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Central Catholic takes over top spot in boys golf

BOYS GOLF - District tournament moved to Glendoveer with Thursday tee times
by: David Ball, Barlow's Erik Sterpa sends a ball out of the sand on the par-3, third hole Thursday afternoon at Persimmon Country Club.

A rainy day and a missing golfer caused Gresham to slip out of first place in the Mount Hood Conference golf standings for the first time this spring.

The Gophers surrendered their top spot to Central Catholic with one tournament left in the regular season. The Rams shot a 321 team total Thursday at Persimmon Country Club to edge runner-up Barlow by three strokes.

Sam Mendez led the Rams with a 77, while Sean Dooney secured the team victory by shooting an 80 out of the team's No. 4 spot.

Barlow's second-place finish kept it in contention for one of the two state berths going into the final week of the season. Drew Johnson shot an 80 for the Bruins, highlighted early on when he hit a 50-foot putt to within a couple inches, leaving a tap-in for par on the third hole. Tommy Schmitz led the Bruins with a 78, managing par on 12 of the 18 (.667) holes.

Gresham finished third in the team tally a single stroke behind Barlow.

Ryan Lile led the team with a 77, while Patrick Frazier stepped up with an impressive 79 to fill the void left when the team's No. 3 player Nick Ingram was forced to a golf cart with back trouble early in his round.

Centennial's Nick Chianello earned medalist honors for the fourth time in five tournaments this season, scoring an even-par 71. He finished with two birdies on the back-nine, winning by five strokes over runner-up Tyler Tompkins from Reynolds.

'He's had some big wins over the last couple weeks,' Centennial coach Ryan Ruuttila said. 'Five or six strokes is a pretty big gap in golf. Nick's been solid with his irons, and he's not making many mistakes.'

• The rainy weather this spring prompted the boys golf coaches to vote to move the district tournament to Glendoveer Golf Course to be played Thursday and Friday, May 2-3 - almost a week earlier than previously scheduled.

The change was made because The Resort at the Mountain, the traditional host club, hasn't been able to aerate its greens due to the cold weather conditions in Welches.

'They've had a lot of snow up there, and as coaches we wanted district to be played under better conditions,' Ruuttila said. 'Glendoveer has always been very accommodating, and it's a course that a lot of the guys play.'

Glendoveer will be doing its own aeration a few days prior to the tournament, which will decide if the teams will play on the east or west side of the 36-hole course.