PORTLAND — For the first time, Bandon High School can claim a state golf title.
The Tigers won their first team crown and got their first individual champion in the process Tuesday when they completed their two-day run to the Class 3A-2A-1A title at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
“They definitely rose to the occasion and played their best round for two days,” Bandon coach Scott Millhouser said.
The Tigers shot a 308, their best round of the season to date, in the opening round Monday. They followed that up with a 302 on Tuesday to finish at 610, 28 shots ahead of Oregon Episcopal.
Bandon had the best round by any team each day and also had the best individual round both days, but by separate players.
Freshman Scotty Kennon shot a 65 on Monday, among the great state tournament rounds of all time in Oregon, to build a four-shot lead. He followed that up Tuesday with a 71 that gave him a three-shot win over Kyle Humphreys of Regis for individual medalist.
“He played very well,” Millhouser said, adding that “65-71 on any course is impressive.”
Kennon, who is an accomplished junior golfer, was happy with his play until taking a double bogey on the 17th hole and a bogey on the 18th Tuesday — his only two holes over par of the week.
“I felt I played really well the first day,” he said. “I was playing well the second day until I fell apart on the last two holes.
“It was very disappointing. That was not a fun way to finish.”
But Kennon said he was proud to be a state champion and that he putted well both days.
He also was excited for the team.
“It’s amazing,” he said. “It was an absolute blast playing with the team. All the guys are phenomenal. I’m glad we got to do this.”
Jackson Kennon, Scotty’s older brother, had the best round of the day Tuesday, a 3-under 69 that featured an eagle on the 10th hole. He finished fourth overall, 2-over for the two days. Casey Peters, the only senior on Bandon’s squad, was seventh at 12-over to also earn all-state honors.
“We all played really well,” Peters said. “It was a blast.”
Bandon finished second in 2010, but wasn’t particularly close to champion Catlin Gabel, which finished 25 shots in front of the Tigers.
This time, Bandon was on the other side of the first-second battle.
“It was pretty special, especially considering I had an injury and wasn’t able to do other things,” said Peters, who only picked up golf in the past two years after a shoulder injury kept him from other activities.
“Golf is the only sport I can play,” he said.
Peters has made great strides in two years, and credited Millhouser for his coaching. He never envisioned during those long hours practicing on the golf course that he could finish in the top 10.
“It’s pretty awesome,” Peters said. “Going into the season, I didn’t think I was going to place that well.”
Alexander Schulz, Bandon’s fourth golfer, was 20th overall, with rounds of 88 and 84.
Since each team counts four scores each day, Schulz’s scores were valuable for the Tigers.
“Alexander did exactly what he needed to do,” Millhouser said. “He kept a good attitude both days.”
Bandon’s fifth golfer, Nick Turner, didn’t figure into the team score either day. He shot a 119 on Monday and improved that by two strokes on Tuesday.
Bandon was favored going into state after a strong season that saw Peters, Jackson Kennon and Scotty Kennon win medalist honors in various tournaments.
The Tigers lived up to those expectations.
“The boys knew they were good,” Millhouser said. “They totally rose to the occasion. They didn’t let the pressure get to them.
“As a coach, it was fun to watch.”