The expiring daylight leads way to an uninhabited Semiahmoo Golf Course - such a place where Blaine's Devan Boucher can refine the subtleties of his golf game.
"I just like to go out by myself and work on what I need to work on," Boucher said in a phone interview. "It's calming. I kind of forget about whatever homework I might have or anything. I just play golf and forget about everything."
While others abandon the golf course in favor of other ventures, Boucher plays a few more holes, and then a few more. There is always something to work on.
Such practice and dedication has paid off for Boucher as he is set to compete in the Class 1A State Tournament alongside his teammate, Ryan Wallen, at the Lake Spanaway Golf Course on Tuesday, May 21. Boucher advanced to state after shooting a round of 87 at tri-districts at the Golf Mount Golf Club, besting the cut line by two strokes.
By all indications, though, Boucher had what was his worst 18-hole round at tri-districts this year while still managing to play well enough to get to state.
"I got off to a really bad start, and then I started playing good, and then the last few holes I started playing bad," he said. "I didn't want to get so close to the cut line at tri-districts as I did, but I still made it."
That is all that matters. Upon teeing off at state, the entire field of 33 will have the same score as Boucher.
If this season is any indication, Boucher's 87 at tri-districts was more the exception rather than the rule. The third-year varsity golfer found a home in the mid to high seventies early in the season, a level of consistency and maturity he continued to display even throughout the trying round at tri-districts.
"I will talk to him on the golf course, and he'll say, 'I've had a couple bad holes, but I'll get them back,'" Blaine coach Steve Barthlow said in a phone interview. "He has a mature approach about the game... And he has a confidence in his ability to play (after) his bad shots."
That new-found confidence in his game has been a revelation, Barthlow added, freeing Boucher to play more to his potential. Potential Boucher tapped into during a round at the Homstead Farms Golf Course on April 26.
Boucher shot a personal-best 74 on that day, besting Wallen, the 2011 Class 2A champion and the runner-up in 2012, by two strokes. In a day where the roles were shifted between Blaine's top two golfers, nothing was lost in the moments following Boucher's amazing round.
"Ryan was the first one patting him on the back, congratulating him. That is the type of kid Ryan is," Barthlow said of Wallen. "They are competing against the course and rooting for each other to do well."
A round like that most certainly is something to remember, as Boucher recalls the way he was striking the ball that day.
"The one I remember most was my first shot of the day," Boucher said. "I hit it about six feet from the hole, and I thought right after I hit that shot, 'Huh, this might be a really good day.' I knew right after that that it was going to be a good round."
Boucher's surge to one of the class golfers in the 1A can be boiled down to a move he made during the offseason in a summer golf tournament. Boucher was struggling finding the fairway with his driver, and a spur-of-the-moment move to his 5-wood turned out to be a revelation of sorts for his game, he said.
"After a while, I realized after playing all these tournaments, that it really doesn't matter how far you hit it," he said. "A guy that hits it 200 yards of the tee can beat a guy that hits it 280 or 300 off the tee if they compensate with their short game.
"I just figured I'll just keep it in play, and I'll be fine."
Wallen, while acknowledging that one of his particular strengths on the golf course is his ability to use the driver effectively, noted the veteran-savvy move Boucher made in the switch to the 5-wood.
"He hits a little, tight draw down the middle every time," Wallen said in a phone interview. "That is what separates him from a lot of guys, is that he just keeps it in play and doesn't get in a lot of trouble."
Although Boucher tempered his expectations a bit shy of winning the state championship, he did fancy himself at very least a top-10 finish, something he could certainly take solace in after all those late nights at Semiahmoo.