DeSales and Dayton golfers advance at Class B tourney

Dayton's Dain Henderson and Molly Payne, and DeSales' Ryan Baumgart, play the state's second round today.

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KENNEWICK - DeSales golfer Ryan Baumgart finished in a three-way tie for sixth after day one of the Class B state tournament at the Tri-City Country Club here Tuesday.

Dayton's Dain Henderson and Molly Payne also qualified for day two play today.

Baumgart shot a 72 on the par-65 course. The boys' first-day cut was 82. Henderson shot a 79, beating the cut by three strokes, and Payne shot a 101 - one stroke under the girls' cut of 102.

"He made a good comeback," Irish coach Lon Olson said of the freshman golfer. "Ryan has a chance to finish higher than any DeSales player thus far, at least in my 15-year tenure here."

There will be six medals awarded for play, Olson said. "I told Ryan that, and he said, ‘I want No. 1.'"

Both of the Bulldog golfers are three-time qualifiers for the state tournament, and this is the first time they've survived the first round, said Dayton head coach Mike McGhan.

Payne is also the first female golfer from Dayton to advance to the second round, he said.

"I am extremely proud of the way they conducted themselves and battled today even when they were not playing their best golf," he said. "Tomorrow they can relax and have fun."

Both golfers struggled in areas that are usually their strengths, McGhan said.

"Dain was in trouble on the tee all day, but he was able to scramble enough to be even par after six holes," said McGhan. "His short game saved him throughout the round and he was able to hang on to finish day one in 31st place."

Payne faced the opposite situation from the girls' tees, McGhan said.

"Molly struck the ball well today but her short game, usually her strength, abandoned her," he said. "She, like Dain, hung in there and was able to survive the first round. Her key hole probably was No. 17. She parred it just when she needed a boost."

Olson was pleased with the action he saw on the course.

"Ryan and Bryce (Scott, who did not qualify) are going to anchor a heck of a team next year," Olson said.

DeSales' seniors and cousins Kyle Konen and Ben Konen didn't make it through state this year. Kyle Konen qualified for day one, but shot 84 to miss it by two strokes.

"They represent DeSales very well, and their community very well," Olson said of the graduating golfers. "They're two really neat kids."

Kyle Konen plans to study engineering at the University of Arizona. Ben Konen plans to attend the University of Idaho.

"It would've made my season if they'd made the cut," Olson said. "They're great young men, and I'm going to miss the heck out of them."

Bryce Scott and Ashton Montgomery both also came close to making the state tournament, Olson said. Scott shot an 83 on the first day, missing the cutoff by one stroke.

Putting problems pestered the Irish golfers, he said.

"They're small greens, and they're undulating," he said. "They're hard to read and they're speedy. It's like any golf course you're not used to playing, and everyone is playing under the same conditions."

This year's cut was down four strokes from last year, Olson said. "The quality of play has significantly improved from last year," he said. "The kids have to work at it harder. Mine have all committed to playing lots of golf this summer, and that's what it takes."

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