DUPONT - Willy Scholten didn't know he was tied for first place heading into the 18th and final hole of the Class 1A State Tournament. He thought he trailed by one stroke.
Scholten believed he needed to birdie the final hole with Ilwaco's Ross Kukula one group behind him, so he tried to be aggressive with his second shot as he approached the green.
But the aggressive stroke backfired and Scholten's shot sailed over the green. He made it back to the left front edge of it with his next shot, but ran his next putt past the hole by eight feet.
Scholten took a double bogey on the final hole as waves of umbrellas in the audience watched it all unfold.
In the end, Lynden Christian's top golfer finished two strokes off first place.
He tied for second alongside Omak's Ryder Lewis with a two day, 36-hole, total at 151 strokes as Kukula finished first after both he and Scholten were tied going into the 18th hole on Wednesday, May 23, at the Home Course in DuPont.
"It was just somewhat of a disappointment," Scholten said in a phone interview. "All those guys were watching me and they knew I was close to the lead and thought I might at least make par. But just the fact I was in that position was better than I expected considering how I was playing."
Scholten said he thought he was out of the running for the state title after consecutive bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes. But Kukula also struggled on the back nine and kept Scholten in the running.
Scholten came back with a birdie on 16 and saved par on 17 to set himself up for the final hole, tied with Kukula for the lead and the chance to be the 1A state champion.
But Scholten said he thought Kukula made a birdie putt on 17 that he actually missed and took par on. So Scholten tried to play the final hole aggressively to get a birdie and tie it back up.
"He just got a little too pumped up and excited and overshot the green," said Lynden Christian coach Dana Hagen in a phone interview. "He was disappointed because he battled hard all day."
Scholten shot 75 the second round after shooting 76 the opening round on Tuesday.
It was the second straight runner-up finish for Scholten after shooting 66 the final round last year to propel himself to second.
"I really wanted to get that state title this year," Scholten said. "That was the main goal coming in. I could have placed 30th in the league, but as long as I won this one it still would have been awesome. But it is what it is. It just makes me realize how close I am to being on top of the state. It is going to make me work harder."
Lynden Christian finished third as a team for the second straight year. It scored 65.50 points.
Meridian's Jackson Phillips finished 22nd after shooting 82 on Tuesday and 83 on Wednesday for a 165 total. He placed 24th last season and was 36th as a sophomore as he placed at state each of the three years competing with the Meridian golf program.
Lynden Christian's Weber Bartz shot 166 for 24th place. He shot 82 on Wednesday.
Lincoln Olson shot 84 on Wednesday and finished with 169 strokes in the state tournament for 32nd. His brother, Luke Olson shot 91 the second day for 179 strokes and 44th place.
CLASS 1A STATE TOURNAMENT
At The Home Course, DuPont
Team scores: 1. Ilwaco 121.50; 2. Lakeside 66.00; 3. Lynden Christian 65.50; 4. King's 61.50; 5. Ridgefield 43.50; 6. Bellevue Christian 35.00; 7. Charles Wright Academy 28.50; 8. Overlake 21.50; 9. Chimacum 17.50
Top 5: 1. Ross Kukula (Ilwaco 149; 2. Ryder Lewis (Omak) 151; 2. Willy Scholten (Lynden Christian) 151; 4. Joe Harvie (Orting) 152; 4. Rylee Iacolucci (Ilwaco) 156
Lynden Christian: Willy Scholten 151; Weber Bartz 166; Lincoln Olson 169; Luke Olson 176
Meridian: Jackson Phillips 165