Two teams expected to battle for the 4A boys golf state championship in May met on the course for the first time in 2019, April 18 at Emerald Valley Golf Course in Creswell.
In a four-team tournament, Marist got the team victory, firing a 312 team score. Seaside shot a 332, as the Gulls — for the first time this season — did not come away with the first-place trophy.
In fairness to Seaside, the Gulls were competing in their second tournament in two days, while Marist was playing on its home course.
The Spartans won the Class 5A state championship last season (and now compete at the 4A level), while the Gulls finished ahead of 5A Churchill (347) and 6A Sheldon (371).
All in all, not a bad day for the Gulls.
“We learned a few things today,” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch. “We learned that it is physically and mentally draining to play back-to-back competitive rounds. We also learned that Marist is a very good team and will be tough to beat on their home turf.
“At the same time, we learned a little about the course and what we need to shoot to compete come May,” he said of the course that will host the state tournament. “While (the Spartans) got us by quite a few strokes today, I don’t think they shot anything we are incapable of matching.”
Marist’s Nick Watts was medalist with a 74. Seaside’s Curtis Kunde shot 79 to finish fourth. Rounding out the Seaside scores were Connor Merrell and Carson Kawasoe (tied for seventh with 82), Mason Shamion (89) and Samson Sibony (90).
“We did some good things out there today, just not enough,” Poetsch said. “Curtis had three birdies and a really good bogey after losing a ball on the par three 17th. Carson nearly had his second eagle of the week and Mason continued to score well on his second nine’s. This loss could end up being very good for us. We’ve coasted though our tournaments so far and this should motivate us to work as hard as we can down the stretch.”
Gulls win Banks Invite
Another tournament win for the Seaside boys golf team April 17, as the Gulls walked off with the first-place trophy in the Banks Invitational, held at Quail Valley Golf Course.
Seaside shot a 323 team score, well ahead of Valley Catholic (342), which was followed by Banks (369), Molalla (370), Astoria (381), North Marion (415) and Forest Grove 443).
Seaside’s Connor Merrell was medalist with a one-shot victory over Peter Boileau of Valley Catholic. Merrell was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Curtis Kunde (third with an 80), Carson Kawasoe (fourth, 82) and Mason Shamion (sixth, 83). Seaside’s fifth player, Samson Sibony, missed the all-tournament team by a single stroke with an 84.
“Today gave us a good look at where we stand in our region,” said Seaside coach Jim Poetsch. “Most of the region was here and we had five of the top eight golfers. Connor had a great front nine then overcame two doubles on the back, finishing birdy-par to win medalist honors.”
Merrell has now won two of Seaside’s last three events.
In addition, Kunde “had a solid round with nothing worse than a bogey all day,” Poetsch said. “Carson had a more eventful round with three birdies and an eagle. He also won both KP’s (closest to the pin) and made both putts for birdies.”