RICHLAND - Sunnyside sophomore Justin Bos opened Mid-Valley Golf League play in fine fashion Wednesday. He fired a 4-over-par 76 at Richland's Horn Rapids Golf Course.
Team-wise, the Grizzly linksters were unable to field a full four-man squad, thus were not awarded a team score. The host Hanford Falcons bested the seven Mid-Valley League schools at the first POD competition of the season, shooting an aggregate 294. West Valley was a distant second with a team score of 339.
Sunnyside has just four golfers turning out for this year's team. One of them was ruled academically ineligible earlier this week, meaning that until he is cleared to play the Grizzlies will officially be designated as incomplete at each Mid-Valley League POD competition.
In shooting a 76 yesterday, Bos tied Ellensburg's Sam Whitaker for the third low individual round on the day. The only golfers to best the pair were Hanford's Alex Moore and Alex Cantu, who hit the clubhouse with a 68 and 71, respectively.
Prior to the golfers teeing it up Wednesday, some of the Mid-Valley League coaches figured no one would break an 80.
"We had some pretty windy conditions," said Sunnyside Coach Glenn Braman, who chose not to play behind the prep golfers as so many coaches do during league matches, because the weather was so horrid.
Despite the less than favorable conditions, six of the prep linksters did finish their 18-hole rounds with scores below 80. And Bos, digging deep to battle the elements, was one of them.
The Grizzly sophomore started his shotgun round on hole 15. He posted nothing remarkable on the course's four finishing holes, but when he moved to the front nine, Bos found his groove.
Absorbing bogeys on 1 and 2, he heated up from there, wrapping three birdies around two pars on the next five holes. Bos stumbled a bit on No. 8, taking a bogey, but he recovered with a bird on the par-5 ninth to finish the front side with a sparkling 36.
Bos moved to the back and collected his fifth birdie of the day on the par-4 10th. He ended up with a back side 40, which left him at 4-over on the day.
"Justin putted very well yesterday," said Braman. "Which was tough to do, because Horn Rapid's greens are very fast right now. If you were above the hole you were dead."
Sophomore Andrew Swinehart had the second low round for the Grizzlies. Starting on No. 1, he ran into trouble early and ended up taking a 62 on the front nine. Swinehart cut his back nine score to a 50, thanks to several pars and bogeys on his card after the turn.
"With the exception of the par-5 12th hole, Andrew played very consistently on the back side," said Braman. "He regathered himself and finished well."
Rounding out the scoring for Sunnyside was sophomore Nigel Weenink's 131 (60-71). Braman said the windy weather conditions and the nearly six-mile trek around the course were too much for the beginning golfer to overcome.
Sunnyside is scheduled to compete at the 21-team Grandview Invitational at Black Rock Creek Golf Course this Friday. Braman said only Bos will be able to compete, however, as Swinehart and Weenink both have out-of-town trips planned over Spring Break.