series has been quite even over the years, with Tom Mueller and Jeff D’Amico of Meadowmeer getting the best of David Tunkari and team Wing Point in the 2004.

– T.F. Smeeth

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