Worsts and near-firsts in Bainbridge High School golf

Bainbridge golfer Ryan Nottingham placed 11th at last week’s Metro League Tournament. -
Bainbridge golfer Ryan Nottingham placed 11th at last week’s Metro League Tournament.
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Carl Jonson and Bobby Griffin of the Bainbridge boys golf team qualified for state following Monday’s district tournament, with the strong likelihood that Kyle Leonard and Kyle Hurt will join them.

Jonson shot a 74 to tie for seventh under windy conditions at Mukilteo’s Harbour Pointe, while Griffin overcame a terrible first 10 holes to card a 78 and place 14th.

Leonard and Hurt both shot 80, with Leonard winning a three-way playoff to secure 17th and Hurt finishing 18th.

“The first 16 are definitely in,” said BHS coach Bob Dwyer. “I don’t know how many allotments we’ll have, but I can’t see less than 20 from our district.”

With one of their golfers recording a hole-in-one, Mt. Si had the two medalists at 70. Jonson was in the hunt for top honors until the final two holes, finishing with a double bogey-bogey.

Griffin, on the other hand, shot a seven-over-par 43 for the first nine, and had a double bogey on the first hole after making the turn. “He had a wonderful recovery,” Dwyer said, as Griffin went three under for the final eight holes. “I’m very proud of Bobby to come back the way he did,” Dwyer added. “He did a great job of staying in there. It was a phenomenal round.”

Will Whealdon (86) and Jack Seidl (89) finished well back in the field and won’t advance.

“At Metro, we had some of our worst rounds ever,” Dwyer said, referring to last week’s league tournament in which the Spartans placed second after going undefeated up to that point. “It happened again today. If they had just played their average worst, we’d be sending all six to state.

“It’s too bad it happened to Jack and Will. They had some weird situations out there. Jack had some very tough lies.”

There was some consolation in that Jonson was the top-rated golfer in the Metro League, with Hurt finishing third and joining him on the all-Metro League first team. Leonard, Seidl, Griffin and Whealdon were all named to the all-Metro second team.

While the boys ended the season with a fairly good idea of how many would move on to the state tournament next spring, the girls have to wait nearly seven months. That’s because golf is a spring sport for Kingco girls and the district meet won’t be held until next May.

Three Spartans are definitely in: Anna Bourland (who tied for fourth at last week’s Metro League Tournament and narrowly missed a hole-in-one on the 164-yard par-3 13th hole at the West Seattle Golf Course), Ryan Nottingham (11th), and Peyton Lunzer (16th). Coach Steve Nielsen feels confident that freshmen Julia Gross (tied for 22nd) and Jasmine Shattuck (25th) will also qualify for districts, though their entry depends on the results of the Kingco Tournament.

“In the last five years, 25 has always gotten in,” Nielsen said.

Bourland was named to the All-Metro League first team for the second year in a row – ranking third among the top six – while Nottingham garnered second team honors. Their selection was based on a combination of season and Metro Tournament results.

Looking back on the season, Nielsen said, “Our goal was to win the Metro championship. Finishing second was OK but not what we wanted.”

Nielsen also noted that the Spartans have had especially good regular season records in the last three years, going undefeated in 2006 and 2007 while losing only to Holy Names this year.

He feels that the Cougars, second at state last year to Enumclaw, are likely to be the heavy favorites this year. He also feels that Bainbridge, which has placed fourth at state the past two years, should be in a position for another high placing this year. Bourland (ninth last year) and Nottingham (27th) have been there before and know what to expect.

“The frosh have never been through this,” he added. “So we’ve talked about the things they all can do during the winter.” Under WIAA rules, Nielsen can’t have any contact with his team until late April, so the girls need to be very self-directed until that point.

“They’ve been real good about that,” he pointed out. “They will be playing a lot of golf over the short, cold, and wet days of winter.”

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