KENNEWICK - It's quickly becoming clear that Sunnyside has a young and inexperienced boys golf team this season. That would explain the Grizzlies' 23rd place finish at the 24-school Kennewick Invitational last Friday.
It's also become obvious that any shot Sunnyside has for making waves in the postseason in mid-May rests with senior Justin Bos. The veteran linkster weaved his way around the tight Tri-City Country Club course last Friday with a 9-over-par 74, just three shots out of a top 10 individual finish.
"The Tri-City Country Club course is short, very tight," said first year Sunnyside High School Coach Ryan Wattenbarger. "It doesn't exactly fit Justin's game. He's pretty long off the blocks."
The numbers Bos posted last Friday back up Wattenbarger's claim that the tightly molded, par-65 course doesn't lend itself to the long bomber. Bos ended up even-par on the 10 par-4 and par-5 holes. On the eight holes that play to a par-3, Bos was nine over.
The senior admitted that he wasn't exactly on with his short irons last Friday, but an even bigger factor was the weather conditions. "It was pretty cold, and the wind was blowing up to 20 or 25 miles per hour," Bos said.
The Grizzly senior also didn't make the adjustment from his home course greens to the hard and fast greens of the Tri-City course, needing 36 putts to get around the 18 holes last Friday.
"The goal is to keep it at around 28 putts each round," said Bos.
Despite the putting problems and not weathering well the cold and rain, Bos managed to post a few highlights in Friday's round. One came on the par-4, 325-yard fourth hole, where he drove the green and two-putted for a birdie.
The biggest splash Bos made came on No. 1. He bombed his drive 290 yards to the fringe of the green, then chipped in for eagle.
The 74 Bos posted last Friday was six shots back of medalists Zach Richardson of Richland and Mead High School's Eric Henderson, both of whom recorded 3-over-par 68's.
Team-wise, Hanford claimed top honors at the 46th annual Kennewick Invitational by recording a team-low 290 strokes. Richland, Southridge and Kamiakin were four, five and six strokes back of Hanford, respectively, for second through fourth place honors.
Sunnyside compiled a team score of 388.
Second in for the Grizzlies was senior A.J. Visser with a 95. Rounding out Sunnyside's team score were sophomore Nick Navarro with a 109 and freshman Nathan Espinoza with a 110.
Also competing for Sunnyside was freshman Stephen Bosma, although his 117 wasn't applied to the team score.
The Grizzly linksters are scheduled to compete at the Yakima Elks course against Selah later this afternoon (Monday), and will then open Columbia Basin League play this coming Thursday at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick.