PASCO - Sunnyside's ace this season, Chandler Luther, was expected to fare well in day-one action at the 3A District boys golf tournament.
For Luther, mission accomplished.
But in somewhat of a surprise, first-year SHS golfer Brandon Daley also survived the opening day cut yesterday afternoon.
Both Sunnyside High golfers have advanced to day-two action at District, which was scheduled to get underway today (Tuesday) at 1:30 p.m. at Kennewick's Canyon Lakes Golf Course. The six golfers with the lowest two-day totals from the District tourney in the Tri-Cities will move on to the State tournament.
The field for Monday's opening round, played at Pasco's Sun Willows Golf Course, was whittled down to just 20 golfers for today's District finals. Southridge High School's Nick Mandell grabbed the first-day lead, firing an impressive, 3-under-par 69 on an afternoon that started with rain falling from above and ending with moderate breezes.
The next five lowest rounds were all posted by golfers from Hanford.
Luther, heading into today's finals sitting in 11th place, has some ground to make up if he is to secure one of the District's six berths to State. He carded an 11-over-par 83 yesterday. That's four shots back of the Hanford golfer who yesterday posted the sixth lowest score (79).
"Chandler is capable," said SHS Coach Gary Rohde. "He has it in him to shoot a round in the low 70s...and that's probably what it's going to take for him to grab one of those six spots to State."
Luther was on track Monday to hit the clubhouse with a round that would have had him sitting among the day-one leaders. He posted a 2-over-par 38 on the front nine, bogeying just two holes while picking up pars on the others.
His front side score could have been even a stroke lower, had it not been for a miss on an approximate five-foot birdie putt on No. 9.
Other than that one short miss with the flat stick, said Rohde, Luther putted extremely well yesterday.
The SHS ace got off to a good start on the back nine, but faltered slightly down the stretch and closed out his round with back nine 45.
Daley qualified to move on to Canyon Lakes Golf Course by hitting the cut line square on the head. His round of 87 at Sun Willows tied him for the 19th and 20th spots for day-two action at District.
The first-year golfer turned in a workman-like 45 on the front nine. Daley shaved three strokes off that after the clubhouse turn, finishing with a 42.
"Brandon drives the ball very well," said Rohde. "He was hitting some big tee shots yesterday."
Rohde admits that for Daley to grab one of the six berths to State, the Grizzly will have to post an eye-popping type round today at Canyon Lakes. "It would have to be something in the 60's," Rohde said.
Sunnyside was also represented at District yesterday by Nathan Meyer, Ian Heffron and Ethan Partch. Meyer and Heffron tallied rounds of 96 and 97, respectively. Partch totaled a 107.