CRESWELL — Sometimes, golfers need just one birdie to find their rhythm.
La Pine’s Tommy Rohde bogeyed two of his first three holes, but then birdied the par-4 fourth hole Tuesday at the Class 3A/2A/1A boys golf state championships at Emerald Valley Golf Club.
“I was in a zone after that,” Rohde said afterward. “I just hit everything perfectly. Then after that it was just kind of making sure I didn’t make any dumb mistakes.”
Rohde, a junior, carded a second-round 77 for a 157 two-day total to win the individual state championship, the first ever for a La Pine golfer of either gender. The Hawks also took home a team trophy by finishing in fourth place with 746 strokes, another first for La Pine boys golf.
Oregon Episcopal won the team competition with a total of 664 strokes. Bandon was second (730) and Heppner finished third (742).
Will Phillips of Oregon Episcopal finished second (159), two strokes behind Rohde after charging hard with a 74 on Tuesday.
Light rain fell for most of the round, according to Rohde, which helped on the challenging greens at Emerald Valley.
“Those last three or four holes I was able to get extra spin on my irons because the greens had softened up a little bit,” Rohde said. “It’s definitely one of the toughest courses I’ve ever played. I think it helps that our home course is Quail Run (in La Pine). It’s a really tight course also.”
La Pine coach Kent Wieber said that the Hawks’ goals this season were to win their league and bring home a state trophy.
“We did that, just barely,” Wieber said. “It was a battle. That’s such a tough track (Emerald Valley). The scores always go up from what we’re used to. Tommy did a fantastic job hanging in there. He shot 39 on the back nine with the pressure on him.”