RICHLAND — Horn Rapids was playing extremely long here Tuesday, and Mid-Columbia Conference golfers paid the price during the league’s second boys POD match.
Richland’s Hunter Thompson matched par-72 to take medalist honors, but only 10 players in the field of 45 managed to keep their scores under 80.
“The course played very, very long,” Walla Walla High School coach Jim Smith said. “The course is rated at 72.4, and they played it out at the blue tees, which is about 6,700 yards. And the way the course was set up, 6,700 yards there is a lot different than 6,700 yards at the Walla Walla Country Club.”
Dean Atkinson led the Blue Devils with a 76, which was good for fourth place individually. After a ninth-place finish in the first POD, Smith figures Atkinson is somewhere around fifth or sixth with three PODs remaining, including next Monday at Sun Willows Golf Course in Pasco.
“Players are competing for spots in the district tournament, although it looks like most players will qualify for district,” Smith said. “But the PODs also determine player of the year, plus first- and second-team all-conference and honorable mention, so there is that incentive to play well during the league season.”
“And Dean played very, very well,” Smith added.
Nick Atwood was second for the Blue Devils with an 87, followed by Konor Clark 88 and Tyler Morrison 91. Nate Towner turned in a non-counting 93 and Troy Aguilar shot 102.
“Nick struggled,” Smith said of Atwood. “He had it going for awhile, hit a bad stretch and could never recover. That’s a really high score for him, and I know he is disappointed and we are disappointed as well.”
On the reverse side, Smith said he was pleased with Morrison’s 91.
“He’s basically a first-year golfer,” Smith said. “He’s shot scores higher than that on other courses, so for him to go to Horn Rapids and shoot that score, I was actually pleased with his 91.”
Richland won the team scoring at 304, followed by Hanford’s 308, Southridge’s 339, Wa-Hi’s 342, Kamiakin’s 362, Kennewick’s 366 and Chiawana’s 405. Pasco did not field a complete team.