EAGLE POINT — With a bogey on 17 and another on 18, Matt Hedges walked off the course dejected, almost certain that he had blown his shot at a district title. Moments later, he was pleased to discover that a pair of sand saves and back-to-back birdies earlier in the day was enough.
Hedges shot an even-par 72 to overcome a four-stroke deficit and claim the District 1 boys golf championship with a one stroke victory over Summit's Jack Loberg on Friday at Eagle Point Golf Club.
The Ashland junior, who shot a 77 in Thursday's opening round for a final two-day total of 149, birdied the par-3 eighth and the par-5 ninth to climb atop the leaderboard, sinking a 10-foot putt to cap a solid 34-stroke front nine.
Hedges thought his bogeys on 17 and 18 cost him a shot at first place, but learned that he was virtually assured of victory when he found the leaderboard.
"It was just a moment that was pretty cool because I could see all my hard work paying off," Hedges said. "I knew going into the tournament that I was one of the favorites, but I didn't want to have my mind set on that. And after the first day I was kind of in a rough position, so I knew I had to play good on the front, and I did so that helped me stay calm and collected on the back nine."
Jack Loberg of Summit entered the day as the leader after shooting a 73 on Thursday, but playing one group ahead of Hedges he shot a 77 Friday to finish second by a stroke (150). Glen Linder of Eagle Point was third with a pair of 76s (152), and Chapin Pederssen of Bend and Stephen Drgastin of Summit tied for fifth (154).
The top two teams and top five placers advance to the Class 5A state meet, set for May 13-14 at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis. Summit won the team title with a combined 610 and Bend was second (635).
Hedges avoided disaster early on, chipping out of a bunker on the par-3 third hole to within three feet of the hole to save par.
"At that moment, I knew I had a chance to get back into this tournament and play well," Hedges said.
He clutched up again on No. 9 after driving his second shot into a green-side bunker. Hedges' ensuing chip ended up two feet from the hole, and he sank the birdie putt.
Hedges stayed aggressive on the back nine, but missed a four-foot birdie putt on 13 and a two-footer on 15 to leave the door open. In the end, his top challengers couldn't capitalize.
Hedges was the only Ashland High golfer who qualified for state.
"I know I still have a lot of work to do, and my goal is to get top five (at state)," Hedges said. "I really think I can do that with two good rounds. I just need to state in the present."
TEAM SCORES — Summit 610, Bend 635, Redmond 647, Ashland 687, Eagle Point 677, Mountain View 730.
TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS — 1, Matt Hedges, Ashland, 77-72 —149; 2, Jack Loberg, Summit, 73-77 — 150; 3, Glen Linder, Eagle Point, 76-76 — 152; 4, (tie) Chapin Pederssen, Bend, 79-75 — 154 and Stephen Drgastin, Summit, 81-73 — 154.
ASHLAND (687) — Matt Hedges 77-72 — 149, Ben Sager 79-91 — 170, Chris Peterson 96-88 — 184, Kyle Breeding 98-86 — 184, Mitchell Harfst 107-105 — 212.
EAGLE POINT (677) — Glen Linder 76-76 — 152, Taylor Scott 88-93 — 181, Ethan Devore 93-90 — 183, Zach Henley 94-79 — 173, Mike Macedo 98-81 — 179.
MCNARY INVITATIONAL — At Sisters, North Medford's Daniel Schuler garnered medalists honors with a two-under par 70 and the Black Tornado finished second in the seven-school field at the Black Butte Resort.
Schuler had five birdies on the round. The Black Tornado junior posted a one-under 35 on each nine.
West Albany won the tournament at 311 and North was five strokes back.
TEAM SCORES — West Albany 311, North Medford 316, Newburg 342, Corvallis 348, McNary 348, North Salem 493, West Salem 608.
NORTH MEDFORD (316) — Daniel Schuler 35-35—70, Taler Klemp 38-43—81, Joey Walker 39-43—82, Brandon Galante 41-42—83, David Parson 42-41—83.
SPECIAL DISTRICT 1 — At Eagle Point, Lindsay Neussl of Eagle Point played consistent golf and was the top local player during the Class 5A two-day tournament to determine state qualifiers at Eagle Point Golf Course.
Neussl shot rounds of 92 and 91 for a 191 total. Teammates Taylor Hines and Sariah Beal tied at 225. Hines' 103 on Friday was her low score of the year.
