With a blistering 1-under-par 71, Clarkston’s Tyler Carlson dominated the field in route to the 2A golf title at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway on Wednesday afternoon.
“It feels awesome,” said the Oregon State-bound Carlson, who finished at 147 to beat Blaine’s Ryan Wallen, the defending champion, by seven shots.
“I didn’t play well at regionals, and I told myself I was going to win this week. So to accomplish that and to win a state championship as a senior going out, it’s just awesome.”
Experience was on the side of Carlson, who came into the day one shot off the lead after shooting 76 Tuesday. He had placed fourth as a freshman at the 2A tourney, sixth as a sophomore and eighth as a junior.
Having been in contention before, Carlson said he started to get the sense this time might be different about halfway through the round.
“I knew on the back nine I had a couple-shots lead, and I just started making a couple birdies and didn’t falter at all,” he said. “The last couple of holes, I knew that nobody was real close, so I was trying to get around.”
In Carlson’s final group was Wallen (154), Tumwater’s Seth Nickerson, who was third at 11-over 155, and first-round leader Joe Barnes from Port Angeles, who ended up tied for sixth at 157.
Despite another strong day from Nickerson, he couldn’t hide his disappointment afterward.
“I was in it for a while just grinding it out,” Nickerson said. “I just couldn’t make anything today. It was frustrating. I hit every green on the front and shot (2-over) 38. It’s kind of hard to swallow when you’re hitting the ball so well and not making anything and having a couple of three putts.
“So Tyler Carlson ended up running away with it and he played great, so it wasn’t like I choked or anything. It’s frustrating because we were both hitting it well, but he just made the putts and that’s what it always comes down to.”
Besides Nickerson, W.F. West’s Brady Calkins had another strong day, finishing with a final-round 78 and a 156 total, good for fifth place. Also, Sumner’s Kai Taylor shot a 3-over 75 on the final day, and finished tied for sixth at 13-over 157.
“I’m happy, I played good in the second day and I finally had some putts dropping,” Taylor said. “I’m really just thankful to be here.”