Blaine boys golf takes third at 1A state golf tournament

Published on Wed, May 22, 2013 by Ian Ferguson

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Blaine senior Ryan Wallen capped his prodigious high school golfing career with a second place finish in the 1A state tournament, and joined teammate Devan Boucher in hoisting the third place state trophy for Blaine. Wallen shot a 73 on the first day and a 74 on the second day for a combined score of 147. Boucher tied for eighth, shooting a 77 and a 78 for a total score of 155.


Ross Kukula from Ilwaco won the tournament with a combined score of 139. The Ilwaco team won the overall title for its fourth year in a row.


"It was a great tournament," Wallen said. "Obviously second place wasn't what I had in mind, but I can't complain. I was thankful to have the opportunity to be in contention going into the second round, and I played well. Ross (Kukula) just played better. He's a helluva player and I wish him the best."

 

The two-day tournament at Lake Spanaway Golf Course May 21 and 22 pitted golfers against a long course and challenging weather, especially on the second day when torrential downpours lasted all morning.

 

"We got rained on most of the round and it was cold, but Blaine had a great day and tournament. Boucher double bogied the 12th hole to go six over, but played par golf the rest of the day. While I know both (Wallen and Boucher) would have loved to do better, I am very pleased with their efforts," said coach Steve Barthlow. "Finishing third at state with two golfers is quite a feat. Both the teams that finished ahead of us qualified four golfers for day two." 

 

Both Wallen and Boucher put on strong performances in the first day of the tournament. Spanaway received torrential downpours the night before the competition, which prevented crews from getting in a final mow of the greens.

 “I thought the course played pretty well considering the rain we had,” Boucher said. 

“I was getting some run off the tee, and the greens were not bad at all.” 
Boucher said he was happy with his performance on the first day. “Considering the length of the course, it ranks right up there with the 74 I shot at Homestead (April 25),” he said.

 

Similarly, Wallen was content with his performance in the first round. Wallen and Kukula were neck and neck most of the day, but on the 13th hole Wallen hooked his drive and hit a tree, sending the ball out of bounds for a penalty stroke.


“If not for that hole, Wallen might have been in the lead at the end of the day,” Barthlow said. Wallen kept his composure, shooting one-under on his last couple holes.

“I hit it solid, and putted well too,” he said. “I had a few lip outs but had a lot of tap in pars. Besides the 13th hole I had a great day.”

In the second round May 22, golfers played through heavy rain in the morning. Wallen had a couple birdie putts that didn't fall, but he was able to finish strong with a birdie on the last hole. He ended the day with a two-over-par 74, six points behind Kukula's four-under-par 68.

Blaine's most successful golfer in years, Wallen earned the 2A championship title his sophomore year and two second place finishes in 2A his freshman and junior years. He will play for the University of Wyoming golf team as a freshman next year. 

"Obviously I had high hopes for myself individually, but I'm more happy for our team and our program," Wallen said. "That was all Devan. He put two great rounds together and I think he deserves credit for our third place finish. It was a great senior year."

 

Top photo: Ryan Wallen chips out of a sand trap earlier in the season. Photo by Joan Campbell.

Below: Devan Boucher putts on the 18th hole, day two of the 1A State Tournament. Photo by Shelby Boucher.