SPOKANE — Walla Walla High School’s boys golfers finished sixth out of 20 schools at the Inland Empire Tournament held at Spokane Country Club Monday in the Blue Devils’ final golf tournament of the regular season.
The field at the Inland Empire consisted of most of the schools from the Mid-Columbia Conference, the Greater Spokane League and Idaho’s Inland Empire 5A.
Coeur d’Alene won the team scoring, carding a 307 to second-place Richland’s 316, but Richland’s Drew McCullough took medalist with a 71.
Hanford took third in 319 strokes, Mt. Spokane fourth in 319, Ferris fifth in 330 and Walla Walla sixth in 337.
Dean Atkinson led the Blue Devils with a round of 82, good enough for 20th at the meet. Nick Atwood came in with 84 strokes, Nate Towner 85 and Konor Clark 86. Tyler Morrison carded a 101 as the alternate.
Wa-Hi coach Jim Smith said his team’s scores were a little higher than normal, but he was happy with the round.
“That’s just a great, great golf course,” Smith said of the country club. “There’s a lot of character at that golf course, there’s a lot of elevation change at that golf course, and the greens are very fast.
“It requires you to use every club in the bag, and I thought the kids handled it really well,” Smith said. “And we putted really well, which is sometimes an issue up there. So overall we did very well.”
The Blue Devils begin districts play Monday at Horn Rapids in Richland with a 1 p.m. tee time. The Blue Devils will bring six golfers, including all five who played at the Inland Empire Tournament and Troy Aguilar.
Smith said there will likely be 20 golfers in attendance. The top 16 scorers from there advance to the second round at Pasco’s Sun Willows the following Tuesday at 2 p.m. The top five golfers there advance to state.
“Dean (Atkinson) and Nick (Atwood) sit four and five in season standings,” Smith said, “so on paper they should qualify for state. But you still have to go out and put together two good rounds.
“The key round is the first round at Horn Rapids,” Smith said. “You can’t shoot well enough there to qualify for state, but you can shoot yourself out of it.”