Atwood leads Wa-Hi boys golfers

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KENNEWICK — Led by Nick Atwood’s 72, Walla Walla High School’s boys golf team placed fourth Monday at the final Mid-Columbia Conference POD match of the season on the par-65 Tri-City Golf Course.

Richland won the team total, carding a 275 collectively, and Hanford finished runner up at 284. Southridge finished third in 290 strokes, and Wa-Hi came in with a 311 for fourth place. Kennewick placed fifth (321), Kamiakin sixth (324), Chiawana seventh (346) and Pasco did not bring a complete team.

Hanford’s Tanner Martin and Richland’s Drew McCullough each finished with one-over 66s to take co-medalist.

Atwood’s round was good enough for 10th. Wa-Hi’s Dean Atkinson placed 14th with a 75, Nate Towner 24th with an 80, Troy Aguilar 30th with an 84, Konor Clark 35th with an 87 and Tyler Morrison 38th with an 88.

The Blue Devils finished the MCC schedule in fourth place as a team, accumulating 25.5 POD match points throughout the season. Richland narrowly won the regular-season team title, edging Hanford 38-37. Southridge finished in third place with 28.5 points.

“It was the final tuneup before district,” Wa-Hi coach Jim Smith said. “The course, if you have weaknesses, it really exposes them, so it was good to see Nick and Dean play well there. It’s only a par-65, but it consistently plays higher in relation to par than any course we play. Overall, as a team we played much better there than we did at the Tri-City Invite at the start of the season.”

Individually, Atkinson finished eighth to lead the Blue Devils in the season standings with 200 individual points. Atwood finished ninth with 196.

Wa-Hi next hits the links Monday at the Inland Empire golf tournament at the Spokane Country Club. The first round of districts begin May 13 at Horn Rapids in Richland, and the district finals conclude the next day at Pasco’s Sun Willows.

Five golfers advance from there to the state tournament, with Atkinson and Atwood sitting fourth and fifth, respectively, heading into district play.

“There are a couple kids lurking behind them that are very capable of taking those spots,” Smith said, “but if Dean and Nick play the way they’ve played all season they should go (to state). You just don’t know, everybody plays Sun Willows well, so the key round is at Horn Rapids.”

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