Lincoln Olson shot a 76 in the first round of the state tournament to lead three Lynden Christian boys’ golfers who made the cut at the Class 1A State Championships on Wednesday, May 27, at Sun Willows Golf Course.
Erik Vander Velden shot an 82 and Travis Roosma shot an 83 to make the cut set at 84. Kaden Sterk shot a 91 in the first round and missed the cut by seven strokes.
“I’m really pleased and excited. I wish I had all four advancing,” Lynden Christian coach Dana Hagen said in a phone interview. “To get three is a feat. It speaks well for our program.”
Olson currently sits tied for seventh place after the first round and is six shots behind the leader.
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“I had a few easy putts I gave away,” Olson said. “I hit the ball solid. After nine (holes) I had a flashback from last year where I took myself out of the race after the first nine. I didn’t want to have that feeling again.”
Heading into the second round, Olson said he will be looking to be more aggressive in order to make up the six strokes on the leader. But having his two teammates advancing to the second day is one thing he’s excited about.
“I’m proud of them. They’ve worked hard,” he said. “To see it all pay off and come together at the perfect time. It’s so much fun to see them succeed and cheer them on.”
Vander Velden is currently tied for 31st place after the first round, but knows there is room to improve heading into round two.
“I left a lot of strokes out there,” he said. “I need to work on not having some bad holes and keeping it consistent.”
Roosma is a stroke behind Vander Velden in 35th place heading into the second round.
“We played better than we thought we would,” Roosma said. “I had some opportunities to do better than what I shot, but I did the best with what I had.”
Jon Kihm and Nick Rautenberg both will be advancing to the second round for Meridian. Kihm ended the day shooting an 84 and Rautenberg shot an 80. Joel Esbach missed the cut with a 94.
“The kids had the perfect mindset. All three of them,” Meridian coach Bryant D’Hondt said in a phone interview. “They handled themselves really well and I’m impressed by their demeanor. All smiles, all day.”
Heading into the second round, D’Hondt doesn’t expect any changes from his golfers.
“My kids know they don’t have to do anything,” he said. “They’ve done all the hard work. Smile and have fun, and results will be there.”
Natalie Verry ended the first round with a score of 117 and missed the cut for Mount Baker’s girls’ golf team.
The Class 1A State Championships will continue Thursday, May 28, at Sun Willows Golf Course.