Blue Devils handle the weather in a Big Nine boys golf pod match

Two Blue Devils golfers tie for sixth at the dreary Big Nine boys pod match Monday at Veterans.

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Wa-Hi golfer Jake Hanson putts through the rain Monday afternoon at a Big Nine Invite at Veterans Memorial Golf Course.

WALLA WALLA - Rain nearly canceled a Big Nine boys golf pod match at Veterans Memorial Golf Course here Monday.

Instead, the 42 golfers played through it, and were greeted with wind at the end.

"It was pretty miserable with the first six or seven holes, then the wind came up and it got cold," said Wa-Hi coach Jim Smith. "It was a pretty miserable day, but that's spring golf."

Wa-Hi's Jake Hanson and Nick Atwood both carded 79s to be part of a three-way tie for sixth place.

Hanson was playing through an injury sustained more than three weeks ago.

"I'm not sure he did as well as he could've if he was healthy," Smtih said. "He's pretty tough so he doesn't say anything. He told me he was OK, and normally I wouldn't have let him golf but he has the chance to be player of the year."

Player of the year is calculated on a points system, and tallying zero points would hurt Hanson's standings, Smith said.

Richland's Matt Rezendes was medalist with a 75 on the par-72 course.

A logjam in a tie for second included Richland's Cole Lorenzo, Hunter Thompson and Jack Eiden, as well as Wenatchee's Chase Miller, at 77.

Richland's Jeff Marcum joined Hanson and Atwood tied for sixth at 79.

The Bombers had five of the top sixth finishers, as the Richland squad won with a team score of 306. Wa-Hi was second at 320, Wenatchee third at 328, followed by Moses Lake at 340, Chiawana at 360, Davis at 374 and Eisenhower at 413.

Richland's scores are on par with how its golfers have traditionally competed, Smith said.

"Richland is really, really good," he said. "Those kids have been around quite a while but they're still young. Some of them are just sophomores, but when their names go up on the board, we know them."

Other Blue Devil scores included Dean Atkinson and Travis Morrison, both tied for 10 with rounds of 81, as well as Gunnar Leighty (tied for 24th at 90) and Jeremiah Mason (tied for 25th at 92.

Smith was pleased with Atwood's 79.

"After the first five holes, Nick wanted to go home," Smith said, citing the poor conditions. "But he hung in there and turned in a 79. I was pleasantly surprised. He's very capable, but with the weather I was really, really pleased."

And Atkinson and Morrison's scores were both solid for the Big Nine 4A division.

"The big concern is to get as many kids into districts as we can," he said. "(State) all based on points they garner during districts ... The more kids we get to districts, to more we can qualify as a team to state, so that's the goal."

With a home match under their belts, Smith is ready for the team's next outing, a trip to the Wildhorse Invitational at Pendleton next Tuesday.

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