OLYMPIA — Moments after Centralia golfer Von Wasson took home fourth place at the 2A State Golf Championships, a day removed from holding the top spot and bouncing back from a tough first hole Wednesday, the sophomore was hunched over the table in front of the scoreboard, staring down his scores and the few names in front of him.
Wasson shot a 69 Tuesday, and golfed in the last group among the state’s best for the gold, but suffered a glaring setback on the very first hole Wednesday morning on Day 2.
Before he could even really get going, Wasson sent a shot toward a tree, and it never came down. The sophomore took a two-stroke penalty right off the bat, and had to battle back all day to get over the hump.
Ten holes later, the ball finally came down after another golfer sent a ball into the very same tree.
“He had a really tough start,” Centralia coach Hal Gronseth said. “The two-stroke penalty was totally freaky, I’ve never seen it happen. He missed a couple puts but he’s a sophomore kid and played really well. He’s playing against quality golf.”
Wasson had another couple tough holes looking to dig out of a quick hole, and ended up three-over with a second day score of 75. His two-day total added up to 144, good for fourth overall in the state.
Despite the high finish, Wasson was left wanting more immediately following the 18th hole, staring at the scoreboard Wednesday afternoon in Olympia.
“There’s always room for improvement, I’ll be here next year, for sure,” Wasson said. “It’s going to drive me to get the first place trophy for sure. I should’ve gotten it this year, but it doesn’t always click how you want it to.”
Wasson’s finish also helped the Tigers finish eighth as a team, with brother Cole Wasson finishing 26th overall with a two-day total of 158. Cole Wasson shot a 79 both days of the state championships.
“Cole played two rounds where he wouldn’t think it was his best golf, but he battled hard,” Gronseth said. “Both of them should be proud of what they did. It’s just one of those things, for Cole, both days were a battle.
“They’re just outstanding kids, I’m looking forward to two years of Von coming back.”
Tumwater had a couple of second day finishers, headlined by Reagan Broome in ninth place, with a Day 2 score of 75 and a two-day score of 149. Teammate Gabe Jonston finished 42nd overall after hitting 83 Tuesday and 85 on Day 2 for a total of 168.
The pair of Thunderbird finishers gives them a ninth-place team finish at the state championships, just behind Centralia.
In the 2A girls tournament at Tumwater Valley Golf Course, Tumwater’s Lily McCauley finished second with a total 142, just a stroke behind winner Brooke Gelinas of White River. W.F. West’s Natalie Eklund finished 28th at 186, shooting a 90 on Day 2 to improve on her Day 1 score by six strokes.
In the 1B/2B tournament at Deer Park Golf Club outside Spokane, Adna sophomore Braeden Salme finished in 15th place with a two-day score of 169.
“He really played solid, consistent golf both days,” Adna coach Luke Salme said. “His chipping and putting stood out.”
Dan Harrington of Chesterton Academy took first at 144, while Kalama’s Todd Tabor was third at 148.