Golfers weather lengthy Vets Memorial round

Golfers dodge rain, hail, wind and the possibility of lightning during the DeSales Tournament Tuesday.

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A heavy rain — almost hail — falls on a group of golfers during their round of golf at the DeSales Tournament Tuesday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

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DeSales' Kelly Martin lines up a putt during her round.

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Bulldog Kalee Lytle grimaces as her putt doesn't quite drop.

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Dayton's Dain Henderson tees off on the ninth hole Tuesday afternoon.

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DeSales golfer Ryan Baumgart peers through a stand of trees and bushes to follow his shot on the 9th hole Tuesday afternoon. Mixed harsh spring rain, hail, wind and eventual sun kept the golfers hunting for their game throughout the afternoon at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

WALLA WALLA - It was a cold, blustery day for a round of Class 2B golf at the DeSales Tournament at Veterans Memorial Golf Course Tuesday.

About 45 players teed up in the tournament, which was nearly halted due to heavy rain, hail and the possibility of lightning.

However, the possible lightning strike was not confirmed so play continued, said DeSales head coach Lon Olson.

The six-way tournament had players from DeSales, Tekoa-Oakesdale-Roaslia, Dayton, Liberty-Christian, Wa-Hi's junior varsity and a lone Waitsburg-Prescott player, despite the stormy weather.

Most of the players, including all the girls, played for nine-hole scores, but a hardy few continued on to 18. Nine holes took the better part of the afternoon for most of the groups, and those playing 18 weren't off the course until late evening.

The 18-hole round took most of the groups more than four hours to finish, Olson said.

Teeing off took an hour and a half, he said.

"It's a cold day for 18 holes," Olson said. "But for some kids, this is the only tournament they might get to play in, so we want to let them play.

"You can call the weather typical spring," he said. "We had a little bit of everything, but we played through it."

Liberty Christian wasn't expected to attend, which threw off the team arrangements, Olson said. Wa-Hi's JV boys helped provide some balance, he said.

"They only get to play in one tournament a year, and I decided to bring them out here," he said. "Jim Smith (Wa-Hi's boys golf coach) doesn't mind, and it gives them some good experience."

DeSales' Ryan Baumgart was the boys' medalist, carding an 80 on the par-72 course. He was 3-over going into the last two holes, but a double bogey and then a triple bogey with an out-of-bounds brought his score up, Olson said.

But it wasn't enough for his team to win. The Irish were edged by the Wa-Hi JV, who recorded a 382 team score. DeSales and Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia tied for second at 383, Liberty Christian was fourth with 429 and Dayton finished fifth with 457.

Wa-Hi's JV boys' counting scores were Wade Hicks with 92, Gunnar Leighty 94, Cameron Mountain at 99, Konor Clark 97. Jeremy Carter's nine-hole 54 did not count.

DeSales' boys scores were Baumgart's 80, Bryce Scott at 91, Kyle Konen at 102 and Justin Meyer at 110. Non-counting rounds were Ben Konen's 18-hole 111, and Chris Xie with 55 and Mat Zimmerman at 59, both nine-hole scores.

Dayton's Dain Henderson came in second for the boys at 89. It was his first tournament on 18 holes, Dayton coach Mike McGhan said.

Bulldog sophomore Garett Turner was returning after breaking a finger, although that injury wasn't golf-related.

Dayton's other boys scores were Andrew Groom at 117, Turner's 103 and Grant Heinrich at 148.

"It's good to have him back," McGhan said of Turner. "He was one of our stronger players last year."

Waitsburg-Prescott's lone player was Dakota Baker, hitting 105.

Dayton's girls finished first overall at 243 on nine holes.

Liberty-Christian was second with 264 and DeSales third with 280. Tekoa-Oakesdale-Roasalia was incomplete.

Liberty Christian's Anna Simunds was the girls' medalist, hitting 57 on the par-36. Dayton's Molly Payne placed second at 58.

For Dayton, Payne's 58 led, followed by Kalee Lytle and Caylyn Tate at 61, Carly Grimshaw's 80, Chelsay Martin's 63 and Kyla Ihle's 67.

DeSales' Kelly Martin led the Irish girls with 84, followed by Bethany Konen at 74, Ashton Montgomery and Alyssa Lyons with 71 each and Rachel Heitstuman with 94.

"I'm pleased with Molly's score," said Dayton coach Mike McGhan of his medalist. "She was a slow starter for us, but she's really coming along."

The Bulldog girls have been winning the last few matches, McGhan said.

Some of the players, including DeSales' and Dayton's girls, played 18 holes with only the first nine counting.

For the Irish, it was their first round of 18 this year.

"Overall, I can't be too unhappy with the scores," Olson said. "They're bringing their game around, which is good.

"It's good that they got that experience, because at districts and other tournaments they have to play through," he said.

Dayton and DeSales play with Liberty Christian, Tri-Cities Prep, St. John-Endicott and Asotin at Pomeroy Saturday.

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