WALLA WALLA — Fifteen holes into 18 at Wine Valley Golf Club, DeSales High School’s Ryan Baumgart looked like he would cruise to another match win and a season-best score on the par-72 course.
Baumgart, a senior headed to St. Martin’s University this fall on a golf scholarship, birdied three times on the front nine and nearly aced the par-3 hole No. 14.
Through 15 holes he hadn’t missed a fairway, much less a par putt and was on pace to finish 4-under par or better.
But he three-putted the par-3 No. 16, parred 17, and had a disastrous triple bogey on 18 to end the round at even-par, opening the door for DeSales junior Jerod Konen to take medalist with a 1-under 71.
“(Hole) 18 leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but looking back on it, it was a good day,” Baumgart said. “Other than that bad break on 18, I did too many good things to be upset about the round.”
DeSales took the team victory easily, powered by Baumgart’s 72, Konen’s 71 and Bryce Scott’s 82 for a team total of 225. Liberty Christian took second with a 249 and Mac-Hi finished third in 272.
On the girls side, Emily Baumgart, a runner-up at state last season, beat out third-place state finisher Michal Schuster (of St. John-Endicott) for medalist, rounding the course in 75 strokes to Schuster’s 84. Girls team totals were not kept.
Waitsburg-Prescott’s Dakota Baker golfed in the first boys trio alongside Ryan Baumgart and Liberty Christian’s Jared Hoey.
He opened with a birdie on No. 1, but bogeyed three times on the front and looked to be out of contention after another bogey on 10 put him three over. But he too nearly aced 14, sinking a three-footer for birdie; and a surprise eagle put him at even par after 17 holes.
But Baker’s round was also torpedoed on the 18th, a steep downhill par-5 that is lined by bunkers on the left and right of the fairway.
Baker drove into a right-side bunker to open the hole and took two strokes to get off the beach. Sitting on three strokes after escaping the bunker, he had a chance to save par with a solid approach shot and a one-putt, but he was charged a two-stroke penalty for hitting the wrong ball off the fairway and ended up with a quadruple-bogey 9, ending the round at four-over 76, still his second-best career score in competition.
For his eagle, Baker drove 290 yards over a mid-fairway bunker to leave about 70 yards for an approach shot.
He landed the shot on the front lip of the green and turned away after it appeared the ball had stopped rolling several feet shy of the pin. But the ball kept rolling right and eventually found the cup.
“It’s pure luck pretty much,” Baker said. “I was thinking about my lob wedge, then decided on my sand wedge. I just pinched it, and then just waited to see what it would do. I got lucky and it went in.”
“That’s special,” DeSales coach Lon Olson said of Baker’s shot after the round. “That’s as good as a hole-in-one.”
For Ryan Baumgart’s triple on 18, he drove into the left-side rough and got stuck after the ball landed in a hole. He took three swings to get out of the rough and three-putted to boot, missing a three-footer to end the round at even par.
“I feel bad for both Ryan and Dakota,” Olson said. “In retrospect, they both should have taken a drop.
“It’s a good learning experience for him (Baumgart),” Olson said. “That’s one of those things you remember for a long time.”
Konen finished the front nine at one-over par after picking up two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey. He carded a two on the par-3 16th hole and eagled the par-5 15th. He bogeyed 14 and double bogeyed 16 to get back to one-over going into the final two holes, but he closed with consecutive birdies for the win.
“Jerod has played really well on the back side,” Olson said. “It just takes him a little while to get it going.”
For Pomeroy, which finished fourth, the round was a good learning lesson.
“We were just glad to get a chance to play a top-quality course,” Pomeroy coach Jim Greene said. “It was very difficult for our kids, never getting to play on a course like that.”
Tyson Feider led the Pirates with an 87 and Riley Bott carded an 88. Wyatt Hyer rounded out the Pirate scorers with a 102.
Teresa Meyers finished third on the girls side with a 96.
“Their fairways are faster and putt better than our greens here in Pomeroy,” Greene said. “It’s just amazing how much you use your putter around the green, not just on them. Our kids learned a tremendous amount and improved a lot, they just need the chance more frequently.”
Andrew Kain led Mac-Hi at the event with a 83. He went out in 38, just two-over par, but struggled on the back side to card a nine-over 45. Sterling Sandberg carded a 92 for the Pioneers, and Dalton Wesner a 97.
The Irish have two more meets before sub-districts at Palouse Ridge on May 6.
DeSales goes to Sun Willows in Pasco Thursday and Palouse Ridge on the following Tuesday.
Pomeroy next golfs at the same tournament at Palouse Ridge and the Pioneers have a golf match against Baker Monday.
DeSales Wine Valley Invite
at Wine Valley Golf Club
Jerod Konen, DeS 37-34 — 71
Ryan Baumgart, DeS 33-39 — 72
Jarod Hoey, LC 37-37 — 74
Dakot Baker, W-P 38-38 — 76
Isaiah Ojeda LC, 43-38 — 81
Bryce Scott, DeS 40-42 — 82
Scott Kimball, DeS 41-42 — 83
Andrew Kain, Mac-Hi 38-45 — 83
Cameron Fitzgerald, WWVA 44-41 — 85
Tyson Feider, Pom 45-42 — 87
Dan Schaefer, DeSa 45-43 — 88
Riley Bott, Pom 46-42 — 88
Dakota White, SJ-E 43-45 88
Sterling Sandberg, Mac-Hi 48-44 — 92
Hogan Jones, TCP 46-47 — 93
Team scores (top 3 scores) — DeSales 225, Liberty Christian 249, Mac-Hi 272, Pomeroy 277, St. John-Endicott 285, Walla Walla Valley Academy 289.
Emily Baumgart, DeS 38-37 — 75
Michal Schuster, SJ-E 43-41 — 84
Teresa Meyers, Pom 48-48 — 96
Sierra McCann, SJ-E 53-49 — 102
Ashton Montgomery, DeS 56-47 — 103
Lauren Carlson, TCP 64-61 — 125
Elizabeth Ruthven, DeS 65-63 — 128