By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.
Simultaneous sudden- death playoffs to decide both the individual two-man scramble champion and the team titles added some gravity to Friday afternoon when Central Kitsap tied Port Angeles with an 8-under-par team total of 208 in the seven-school tourney.
On the individual side, the Port Angeles pairing of Alex Atwell and Micah Needham fired a round of 7-under-par 65 to equal Shelton's Grant Cation and Mitchell DeAndre.
Big tee shot
Going off first in the playoff, the groups both parred the first playoff hole, the par-5 10th, and headed over to the 157-yard par-3 17th hole.
Atwell did much of the heavy lifting on the second hole when his arcing tee shot landed a foot and a half uphill from the pin.
Shelton's team missed both of its pin-high left-edge birdie putts to the center-cut pin from 10 feet, leaving them with par.
One more hefty downhill putt was needed, though, before the Roughriders tandem could claim its title.
Atwell's partner Micah Needham knocked in the birdie with no hint of a problem, giving the Port Angeles pair the championship.
But it wasn't as easy as it may have looked for Needham.
“It felt like my putter weighed a 100 pounds on that putt,” a relieved Needham said afterward.
If he'd missed, Atwell would have still had his shot at holing the birdie for the win, but Needham was able to give his pairing the style points their play deserved.
“Sometimes you get lucky and get to see kids hitting fantastic shots when the pressure is on and that's what happened today,” Riders coach Mark Mitrovich said.
“I have a good feeling this experience will help them down the line when they play at districts or state.”
Atwell and Needham went out in 5-under 31, picking up birdies on their first hole (they started on No. 2), the third hole and three straight on holes 7-9.
This included a 20-foot birdie putt holed by Needham on No. 8 after an Atwell miss.
Needham then skulled his tee shot on the 149-yard par-3 ninth hole, putting pressure on Atwell to deliver and get his team closer to the green.
“We were really ham and egging it all day,” Atwell said, referring to the golf term where two players are teamed and one plays a hole poorly and the other plays the same hole well.
Deliver he did, landing his drive within 1 feet 11 inches, collecting the birdie and later pocketing a sleeve of Titleist Pro V1 golf balls as a closest to the pin prize after the round.
“I've never put two approach shots like that [on No. 9 and in the playoff] together in one round,” Atwell said.
The twosome cooled a bit on the back nine, dealing with a short rain squall and slower, wetter greens, but still managed birdies on the par-4 12th and par-5 15th.
“We really played as well as we can,” Atwell said.
With the thought of sending three two-man teams back on the course an unwieldy prospect in the darkening daylight, Mitrovich and Central Kitsap coach Paul Stensen conferred and allowed each team to pick a pairing to represent each school in the playoff.
The Riders selected Mason Jackson and Alex Brown to face Central Kitsap's Aubrey MacKenzie and Austin Townsend
The Cougars' team left an eagle putt 10 feet short on No. 10 and missed the birdie, while Jackson and Brown chipped their eagle shot to within five feet, before Jackson missed a breaking left to right putt and Brown lipped out on his try.
They then went to No. 17 where Mackenzie hit an even-better tee shot than Atwell's in the individual playoff, this one to within about 6 inches, all but handing the team title to Central Kitsap.
The Jackson/Brown duo missed the green and had to chip up and putt in from 5 feet for par before Mackenzie tapped in for the win.
“I think it shows the strength of our team; they wanted to involve the other group and make it a real team win,” Mitrovich said of his squad's decision to not go with Atwell and Needham in both playoffs.
“If it had been Alex and Micah, they would have tied with Central Kitsap on No. 17 and the playoff would have kept going to No. 18.”
All three Port Townsend duos played steady golf as the Redskins finished a surprising third in the seven-team tournament with a two-under-par total of 214.
“I'm a little shocked to be honest,” Port Townsend coach Gabriel Tonan said.
“I wasn't sure that my No. 3 team could post that low of a score, those are my fourth and sixth players, but they really surprised me.”
That group, Keegan Khile and Lucas Foster shot a 1-under-par 71.
The Redskins' No. 1 duo of Zack Glover and Patrick Morton shot 70 and the No. 2 team of Jack Bishop and Austin Khile posted a round of 73.
Sequim finished fifth as a team, led by the strong play of Jack Shea and Travis Priest, who shot a 68, a score that could have gone lower if a few more close putts had fallen for them.
Anthony Pinza and Jesse Francis teamed to shoot 75, and Henry Markham and Alex McCracken shot a 79 for the Wolves.
Chimacum brought two pairs to the event so they didn't place as a team.
The Cowboys were lead by a 3-under-par 69 from Jack Hilt and James Porter.
Port Angeles and Sequim will get back to Olympic League play when the Wolves travel to face the Riders at Peninsula Golf Club on Monday.
Port Townsend will host Klahowya on Thursday and Chimacum will next play in the Nisqually League Championship this week.
2014 Duke Streeter Invitational
Par (72) 216
*1. Central Kitsap (-8) 208
Aubrey Mackenzie/Alex Townsend 67, Andrew Hanson/Spencer Jacobson 67, Chris Kwon/Ben Milovich 74.
1. Port Angeles No. 1 (-8) 208
Alex Atwell/Micah Needham 65, Mason Jackson/Austin Peterson 68, Alex Brown/Avery Koehler 75.
3. Port Townsend (-2) 214
Zack Glover/Patrick Morton 70, Jack Bishop/Austin Khile 73, Keegan Khile/Lucas Foster 71.
4. Shelton (+2) 218
Grant Catoni/Mitchell DeAndre 65, Tyler Speaks/Landon McGlothlin 76, Colby Puller/Nick Guyer 77.
5. Sequim (+6) 222
Jack Shea/Travis Priest 68, Anthony Pinza/Jesse Francis 75, Henry Markham/Alex McCracken 79.
6. Olympic (+24) 240
C.J. Lagat/Conner Geyer 79, Tanner Triggs/Bryce Hoek 79, Kyle Forster/Caleb Jennings 82.
7. Chimacum (incomplete)
Jack Hilt/James Porter 69, Chris Bainbridge/Marcus Buford 80.
*Central Kitsap defeated Port Angeles on the 2nd playoff hole.