KENNEWICK — Nick Atwood carded a 75 to lead Walla Walla High School to a fifth-place finish Wednesday at a Mid-Columbia Conference POD match at the par-72 Canyon Lakes Golf Course.
Richland won the team scoring, with four golfers finishing the course in 290 strokes. Hanford placed second in 295, Southridge third in 312, Kamiakin fourth in 319, Walla Walla fifth in 321, Kennewick sixth in 362 and Chiawana seventh in 392.
“I think 321 is a pretty good score for us,” Wa-Hi coach Jim Smith said of his team’s overall effort. “It’s our second best score of the season after the 315 we shot during the Southridge Invitational at Canyon Lakes.
“I think some of our better players really like Canyon Lakes. Of course, putting is always the issue at Canyon Lakes. It seems like we have more three-putts there than anywhere else.”
Southridge’s Nick Mandell won medalist with the low score of seven-under 65. Atwood’s 75 placed him 10th overall, and Wa-Hi’s Dean Atkinson placed 14th with a round of 78.
“I was really happy to see Nick come back the way he did,” Smith said of Atwood’s 3-over round. “He shot an even-par 72 at our last POD match at Sun Willows, then went down to Pendleton and ballooned to an 84 on the Pendleton Country Club course. This should be a real confidence booster for him going into our final POD match and then into district.”
Wednesday’s tournament here was the fourth of five conference POD matches. Richland and Hanford are far out in front of the field with 30 team points each, followed by Southridge with 22 1/2, Wa-Hi 20 1/2 and Kamiakin 17.
The Blue Devils will play in the Inland Empire Tournament May 6 at the Spokane Country Club in Spokane before opening district play the following Monday, May 13, at Horn Rapids in Richland. District play concludes the following day at Sun Willows, with individuals competing for five tickets to the Class 4A state tournament.
“Getting to state is going to be tough because there are only five spots, and Richland has three of those spots pretty well locked up,” Smith said. “And then they bring in a freshman (Nick Yamauchi) who shoots a 76 (Wednesday) and ties for 11th place.
“But Nick has been playing real solid and should make it.”
Other Wa-Hi scorers for Wa-Hi Wednesday were Konor Clark 82, Nate Towner 86, Tyler Morrison 88 and Troy Aguilar 101.