WALLA WALLA — DeSales High School’s Ryan Baumgart put on the show he was expected to Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Golf Course, but it was a surprise golfer that ended up on the medalist podium.
DeSales sophomore Lucas Lyons birdied three times, including two chip-ins, to finish with a 1-over-par 37 in a nine-hole District 9 West Schools meet at Vets and lead the Irish to an overwhelming team score of 157.
“Lucas is capable of shooting low scores,” DeSales golf coach Lon Olson said. “To put nine in a row together — I’m not going to say it’s unusual because when I left (the course) tonight he wanted to play more holes. He loves golf and he practices hard.”
Lyons was in position to finish below par, but finished with a bogey on eight and a double bogey on nine.
With a team score of 182, McLoughlin High School crashed the District 9 party to take second place.
Walla Walla Valley Academy, in its first organized meet since its golf program’s tentative beginnings in 2011, placed third with a 223.
Tri-Cities Prep rounded out the schools with enough scoring players, finishing fourth in 250 strokes.
On the girls’ side, DeSales freshman Emily Baumgart shot a 45 from the white tees to lead the Irish to a 175 team score.
Tri-Cities Prep, the only other team to bring girls to the meet, finished at 187.
Waitsburg-Prescott’s Dakota Baker scored a 44, good enough for a tie with Liberty Christian’s Isaiah Ojeda for seventh place. Baker is the only golfer for Waitsburg-Prescott and golfs and practices with DeSales.
Coming into the clubhouse, it looked like Ryan Baumgart would take medalist. He was at 1-over par going into nine, a straight shot from 259 yards away and considered to be one of the course’s birdie opportunities, but his struggles with the short game wound up costing him a par round.
Baumgart reached the green in two strokes, but ended up 3-putting and finished with a 2-over-38 on the par-36 front nine.
“It was OK,” Baumgart said of his round. “I just made too many mistakes. I hit the ball fine, but it was pretty sloppy.
“I hit the ball really well, I just had a couple of mental errors and did bad on the greens,” he said. “It’s early season, it’s fixable, but it was a little sloppy.”
Baumgart, who committed to play golf for NCAA Division III St. Martin’s in Lacey, Wash., this past fall, finished the course with three birdies, but three 3-puts hampered the golfer.
Baumgart’s best shot of the day came on the par-3 No. 6. He landed the 179-yard tee shot just feet away from the hole and with the back spin it looked like he might have scored his third career ace, but the ball rolled to a stop a foot shy of the pin before Baumgart tapped it in for the birdie.
“I hit the ball good pretty much all day,” Baumgart said. “I just hit the 9-iron right at it. Couldn’t quite tell how far away it was, but I just hit it perfect exactly like I wanted to. I thought it might go in for a second, but wasn’t sure.”
Other top scorers on the boys side were Liberty Christian’s Jared Hoey, who took third with a 39, and DeSales’ Bryce Scott and Jerod Konen, who each carded 41 for a share of fourth place.
Mac-Hi’s Andrew Kain led the Pioneers with a 43, good for sixth place.
Rounding out the DeSales boys were Scott Kimball and Dan Schaefer (47), Cole Miedema and Nick Brown (55), and Adam Tomkins (65).
Mac-Hi’s other finishers included Rain Wheeler (45), Sterling Sandberg (47) and Tyler Williams (47).
WWVA, which didn’t have a team last year, was led by sophomore Cameron Fitzgerald’s 52. Dylan Trapani scored a 54, Paul Trapani 57, and Chad Stewart 60.
DeSales’ other girl golfers were Ashton Montgomery (51), Elizabeth Ruthven (79), Jane Conley (82).
Rachel Armijo led Tri-Cities Prep with a 58.
The Irish and Knights have another District 9 West Schools meetup at Columbia Point in Richland on March 28.
Mac-Hi travels to the Big River Golf Course in Umatilla for the Hermiston Invite Thursday at 10 a.m.