Sports

Cuomo, Taylor finish ninth

Far left, first-year Wolverine golfer Megan Cuomo overcame jitters, inclement weather and pressure from more experienced golfers to finish in a tie for ninth at the 1A Golf State Championship. Left, Wolverine golfer Jordyn Taylor had a tough time with his long drives but excelled in putting to finish in ninth place at the 1A Golf State Championship. - Islands Sounder / Claudia Bradley
Far left, first-year Wolverine golfer Megan Cuomo overcame jitters, inclement weather and pressure from more experienced golfers to finish in a tie for ninth at the 1A Golf State Championship. Left, Wolverine golfer Jordyn Taylor had a tough time with his long drives but excelled in putting to finish in ninth place at the 1A Golf State Championship.
— image credit: Islands Sounder / Claudia Bradley

Wolverines finish sixth overall at state tournament

Two of four Wolverine golfers finished in the top 10 at the 1A Golf State Tournament at North Bellingham May 20-21.

And in team scoring, the Wolverines finished sixth with 54 points, 41/2 points behind fifth-place King’s.

But the headliner would have to be Megan Cuomo. The first-year Wolverine golfer overcame a nervous debut, inclement weather and the pressure of more experienced golfers to finish in a four-way tie for ninth with a first-round 99 and a second-round 100.

Kelli Bowers of Chelan High School won the state title with a first-round 80 and a second-round 76.

“I definitely think I could have played a lot better,” Cuomo said. “I had a lot of bad holes the first day, but I’m still pretty happy.”

Junior Jordyn Taylor finished ninth among boys with a first-round 81 and a second-round 77. Junior Cody Price finished in a three-way tie for 18th, shooting 80 on the first day and 82 on the second.

Chris Johnson of Chimacum High School won the state title. He shot a 3-under 69 in the first round and 79 in the second.

Friday Harbor senior Micah Reitan shot 97 the first day and didn’t make the cut. Still, he was pleased with his prep golf career’s conclusion. “I reached all of my goals,” he said. Reitan had hoped to reach the tri-district tournament but exceeded that and qualified for state.

Friday Harbor Coach Bryan Germain wished islanders could have experienced the tournament, felt what his players felt, to really understand what they accomplished.

There was a gallery of at least 400 spectators. Course marshals watched every stroke. The field included golfers from larger schools with well-financed programs. Shoot 9 on one hole and there are no do-overs; you’ve fallen behind and are on your way out.

“No one gets the feel for state golf. The tension is unbelievable,” he said.

Islanders missed out, he said.

“The only people from our school were parents, grandparents and friends. There were no teachers, no athletic director, no coaches from other sports there.”

North Bellingham was the site of the 1999 PNGA Men’s Amateur Qualifier and the 2000 PGA Assistant’s Championship. It has gently rolling fairways and panoramic views of Mount Baker. Prevailing winds can add to the challenge of this par-72 course. The course record from the blue tees is 65; from the white tees, 61.

The first day, the girls teed off in rain and wind. By the second day, the inclement weather had yielded — and so did Cuomo’s jitters.

After she made the cut, “there was no place to go after that,” she said.

Cuomo shot par on the par-4 13th and the par-3 14th, missing a 12-foot birdie putt by a couple of inches on one of the holes.

Taylor improved over last year, when he shot 86 in the first round and didn’t make the cut, ending up in 42nd place.

At this year’s state tournament, Taylor struggled with his long drives. “But toward the end, my putting was really good and that really saved me.” He had seven or eight birdies over two days and had 28 putts in the second round.

Taylor’s confident he can finish in the Top 5 next year.

Notebook: Micah Reitan said he’ll “train hard” this summer with hopes of playing for Skagit Valley College in 2008-09 ... Cody Price and Jordyn Taylor will compete in the Washington Junior Golf Association Tournament June 25 at Sudden Valley.

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