Aberdeen picked up a win in the golf installment of the Myrtle Street Rivalry by a score of 174-188 on Thursday at Highland Golf Course in Cosmopolis.
While Aberdeen won by 14 strokes, the Grizzlies and Bobcats each had a golfer tie for best individual score, with Hoquiam’s Michael Jump and Aberdeen’s Nolan King both shooting a 9-hole round of 42.
Aberdeen’s Nick Farrer was right behind King, shooting a 43 followed by Evan Waara (44). Gavin Timmons rounded out the scoring for the Bobcats with a 45.
Hoquiam got a solid day from its second-leading scorer, Noah Sudderth, who posted a 45. He was followed by Dominic Pence who ended his round with a 48. Robbie Paylor was the fourth qualifying score for Hoquiam with a round of 53.
Aberdeen’s low scores came in spite of some strong winds that kicked up at the beginning of the round and persisted throughout the match.
Hoquiam head coach Terry Helland said he was impressed with how the top two golfers from both teams handled the gusts that affected tee shots early on.
“It doesn’t seem like the wind has really caused them to take any big numbers,” he said. “The first group that went in started catching the wind when they had a long par-3 and as a group they played three pars and a bogie. It seems like all the players have been adjusting pretty well.”
The weather wasn’t easy on the golfers but it appeared both teams missed the worst of what Mother Nature had to offer on Thursday. Thunder could be heard in the distance as golfers returned to the clubhouse to hand in their scorecards at the end of the round.
Aberdeen head coach Dan Sundstrom was impressed with his quartet of golfers as well and noted that King and Waara are already hitting their stride early in the season.
“Nolan (King) is playing some of the best golf of his life right now. This is almost like his home course even though we play out at the (Grays Harbor) country club,” he said. “Today Evan Waara probably dropped 10 strokes from the last time we played, so that was a huge step for him.”
A big part of Aberdeen’s low scores was the short game. King’s low score was aided by him only taking 20 putt attempts in his 9-hole round.
Sundstrom said he wants his golfers to make it a point to get a feel for the greens at every course they visit.
“We’re always working on the short game. Right now they just did the greens out at (Grays Harbor Country Club), so we’re trying to practice putting on those and then we come out to (Highland Golf Course) and have to putt on these. It’s an adjustment,” he said. “I want them to spend at least five to 10 minutes before the match on the putting green just to know how fast those greens are. Half of the game is putting.”
Aberdeen will play its first league match of the year at Grays Harbor Country Club against Rochester on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
Hoquiam will also start league competition with a matchup against Kalama on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Grizzlies will face Kalama on course that features some tricky water hazards, including a lake on the first hole that could be a challenge to a young Grizzlies team.
Helland said he’ll make sure to have his athletes ready for whatever the Lewis River Golf Course throws at them.
“We’re trying to get kids to really think about what club they’re hitting because the first hole, right off the bat, you better not have a driver in your hands,” he said. “It’s a massive carry over a lake so we’re going to get the kids some yardage sheets, let them think about their strokes and we’ll talk about it on Monday.”