Wallen in second after first day at 1A state golf tournament

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 22, 2013 

Blaine golfer Ryan Wallen found himself two shots out from first place in the first round of the Class 1A State Boys Golf Tournament at Lake Spanaway Golf Course after shooting a 73 on Tuesday, May 21.

Wallen will look to catch Ross Kukula from Ilwaco, who shot a 71.

"Blaine had a great day today," Blaine coach Steve Barthlow said in a phone interview. "Ryan was one over and Devan Boucher shot five over and is in a tie for twelfth. I think we did well because we were able to come down and have some practice rounds before the tournament."

Barthlow said Wallen was able to play his game - hit nice shots, hit the green and make the putts.

"I was abe to hit it well all day," Wallen said in a phone interview. "I had a double bogey but other than that I hit really well. I was able to hit a lot of greens early. My problem is I usually start out slow but I birdied the first hole and I don't think I have ever done that. I even asked my coach after if he had ever seen me birdie the first hole."

Wallen said even though this is his final year, he isn't feeling the pressure because he is comfortable with his game. He said if he is able to do the same thing on the second day he knows he can improve his score.

Thirty-eight golfers made the cut to contend for the 1A title.

Mount Baker's Kenny Wilson (77) and Kristjan Toivola (85) advanced and Lynden Christian's Lincoln Olson (78), Luke Olson (81), Willy Scholten (82) and Weber Bartz (84) advanced.

"We didn't play as well as we thought we would," Lynden Christian coach Dana Hagen said in a phone interview. "We started out struggling on the front nine but the guys gutted it out. We had some guys that were close to not making it and were able to play well on the back nine to get in."

Hagen said the team was able to finish strong. He said Lynden Christian is one of only two teams with four players left and if they play well could have a shot at playing for the team title.

Devan Boucher shot a 77 to also advance for Blaine.

"Devan played awesome on the back nine," Barthlow said. "I hope tomorrow they play the way they played today and make a few more putts. They both put themselves in great spots and had a lot of opportunities. If they are both consistent off the tee like today, I think they have a great chance to score low tomorrow."

Boucher started off four over after four holes, but was able to birdie the fifth and stay consistent the rest of the round.

"I got off to a slow start but played well the rest of the day," Boucher said. "If I could eliminate having a double bogey hole I think that will help. Also, if I am more aggressive while putting early. I putted better as the round went on and if I am aggresive right out of the gate I should do better tomorrow."

All three 1A girls golfers advanced to the second day. Mount Baker's Laura Wilson finished in sixth with a score of 86. Meridian's Abbi Rautenberg finished with a 91 and Blaine's Young Lee shot a 93.

"Laura played the best round of the year today," Mount Baker coach Mike Lembo said in a phone interview. "She putted really well and had a quadruple bogey and still finished with a solid round. She knows this course well and is playing really great golf."

Wilson said once she was able to get those rough holes out of the way, she was able to play a lot better.

"My long game was going really well and I stayed in the fairway most of the time," Wilson said. "I need to make sure I putt a little better and hopefully I can pull those things together and do a little better."

Lembo said if she is able to not have a bad hole she could easily break 80 and finish top five.

Madisen Bentley of Life Christian Academy had the best score of the day and shot a 71.

CLASS 1A BOYS

Site: Lake Spanaway Golf Course, Spanaway

Whatcom County players School Score (place)

Ryan Wallen Blaine 73 (2)

Kenny Wilson Mount Baker 77 (12)

Devan Boucher Blaine 77 (12)

Lincoln Olson Lynden Christian 78 (14)

Luke Olson Lynden Christian 81 (20)

Willy Scholten Lynden Christian 82 (25)

Weber Bartz Lynden Christian 84 (36)

Kristjan Toivola Mount Baker 85 (39)

Dillon VanerHoek Lynden Christian 88 (cut)

Drake Vanderyacht Meridian 90 (cut)

CLASS 1A GIRLS

Site: Lake Spanaway Golf Course, Spanaway

Whatcom County players School Score (place)

Laura Wilson Mount Baker 86 (6)

Abbi Rautenberg Meridian 91 (15)

Young Lee Blaine 93 (20)

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