Two sophomores from rival high schools took the Chieftain Invitational by storm Thursday, on the Lewis River Golf Course in Woodland.
Pouring rain, chilly wind, soggy fairways and waterlogged greens did not stop Hailey Oster, of Camas, and Kallie Sakamoto, of Washougal, from scoring 78s on the par-72 course.
“I felt pretty good about the round,” Sakamoto said. “I couldn’t complain, considering the weather.”
This was Sakamoto’s lowest score since moving to Washougal from Fairfield, California. She learned quickly that the weather here is different than it is in the Bay Area.
“It’s tough, but I’m adjusting,” Sakamoto said. “I don’t feel like I’ve proved anything yet. Golf is a tough sport. You just have to have fun with it. Remember, it’s just a game.”
The tournament featured 68 golfers from 14 Southwest Washington high schools. The winner was determined by their performances on the 16th hole. Oster made par and Sakamoto had a bogey.
“It’s cool for our side of the county to see a Camas and a Washougal golfer on top,” Oster said. “I just want to keep learning from my mistakes, and limiting them more and more.”
Oster burst out of the gate with pars on holes one and two, a birdie on five, and three more pars on seven, eight and nine. She made the turn at 1-over par.
“I usually start off rough, but I didn’t today. I started off stronger,” Oster said. “I tried not to think about how wet and cold it was. After a few holes, you get used to it.”
Sakamoto was also nearly flawless. She shot even on the first two holes, birdied five and made par on six, eight and nine to sit at 2-over midway through the round. The Washougal sophomore was also in the lead group golfing with three seniors.
“One thing I noticed is how much they kept their composure,” Sakamoto said. “I just have to keep calm. While I’m walking, focus on the next shot and my swing.”
Oster added pars on 15, 16 and 17 before falling into the sand trap on 18 and settling for a double bogey. Double bogies on 10 and 15 hampered Sakamoto on the back nine, but she also hit the longest drive on 12 and birdied it. Sakamoto finished strong with a par on 17 and a birdie on 18 to force a tie for first place.
Camas defeated rival Union by 12 strokes for the team championship. Connie Wang clinched fifth place for the Papermakers with an 84. Emma Cox earned sixth with an 86 and Abby Jiang grabbed eighth with an 88.
“It comes from hard work,” Oster said. “Practicing every day and putting in our best effort.”
Washougal finished in sixth place as a team. The Panthers were 11 strokes better than Battle Ground, 13 under Hockinson and 44 lower than Woodland.
Camas defeated Union on the last hole to bring home the Titan Cup championship trophy Monday, on the Tri-Mountain Golf Course in Ridgefield.
Reilly Whitlock and Karysn Rushing won three holes in a row for the Titans to force a tie heading into the last hole. Clutch shots by Wang and Lauryn Tsukimura helped the Papermakers save par and secure the team victory.
Washougal beat Ridgefield 207-319 Monday, at Tri-Mountain. Sakamoto was the medalist with the lowest 9-hole score of 44 strokes.