SPORTS: Chimacum, Sequim and Port Townsend golfers sitting near top of leaderboards at state tournaments

DUPONT — Give Mason Moug a hot putter and the Chimacum Cowboys just might have another state champion.

The Chimacum senior sits just two shots behind the leader after one round of golf at the Class 1A state tournament at The Home Course in DuPont on Tuesday.

Moug shot a 1-over par 73 to stay within striking distance of Ridgefield’s Brett Johnson (71) and lead a contingent of four North Olympic Peninsula golfers in the top 10 of their respective state tourneys with one round to go today.

“He played a great round,” Chimacum coach Mitch Black said. “If his putter would have been a little bit hotter, he would be leading the tournament.

“He just played a really solid match. He managed his game really well.”

He wasn’t alone among area golfers.

Quimper Peninsula rival Cody Piper is lying in wait a few shots back of Moug after shooting a 3-over 75 in the 1A boys tourney.

Meanwhile, Sequim’s Ryan O’Mera shot a 76 in the 2A boys tournament at The Classic Golf Course in Spanaway, and is just four shots back in a four-way tie for fifth place.

“He’s right in the thick of things,” Sequim boys coach Vic Quinet said of O’Mera. “He’s got an excellent shot.”

Of course, Moug is the one with the best shot of them all.

Tied with Ilwaco’s Ryan Kukula in second place at the 1A event, the three-time state participant is hardly new to his advantageous position.

Last year, he sat in seventh place after one round of play, but then scuffled in the final round, shooting an 82, and fell all the way to 22nd place.

If he can somehow avoid repeating history today on the hard-and-fast Home Course, then Moug has a shot at winning Chimacum’s third individual state title in school history.

The second one came just three years ago from Class of 2008 graduate Chris Johnson.

“He could surprise you,” Black said of Moug, also the Cowboys football team’s starting quarterback. “He’s certainly in the position right now.”

The reason for that, according to Black, was Moug’s steady play in the fairways and short game.

He missed just two greens all day and three-putted once on a par-3 while shooting an even-par 36 on the front nine and a 1-over 37 on the back.

All that was missing were a few birdie putts.

“He had several 6- to 8-foot birdie putts that just sat on the lip.” Black said.

“If Mason continues to strike the ball the way he did today and just let the other guy make mistakes, he’s got as good a chance as anybody.

“I just hope he’ll be as loose as he was today.”

Port Townsend head coach Gabriel Tonan is probably hoping for the same from his golfer today as well . . . minus the first few holes.

After all, Piper bogeyed the first four holes before shooting 1-under the rest of the day to finish at 75.

“He played really well coming in,” Tonan said. “He can definitely improve. You never know what is going to happen [today].

“He can go out and shoot a 69 or 70 if he doesn’t have a rough start. He’s certainly capable of it.”

Teammate Sean Anderson finished right on the cut bubble (85) for the second straight year, shooting an 85 to just barely eke his way into the second day.

Female Redskins counterpart Jennifer Grauberger qualified for the second day with ease in her third trip to the 1A girls state tournament.

The senior will be fighting for a top-five finish today after shooting an 81 on Tuesday to finish the day in fifth place.

Last year she finished sixth in 1A.

“She can definitely do it,” Tonan said. “She shot an 81, and said she was pretty happy.”

Port Townsend’s other golfer at the tournament, Gabriel Hensley, missed the boys cut with a 98.

2A tournaments

O’Mera in fifth

SPANAWAY — What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months after shooting an opening round 76 to sit in 16th place one day into the 2A boys tourney, Sequim’s O’Mera now is just four shots behind the leader with the same 18-hole score.

That’s just how difficult The Classic Course played Tuesday as nary a golfer shot under par and Interlake’s Andrew Kennedy took the clubhouse lead with a 72.

Lurking behind is a pack of seven golfers between the scores of 73 and 76, including O’Mera, for what figures to be a wide-open final round.

“Ryan played really well today, probably as steady as I’ve ever seen him play,” said Quinet, whose other golfer, Ezra Perkins, was six shots shy of the cut at 91.

“He’s playing excellent golf from tee to green.”

If not for a bogey on the 18th, O’Mera would have shot a 36 in the back nine.

As it was, the Sequim junior rebounded from a 3-over front nine to finish 4-over on the day, missing just two greens in regulation the entire round.

“He’s got a lot of momentum right now, and he’s very confident,” Quinet said. “He knows a lot of the players from playing [junior golf], and he’s pretty confident he’s right up there with them.

“It could go our way easily, and I hope it does.”

While the Sequim girls don’t have anyone in contention for a state crown, they did advance two golfers to the second round in their 2A tournament at Lake Spanaway Golf Course in Spanaway.

Among those was Hailey Estes, who shot an 87 for her best-ever round of prep tournament golf Tuesday.

That put her in a four-way tie for 16th place.

Kim Duce also made the cut, finishing right on the bubble with a 95 and a four-way tie for 39th place.

“All of the girls got in trouble today, but they all came back,” Sequim girls coach Garrett Smithson said.

“They all had shots they wanted to take back.”

That was surely true of teammate Elisa Sallee, who missed the cut with a 114.

Port Angeles saw both of its female golfers miss out on the final round as well, with Dana Fox shooting a 108 and Sydney Rauch a 113.

The Roughrider boys didn’t fare much better with Jordan Negus finishing four shots below the cut line with an 89 and Terrance Stevenson having to withdraw after nine holes because of a blister on his right ring finger.

“He was even through six holes today,” Port Angeles coach Mark Mitrovich said of Stevenson, who had gotten the blister while working on his brother’s car last weekend.

“He was playing really well, then, unfortunately, he started being unable to turn through the ball and had to withdraw.”

Added Mitrovich, “Jordan just had an off day.

“That’s a pretty difficult golf course.

“It’s a pretty demanding driving course. If you didn’t find the fairway, the greens were not as receptive.

“You had to hit really exact shots to them.”

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