Carly Walker posted a 36-hole total of 215 to lead Ashland.
Summit of Bend had the medalist and placed four girls in the low five to win the tournament with a 665 total. Bend was second (719) and Eagle Point was third (883).
The top two schools and lowest five players secure at spot in the state golf championships May 13-14 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
TEAM SCORES — Summit 665, Bend 719, Eagle Point 883, Ashland 939. Mountain View and Redmond incomplete.
TOP 5 INDIVIDUALS — 1, Madison Odiorne, Summit, 77-77—154; 2, Heidi Froelich, Bend, 79-79—158; 3, Megan Mitchell, Summit, 87-83—170; 4, (tie) Sarah Heinly, Summit, 90-81—171 and Madi Mansberger, Summit, 90-81—171.
EAGLE POINT (883) — Lindsay Neussl 92-91—191, Taylor Hines 122-103—225, Sariah Beal 115-110—225, Loresa Mayfield 127-115—242.
ASHLAND (939) — Carly Walker 104-111—215, Jordan Schweizer 123-112—235, Marie Stallman 138-112—250, Maya Timmons 122-117—239.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 8-17, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0-3 — Second-ranked Cascade Christian collected 22 hits and remained unbeaten in the Southern Cascade Hybrid with the twin bill victory at U.S. Cellular Park.
Cody Coggins and Luke Dusenbury combined for a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts and no walks in the opener.
Coggins went 3-for-4 with one RBI to lead the Challengers (17-4, 9-0 SCH). Isaiah Luzny and Daniel Scottow each had two hits and two RBIs. Scottow smacked a two-run triple in the third.
Mason LaFlamme's one-out single in the fourth broke up a perfect game for Coggins (4-0).
In the five-inning second game, Cascade's Tim Martin contributed two hits, three RBIs and scored twice. Coggins provided two hits, two RBIs and three runs and Kyle Ferguson added two hits, three runs and one RBI.
Lander Nordal had an RBI single in the first-inning for Illinois Valley.
Illinois Valley 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Cascade Christian 132 110 x — 8 10 0
Welch and Housel; Coggins, Dusenbury (5) and Jones, Clark (5). W — Coggins (4-0). L — Welch. 2B — CC: Coggins, Luzny 2. 3B — CC: Scottow.
Illinois Valley 201 00 — 3 4 2
Cascade Christian 557 0x — 17 12 1
Housel, Arias (3), Conrad (4) and Miller; Luzny, Ferguson (4) and Coggins, Ragan (4). W — Luzny (4-2). L — Housel. 2B — CC: Ferguson. 3B — CC: Ragan.
CASCADE CHRISTIAN 25-13, ILLINOIS VALLEY 0-3 — Katelyn Smith pitched a one-hitter and was supported by 10 runs in the second inning of the opener as Cascade Christian picked up the Southern Cascade Hybrid sweep at U.S. Cellular Community Park.
Smith allowed a leadoff hit to the Cougars' Idalis Calvert and was perfect from there. Smith also struck out eight.
Allison McMahon went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored for the Challengers (8-12, 4-2 SCH). She had a two-run double and two-run triple.
The Challengers' Courtney Case went 3-for-4, drove in four and scored three times while Rebekah Ratcliff added a two-run single and four runs scored.
In Game 2, Madigan Smith helped her own cause with a two-run in-the-park home run. She also earned the victory from the circle, giving up three runs — only one earned — on four hits to go with six strikeouts.
Kelsey Bogue went 2-for-3, drove in three and scored twice while McMahon finished 2-for-3 with three runs scored and an RBI. Case also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
Illinois Valley 000 00 — 0 1 0
Cascade Christian 4(10)8 3x — 25 16 0
Calvert and Augustadt; K. Smith and Ratcliff. W — K. Smith (5-7). L — Calvert. 2B — CC: C. Case, McMahon, Bogue, Emery-Hunter, M. Smith. 3B — CC: McMahon.
Illinois Valley 200 10 — 3 4 0
Cascade Christian 160 60 — 13 11 1
Mason, Augustadt (3) and Sommers; M. Smith and McMahon. W — M. Smith (3-5). L — Mason. 2B — CC: Case. 3B — IV: Calvert. HR — CC: M. Smith.