WELCHES — Some days, you just don’t have it. And then there are days you think you don’t have it but actually do.
HRV senior Andy Murphy overcame a slow start at this week’s district match at the Resort at the Mountain to post a two-day score of 154 and qualify for state, while leading the Eagles to a solid fifth-place finish.
“After the first few holes, I didn’t think I was going to make it,” said Murphy, who will play against Oregon’s best Monday and Tuesday at Landgon Farms Golf Course in Aurora. “But I just relaxed on the final 14 holes and hit all the greens after that.”
Coach Bob Sullivan was proud of his team leader for maintaining composure after a difficult start.
“Andy very easily could have given up after the first hole on the last day,” he said of Murphy’s three-put double bogey. “To qualify for state is a testament to his golf determination. What a great effort!”
Murphy’s teammates Jimmy Woodruff, Jake Morgan and Manny Morales all finished relatively close to one another, which gave HRV the edge it would need to surpass strong teams from Centennial and Gresham.
In fact, the Eagles’ team score of 655 nearly boosted them into fourth place, but they fell short to Reynolds by one stroke.
“The team has kind of been struggling all year,” Murphy said. “It was good to see the guys step up and play to their abilities.”
Woodruff shot consistent rounds of 85 and 83, while Morales and Morgan improved dramatically from day one to day two to give HRV a legitimate shot at the top four. Morales posted scores of 86 and 80, and Morgan shot 90 and 77.
Freshmen Herbie Annala and Mike Durkan also competed at district, but their rounds were not counted toward the team score (top four only).
“I was very pleased with our fifth-place finish, considering we tagged along in seventh most of the season,” Sullivan said. “The guys said they were dissatisfied with their scores, but I am proud of them for their efforts and season-ending performance.”
Murphy and Morales are the lone graduating seniors for this up-and-coming bunch. Morgan, Woodruff, Annala and Durkan will lead the team next season, as it looks to catch league-leaders David Douglas and Barlow. Both schools will travel to Landgon Farms along with Murphy and two other individual qualifiers.
On an encouraging note for Murphy, only four players shot better than him at district.
“There won’t be any pressure on me at state,” he said. “It’s just fun to get there in my senior season.”