SPOKANE - The key to taming Spokane's Indian Canyon Golf Course is to hit your ball straight off the tee blocks.
Sunnyside High School sophomore Justin Bos accomplished that task yesterday. Straying out of the fairway on just two of his tee shots, Bos turned in a workman-like 75 to capture his first ever 3A State tournament berth.
For Bos, his 3-over-par 75 was the fifth lowest individual round at Regionals Monday. A pair of golfers from North Central High School and Clarkston High School also shot 75's.
The top round on the day, however, belonged to Clarkston's Joel Dahmen. Almost too much to fathom, Dahmen turned in an 11-under 61.
And realistically, said Sunnyside Coach Glenn Braman, Dahmen could have carded a 59, had he not just parred two of the easier par-5 holes on the course.
"There's a reason Dahmen is going to the U-of-W on a full ride," Braman said. "The kid was just throwing darts out there. A lot of his putts were from four feet and in."
The top round turned in by a Mid-Valley League golfer yesterday was a 4-under 68, claimed by Hanford's Alex Moore. West Valley's George Pechtel had the second low Mid-Valley League round-a 2-over-par 74.
In finishing with a 75, Bos was a model of consistency. The Sunnyside sophomore toured the front side with a 37, posting a 38 after the turn.
On his only two tee shots that didn't find the fairway, Bos ended up taking bogeys.
"Justin was hitting the ball pretty straight," said Braman. "That's the key at Indian Canyon," he added, noting the Spokane course will also serve as the venue for next week's 3A State tourney.
In assessing the play of Bos, Braman said the sophomore entered Regionals with a definite goal in mind. "He was really motivated," Braman said of Bos attempting to earn his first ever State berth.
"Justin has worked hard for two years now. He's worked extremely hard to get where he's at," Braman said.
The Grizzly golf team was also represented at Regionals by sophomores Andrew Swinehart and Sam Bardell. Swinehart, said Braman, "...didn't play badly" in posting a 92. Bardell never did get untracked and absorbed a pair of 55's on the two nines.
Yesterday's girls 3A Regional tournament was staged at Spokane's Meadow Wood Golf Course, a 5,880-yard, par-72 course. Sunnyside's Dacia Drollinger and Emily Shuttleworth, both sophomores, represented the Lady Grizzly golf team.
Drollinger missed the cut to State by just three strokes, shooting a 105 on front and back side scores of 51-54.
A bad three-hole stretch did in Drollinger in her bid to qualify for State.
"Holes 9, 10 and 11 got her," said Sunnyside Coach Gary Rohde, explaining Drollinger posted scores of 8, 8 and 9 on the three holes-of which the first two are par-4's and the third is a par-3.
Rohde credited Drollinger with ending her round strong, saying the three finishing holes at Meadow Wood play really tough. Drollinger double-bogeyed the par-5 16th and par-3 17th, and closed with a 4 on the par-4 18th.
Shuttleworth went into Regionals with a goal of shooting in the 120's. She didn't quite get there, finishing with a 134 on front and back scores of 61-73.
A golfer from Clarkston won the girls Regional title, shooting an 83.