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Cuomo places sixth at 1A State Golf Tournament; Wolverines place fifth | Golf

Top photo: Friday Harbor sophomore Megan Cuomo shot 88-91-179 to place sixth among girls at the 1A State Golf Tournament at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland. Bottom photo: Friday Harbor senior Dustin Howard shot 74-77-151 to finish 19th among boys.  The Wolverines finished fifth overall.    - Journal file photos
Top photo: Friday Harbor sophomore Megan Cuomo shot 88-91-179 to place sixth among girls at the 1A State Golf Tournament at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland. Bottom photo: Friday Harbor senior Dustin Howard shot 74-77-151 to finish 19th among boys. The Wolverines finished fifth overall.
— image credit: Journal file photos

Friday Harbor sophomore Megan Cuomo placed sixth among girls at the 1A State Golf Tournament at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland. The Wolverines finished fifth overall.

But those results don't tell the whole story. Let's take a walk on the course with Greg Taylor, father of Friday Harbor golfer Jordyn Taylor.

"I was talking to Ryan Kukula's dad and he asked me what I did for a living. I said, 'I'm a carpenter. What do you do?' And he said, 'I'm a golf pro.' Another golfer was the coach's son. These guys play fall golf, winter golf. My kid's a state wrestler, then he gets to golf. But these guys, that's all they do. That's how competitive it's gotten. And there's lots of psych-out."

Competitive indeed. Thursday, Cuomo's 88 was good enough for a three-way tie for third in round one, only three strokes behind No. 2 Alex Howells of Cascade Christian — but 16 strokes behind leader Kelli Bowers of Chelan.

"Megan fought back," Coach Bryan Germain said. "She lost her golf swing but she really held on and battled the whole way until it clicked back in. She really hung on."

Cuomo shot 91 in the second round Thursday for a two-day total of 179, behind No. 5 Chloe Johnson of Bush, 89-89-178; Deanna Wade of Charles Wright, 88-88-176; Alyssa Maine of Freeman, 90-84-174; Howells, 85-88-173; and Bowers, the state champ, 72-74-146.

It’s Cuomo’s second consecutive year in the top 10 — she finished ninth in last year’s tournament.

Among the boys, three of Ilwaco's players finished in the top five. Zach Wanderscheid of Goldendale shot 4-under 68-68-136 to win the state title. Friday Harbor senior Dustin Howard shot 74-77-151 to finish 19th. Senior Jordyn Taylor, who won his third consecutive tri-district tournament this year, shot 78-76-154 for 24th. Senior Cody Price shot 79-76-155 for 25th. Junior Tyler McKee, who finished round one in a tie for 20th with 3-over 75, shot 89 the next day to finish 41st with a two-day total of 164.

Howard, a home-schooler in his debut year as a Wolverine golfer, admitted having "jitters" the first day of the tournament. He also had some trouble with his short game.

"I lipped out for five birdies on the front and three on the back. Fortunately, my long game was good. I had a good vibe," Howard said.

Taylor, who plans to golf for Western after a stint at a Bible college in Maui, was scheduled first at the tee in both rounds of the tournament. "He never got out of that jitter box," his dad said. "All it takes is a couple of shots and you're behind one or behind two, and then you're playing catch up. That's golf."

Columbia Point Golf Course is a tight course with mounded, rolling fairways and large, undulating greens. The course is ranked 11th in Washington by the Western Golf Alliance. "These are the fastest greens we've played on all year," Germain said.

The temperature also proved to be a formidable foe — in the high 80s, hot for islanders — but "they put a lot of sunscreen on and drank a lot of water," Germain said.

As a team, the Wolverines had a score of 55, good enough for fifth place behind Overlake, 73.5; Freeman, 75.5; Ilwaco, 147; and team champ, King's 159.5. It's the best performance in Germain's three seasons as coach.

"I'm proud of everybody and how they played this year," he said. "They handled themselves well on the golf course — good sportsmanship, real leaders."

Of his team's performance at the state tournament, he said, "Of four players and eight rounds of golf, we had seven rounds in the 70s. That's pretty sweet."

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