By Kevin Duke
When three of your golfers shoot a cumulative 1-over-par, on what many consider to be one of the toughest tracks in Central Oregon, chances are good that you will have another trophy to add to the collection.
The Summit Storm did just that on Monday and set a tournament record in the process.
The Storm’s Jack Loberg, Cooper Donahue and Cole Chrisman combined to fire a pair of even-par 72s and a 1-over 73, respectively, on their way to a team total of 295 to win the Tetherow High Desert Challenge at the club in Bend.
The 295 bested the previous team record in the tournament by nine shots.
Not far behind, Bend High got a stellar round of 1-under 71 from Max McGee and a career-best 74 from Jamison Dover to finish at 304, as the two squads prepare for the upcoming district and state tournaments.
Loberg and Donahue took advantage of some local knowledge.
“Both of us are members so we know the course a little better,” Loberg noted. “To take two 72s and a 73, that’s not bad today. If I had made a couple of more putts I would have been happy, but I’m satisfied.”
The summertime conditions contributed to what Lava Bears’ coach Rusty Clemons called the highest quality tournament in the seven years it has been held at the links course.
Summit won the tournament by four shots over Class 6A Lincoln (299) and by seven over 6A Clackamas (302). All three teams broke the previous team record of 304.
McGee’s 71 was highlighted by a 4-under-par 32 on the front nine, including three birdies in a row in his first four holes.
“It was fun, my putter was hot and I was making them from everywhere,” McGee said. A downhill 30-footer over a mound on the third, “would have been 12 feet by if it hadn’t hit the hole, but it somehow found the bottom of the cup.”
The 1-under round amazed him even more considering he had yet to shoot in the 70s at the course.
‘Before this year I hadn’t even broken 80 (at Tetherow), so today was kind of fun,” he beamed, shaking his head. “What a day … what a day.”
Clackamas’ Jaiveer Singh and Lincoln’s Ben Stickney also shot 1 under, and Singh won medalist honors via a scorecard playoff.
Donahue’s even-par round for the Storm was special for the senior too, as he had struggled to make the top five on the team earlier this spring.
“I had a really rough first month of golf,” he recalled. “I didn’t qualify for our first couple of varsity tournaments, which was really motivating for me … and tough.
“It made me way more determined to get back out here. I really missed playing in the tournaments and I finally said, ‘enough is enough.’”
Donahue’s and the team’s play did not surprise Storm head coach Andy Heinly.
“Cooper has worked his tail off,” the coach said. “During qualifying he just didn’t play well, but he’s scratched his way back. It doesn’t surprise me, I totally expected Cooper to be right back in the mix with Jack and Cole.”
Clemons was pleased with the way his Lava Bears performed too.
“The gap has been in their favor more often than not this season,” Clemons said. “But we have beaten them this year, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that at any given tournament, either of the two teams can win.”
The Bears’ 304 total was their best team score of the year by nine shots.
“That’s showing improvement,” Clemons said. “So I think we are doing the right things.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7868, email@example.com.