SEQUIM — It took 118 holes to separate Sequim golfers Blake Wiker and Paul Jacobsen and even then Wiker triumphed solely by a single stroke.
Wiker and Jacobsen’s results aligned so similarly that the pair each finished 117 holes of golf during Olympic League regular season and Olympic League Championship play at 490 strokes apiece and with identical scoring averages of 37.69 per nine holes.
“It’s more than a little crazy that their season scoring averages were the exact same and they tied for the lead at the league championship,” Wolves boys golf coach Bill Shea said.
Wiker did edge Jacobsen in a one-hole playoff to claim the league title at The Cedars at Dungeness, but the overall consistency and stellar play displayed by the pair made honoring both golfers an easy choice.
Wiker and Jacobsen are the All-Peninsula Boys Golf MVPs as selected by the Peninsula Daily News sports staff. It’s the second All-Peninsula Boys Golf MVP selection for each player as Wiker, a recently graduated senior, and Jacobsen, a junior, previously won MVP honors after their sophomore seasons at Sequim.
“We are both great golfers,” Wiker said. “We both have great short games and across the board in all facets of the game we are consistent as you can see.”
But contrasts can be found between the two on the course.
“They have different styles, so it goes to show you there’s a lot of different ways to play this game,” Shea said. “A lot of golf is being comfortable with who you are as a player and managing to best of your ability.”
Wiker is the tactician, plotting each shot out and weighing the benefits of risk vs. reward.
“Blake is certainly more methodical,” Shea said. “He plays percentage shots, he plays a safer game.
“I think Paul plays more aggressively. Paul probably had more birdies on the year but also had more others, that’s how they approach the game. One is more cautious and methodical, the other is aggressive and attacking, but both approaches work for each other.”
Wiker said there’s no rivalry between the two.
“It is definitely friendly we are always talking with each other and when you get to playing you are not necessarily focused on your partners, but on how you play the course,” Wiker said.
“One of us would get going in a match and we could feed off each other and want the other guy to play their best. That’s one of the best parts of high school golf, being on a team in an individual sport and getting to see my teammates succeed in general, because I always root for them.”
The pair, along with freshman Ben Sweet and senior Liam Payne, finished second as a team at the Class 2A State Championships, bested only by a Ridgefield supersquad that sent all six of its varsity players to state.
Wiker overcame a first-round rules decision that said he had exceeded his allotted time searching for a lost ball to finish sixth overall.
“It was very impressive what he was able to do, it speaks to how methodical he is as a player,” Shea said. “It took three or four holes to get over that shock, and for other players, myself included, it could have taken 10 or 12 holes.
“He was able to get back on track, and Blake in bouncing back, playing those last four holes in 2-under-par was remarkable and he ended up making a very respectable score.
“You’re out there with no leaderboard, no idea where the scores are and worried about making the cut, and at the end of the first round he was in 10th place.”
Wiker capped a career that featured four trips to state and two top 10 finishes.
“An impressive career for him and Liam [Payne],” Shea said. “They are in an elite club of athletes who have played their entire four-year high school careers without a loss. I’m super happy for them to be part of that club. And each one of them got better every year.”
Sequim went 40-0 in regular-season matches, including 37-0 in Olympic League play, the last four seasons.
Wiker also was double-dipping for much of May, practicing for the state tennis championships in which he teamed with Thomas Hughes to place seventh in doubles, and for the state golf tournament.
Jacobsen was tied for the state lead after firing a 73 in the first round, but struggled on day two and finished 10th in his third state trip.
Shea believes Jacobsen can use the close call as a motivating factor in his senior year next spring.
“How to stay calm, how to stay present, how to manage those emotions,” Shea said. “Sleeping on a lead at the state tournament has to be one of the most challenging things to go through. Paul hadn’t been there before. And being comfortable with pressure — that comes from experience. And the mental approach to golf — the better you get at the game the more important the mental aspect. Paul’s only going to get better and it’s great for him to understand that he can do that [compete for the state title]. Hopefully day two is more of a motivator for him going forward.”
Wiker, one of seven Sequim valedictorians along with Payne, will head off to study mechanical engineering at the Honors College at Oregon State University this fall.
He said he’ll still play golf on the side at nearby Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis, Ore.
“I was happy to see there was a really nice course close to campus,” Wiker said.