The Cascade Christian High boys golf team learned some tough lessons May 24 and 25 at the 2016 1A boys state golf championship at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane.
First lesson: Competition in the 1A classification is pretty darn good, especially with a talent of back-to-back state champion Nick Baker of Cle Elum-Roslyn.
But the biggest lesson learned from the Cougars is the difference 10 strokes can make.
“We were right there towards the top, but my second day didn’t help us,” Dyllan Gritter said. “Thanks to Nate (Beardemphl’s) second day, we were able to place.”
Cascade Christian finished in seventh place (38.5 points) in the team standings. King’s (90.5) took home the 1A state championship. Seattle Academy (88.0) finished second and Chimicum (77.0) took third.
Entering the second day, Gritter sat in sixth place after shooting a 76, but a meltdown led to the junior to a 90, good for 24th place (166). Beardemphl finished in 25th place (167), and Andrew Tigges rounded out the group with a 35th place finish (173).
We were looking at a top-five team finish, but we didn’t make enough pars on the second day to make that run. The difference between third place and seventh was 10 strokes.
Cascade Christian coach Garren Clark
“We were looking at a top-five team finish, but we didn’t make enough pars on the second day to make that run,” Cascade Christian coach Garren Clark said. “The difference between third place and seventh was 10 strokes.”
Regardless of the finish, it was a major step forward for the Cascade Christian boys golf program as both Gritter and Beardemphl reached the final day of the tournament. Last year, Tigges was the lone Cougar left.
Right from the start, the Cougars went on a historic run as they clipped one match score after another. That momentum helped propel the trio through districts and into state.
“Just being able to reach state was an accomplishment,” Beardemphl admitted. “I feel like I could have finished at least 13th, but I wasn’t at my best the first day.”
As Beardemphl’s — along with Tigges’ — first-day performance just made the cut, the senior’s second-day performance secured Cascade Christian’s state placement.
Beardemphl closed out with an 80, perhaps his best single-day performance of the season.
I was able to place the ball on the green, and I knocked in my putts in two to three (strokes).
“I was able to place the ball on the green, and I knocked in my putts in two to three (strokes),” Beardemphl said.
With Beardemphl and Tigges graduating, Gritter will be all that’s left of this Cougar trio next spring. It will be hard for Cascade Christian to return to its level of form it displayed throughout the 2016 season.
“Next year I’ll need to step up my game for myself and for my team,” Gritter admitted. “I’ll be all that’s left that’s been to state. Next year, it’s getting (myself) a top-five placement.”
With eight months left until the start of 2017 season, there’s plenty of golf to play for Gritter to develop his game.