BANDON — North Bend’s golfers fared well in a series a nine-hole matches at Old Macdonald golf course at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort on Tuesday, with three Bulldogs among the five players to win both their matches.
Rather than split the golfers into two teams and playing 18-hole matches like in past years, this year’s event was not split into teams and the matches were played over just nine holes so each golfer got two matches.
Patton Clark, one of Bandon’s players, did not win either of his matches, but had the highlight of the day when he had a hole-in-one on the fifth hole.
“It was cool,” Clark said of his first lifetime ace, which came when he hit his 56-degree wedge perfectly on the hole.
He said he was surprised at the result right after he hit the shot.
“I thought it was going to be super short,” he said. “It hit a couple feet forward and rolled in the cup.”
Bryce Stiemert of St. Mary’s, who also won a tournament a day earlier at Coos Golf Club, won both his matches while paired with the top players from Coquille and North Bend.
Stiemert beat both Coquille’s Carter Borror and North Bend’s Zach Holt 3 and 2.
Borror and Holt both won their other match, each beating Bandon’s Luke Brown.
Stiemert shot 2-under the front nine to beat Borror, while the Coquille senior bounced back in the afternoon round to finish his day with a score of 73.
“I did really well today,” Borror said. “I kind of got off to a slow start on the first nine. I finally got something going by driving the green on No. 8 (a par-4). I got some birdie putts to drop.”
Borror was particularly thrilled after shooting an 85 to tie for fourth place a day earlier at Coos Golf Club.
“Compared with how I did yesterday, I did phenomenal,” he said.
Holt also was thrilled after he shot a 76 for the day, his best score for the season and best-ever tournament score.
“I drove the ball well,” he said.
Holt added that he is excited for North Bend’s squad, which needed a good showing Tuesday to prove its worth as a possible squad to be chosen for the Class 5A state tournament at the end of the short season.
“I needed to shoot well today.”
North Bend’s players generally had a great day.
Brody Harnden, playing in a group with the top players from Brookings-Harbor (Josh Serna) and Marshfield (Oscar Day) and the No. 2 St. Mary’s player (Brock Drury), won both of his matches, beating Day and Serna 2 and 1.
North Bend’s Spencer Barker and Carter Knutson also both won both their matches while Dylan Walling split his two.
“Our team is great,” Holt said. “We have four seniors all getting better and Carter, our freshman, is doing well.”
Even though he lost both his matches, Brown said he also was pleased.
“I feel like I’ve been playing good,” he said.
Though Class 2A won’t have a state tournament, the Tigers will compete in their Class 3A-2A-1A district tournament with a chance to qualify for a Southern Oregon showcase tournament if they can finish in the top two — St. Mary’s will be favored to win the district title.
“We have a lot of potential to be good,” Brown said.
The many seniors in the tournament Tuesday said they were thrilled to have any type of season after the spring sports were canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I couldn’t be happier just having a tournament,” Borror said. “To have our seven-tournament season is seven more than we had last year.”
Playing in sunny conditions at the resort was an added bonus.
“I was playing with a great group of guys,” he said. “The weather was perfect.”
COOS OPEN: St. Mary’s had the top three finishers to easily win the team title Monday at Coos Golf Club.
Stiemert fired a 75 to take medalist honors by nine strokes. Drury and St. Mary’s teammate Tiger Kao both shot 84 as the Crusaders posted a team score of 336 that was nearly 50 shots better than North Bend, the runner-up at 384.
Borror and Barker both shot 85 to tie for fourth place while Serna shot an 89 and Brookings-Harbor teammate Rylan Bruce a 90. Harnden shot a 91 and Bandon’s Brown and Ryan Flynn both shot 93 and Knutson shot 94.