SPORTS: Two area golfers finish in top five at state championships

DUPONT — Mason Moug never found the hot putter he was looking for.

With everything else working for him, however, the Chimacum senior still managed to come up with the best finish of any North Olympic Peninsula golfer at this week’s state golf tournaments.

Moug submitted another steady performance in the final round of the Class 1A state tourney Wednesday at The Home Course in rainy DuPont, shooting a 3-over-par 75 to finish tied for fourth place with a two-day score of 148.

“I thought about [going for the championship],” said Moug, who came into Wednesday’s final round two strokes behind eventual champion Brett Johnson of Ridgefield.

“But I just kind of went in there with an open mind, knowing most of those kids play golf the whole year and I only play four or five months.

“Anything in the top five I was pretty happy about.”

Moug was one of four area golfers to place in the top 10 in their respective tournaments.

That included a fifth-place finish from Port Townsend’s Jennifer Grauberger in the 1A girls event and a ninth-place showing from schoolmate Cody Piper in the 1A boys competition.

Meanwhile, Sequim’s Ryan O’Mera rebounded form a rough start to take eighth among the 2A boys at The Classic Golf Course in Spanaway.

“If he would have dropped a couple of birdie putts — he had four [makeable] birdie putts on the back — he would have finished very high,” Sequim boys coach Vic Quinet said.

Of course, much the same could be said of Moug.

In 36 holes of play between Tuesday and Wednesday, he hit all but four greens in regulation.

That gave him numerous chances to catch up to Johnson — the only golfer ahead of Moug at the beginning of the day — with his putter.

Almost all of those putts came up short, however, as Moug finished with just one birdie on the day while shooting a 37 on the front nine and 38 on the back.

Nearly half of the shots in his round were putts (35).

“He played with the top two golfers in the tournament, and you really couldn’t tell much difference other than they made a few more putts than he did.” Chimacum coach Mitch Black said.

“He definitely played at the same class level. It was just a matter of putts not going in.”

Moug is the sixth Chimacum golfer to finish in the top 10 at state in the last six years.

His fourth-place mark is the best of any area golfer at state since fellow Cowboy Chris Johnson won the 1A title in 2008.

“I’m happy with it,” Moug said. “I know I could have been a little bit lower, but fourth isn’t too shabby.”

Ridgefield’s Johnson ended up winning the tournament by a four-strike margin with a two-day score of 141.

Eleven strokes behind was Piper, who followed up his first-day score of 75 with a 77 on Wednesday.

His final score of 152 put him at ninth overall, marking the second year in a row Port Townsend had a male golfer finish in the top 10.

“He made double-bogey on 10 with some putting issues, but other than that he played pretty solid,” Port Townsend coach Gabriel Tonan said.

“He played good, two good scores. I don’t think he’s totally happy with himself, he knows he can shoot better, but he did well.

“He’s a sophomore, he’s got two more years to blossom and improve.”

Grauberger capped a tremendous career with the Redskins by earning her highest state finish in three appearances.

The Port Townsend senior entered the second day at No. 5 and stayed there, following up a first-round score of 81 with an 82 for two-day total of 163.

While that was 20 strokes behind the tournament champion, Life Christian’s Kristen Rue, it was three ahead of the sixth-place finisher.

It was also 11 strokes better than her own sixth-place mark from a year ago.

“Jenny was definitely happy,” Tonan said. “She played solid golf both days.”

Port Townsend had one other golfer, Sean Anderson, competing the final day.

He shot his second straight round of 85 to place 38th in 1A with a 190.

2A tournaments

O’Mera eighth

SPANAWAY — Ryan O’Mera came away with something to build on from Wednesday’s wet final round at The Classic Golf Course.

Ten-over through the first 12 holes on a miserable day in Spanaway, the junior responded with five pars and one birdie to close out the day on a high note and earn eighth place.

“Instead of finishing in the top 20, he knuckled down and came back and finished,” Quinet said.

O’Mera started the day four strokes behind the leader and quickly dug himself a hole with a 7-over 43 on the front nine.

After bogeys on the 10th, 11th and 12th holes, it looked as if he might drop all the way out of the top 20.

The solid finish on the final six holes, however, gave O’Mera the top placement by a Sequim boy at state since Adam Columbia took fifth in 3A in 2003.

“He just kind of put things together on the last six holes,” Quinet said. “[That’s] starting to show his maturity.”

Only the tournament champion, Ryan Wallen of Blaine, finished under par for the tournament with a two-day score of 143.

“They had some pin placements that were just brutal,” Quinet said.

“It was fair for the whole field, but for 2A to have only one player shoot under par for the two days says a lot for how tough the course was.

“It’s a tough little track.”

Both of the Sequim girls who made the first day cut in the 2A girls event — Hailey Estes and Kim Duce — had a tough time in Wednesday’s final round at Lake Spanaway Golf Course.

Estes shot a 99 to finish 27th with a two-day score of 186, while Duce put up a 94 to place 33rd with a final score of 189.

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