At the time he made the 5-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, Bellingham’s Nick Nolan didn’t know it was for a state championship.
“I had to sit in the clubhouse and wait,” Nolan said. “But I knew I had posted a great score.”
Nolan’s 70 on day two of the Class 2A State Championships on Wednesday, May 25, at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland locked up a state title by one stroke over Liberty’s Luke Hall (73). The senior was five strokes better than his 75 on Day 1 and according to Nolan the main reason was how he started Day 2.
Nolan started 3-over-par through the first three holes on Day 1 but came out and posted a minus one Wednesday.
“I had so much confidence going into the round,” Nolan said. “There was stuff I could control and I had my mind set on achieving my goal of winning a state title.”
Before Nolan sunk the birdie putt on the 18th hole, he rearranged the ball before stepping up and draining it. Nolan said he hesitated at first but then told himself to “just seal it.”
It’s hard to believe that just four years ago the Gonzaga commit had never played golf competitively. Coach David Bobillot said he remembers Nolan’s game his freshman year.
“He was a pretty good ball striker that didn’t have control,” Bobillot said. “He got better at it his sophomore year and then he just tore it up his junior year. He’s won everything he could win at the high school level now.”
Nolan attributed his title to strong short game play, which he said he honed by a pond in his grandparent’s backyard. He said he spent summers pitching balls onto a floating target about 60 yards away becuase he had the desire to be a great golfer.
“Nick is such a technician on the golf course,” Bobillot said. “It’s been a pleasure and an honor to be associated with him. I’ve enjoyed every minute.”