The Hood River Valley boys golf team took full advantage of the home green on Wednesday at Indian Creek, winning the six-team Hood River Invitational with a shining score of 329.
Junior No. 2 Jimmy Woodruff was the medalist on the day after shooting a season-best round of 77. Teammates Jake Morgan and Herbie Annala shot 81 and 82, respectively, while junior No. 4 Chris Perry continued his emergence with an 89.
“We wanted to do well in our only home match,” said Perry. “I’ve been shooting well here lately, and so have the other guys.”
Sophomore Alex Bryan rounded out the Eagles’ varsity scores with a steady round of 96, but only the top four individual scores counted toward the team score.
“We’re seeing a ton of improvement,” HRV coach Bill DeBorde said. “We’re starting to become somewhat predictable at this level, which is good. But it also gives the boys enough confidence to take it to the next level.”
When the final scores had been tallied, the Eagles’ top four combined to outlast former conference rival, Central Catholic, which posted a team score of 332.
Placing a distant third on the day was The Dalles, which carded a 361 as a team. La Salle (368), Gladstone (383) and Hermiston (391) completed the field.
HRV had already competed against Intermountain Conference rival Hermiston last week when the team traveled to Central Oregon for three tournaments in three days.
The three tournaments were held Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Broken Top (Bend), Meadow Lakes (Prineville) and Eagle Crest (Redmond). All three matches gave the Eagles an opportunity to play against the remaining IMC teams from Redmond, Crook County, Summit, Pendleton, Bend and Mountain View.
HRV’s best team score of 335 came on Saturday at Eagle Crest, where Woodruff led the team with a round of 78. He was followed by Morgan with an 81 and Perry, who shot a personal-best 86 to finish third. Annala shot a 90 and Bryan shot a 91 to round out the varsity results.
“It went pretty good the first couple days, but not so well the last day,” said Annala, a sophomore who is benefitting greatly from playing with seasoned golfers like Morgan and Woodruff.
DeBorde said he was not concerned with Annala’s score the final day because of the fatigue factor.
“Overall, we shot fantastic,” he said. “A couple of the guys just kept getting better with every hole. Some got tired, but it was also nice to go up against some strong competition and play on such nice courses.”
The Eagles’ round of 335 Saturday put them in third place behind Summit (310) and Crook County (330). Meanwhile, their team score of 337 on Friday at Meadow Lakes also put them in third behind Bend (305) and Redmond (306).
Official scores for Thursday’s match at Broken Top were not available at press time.
“We found out that there are some really good players from the Bend area,” Woodruff said. “It’s not like our old league. It’s not going to be easy at districts, but this experience gave us an idea of what we’re up against.”
Woodruff and the Eagles will return to Bend May 10-13 for the district competition. They were also scheduled to play in the Bend Invitational on Friday, but results were not available at press time.