HOOD RIVER — Senior Andy Murphy was feeling very much at home Thursday when HRV hosted its first and only Mt. Hood Conference match of the season at Indian Creek Golf Course.
Taking full advantage of the home green, Murphy fired a two-under-par 70 for the high score of the day, and helped lead the Eagles (314) to a second-place team finish — just one stroke behind David Douglas and 39 better then the 353 they shot at Persimmon Golf Course on April 2.
“My strength right now is my drive,” Murphy said. “My goal is to shoot in the 70s at every match and I’ve been playing six days a week so I don’t fall off the pace.”
Although Murphy shot the round of the day, his teammates also did their part to keep HRV in the hunt for a top district finish. Junior Jake Morgan shot an excellent round of 74 to finish in third place on the day, just one stroke behind Danny Nedelisky of Barlow.
“This league has some outstanding golfers and Andy and Jake proved that they can play with the best of them,” coach Bob Sullivan said.
Team No. 2, sophomore Jimmy Woodruff, was battling illness and had an off day, shooting an 87, which tied him for fourth on the team with freshman Mike Durkan, who was competing in his first varsity match. Senior Manny Morales had one of his best showings of the year and pitched in an 83.
“I was pleased with Manny’s back nine score of 39,” Sullivan said. “He now believes he is capable of shooting in the 70s.”
Sullivan added that if Woodruff were healthy and playing to his potential Thursday, the team would have run away with the meet. But Woodruff believes in his abilities and hopes to peak at district.
“I started going a little slow after The Dalles Invitational,” said Woodruff, who shot the high score at the March 23 event. “But I’m just going to continue to play every weekday possible and hope to reach a consistent level in the next few weeks.”
Approximately 90 golfers from all nine MHC schools participated in the all-day event at Indian Creek, which was followed by a junior varsity competition. HRV didn’t fare as well, however, posting a 195 (nine holes) to tie for seventh place.
Freshmen Herbie Annala and Alex Bryan led the JV’s with solid rounds of 45, while Chris Perry shot a 47, Jason Stampflee a 58 and Kyle Griffith a 65.
The Eagles’ next match will be held Thursday at Glendover Golf Course in Portland against the same Mt. Hood Conference competitors.