Coach Gary Huffmaster can now afford to breathe much easier about his Lakeridge High School golf team's chances for the state tournament.
The Pacer linksters did it by winning a league match at the Oswego Lake Country Club on Monday. In doing it they topped their rival Lake Oswego High School, which finished second, by three strokes.
Sparked by the performances of George Lin and Connor Givan, who tied for medallist honors at 77, Lakeridge came close to nailing down a state berth and boosted its hopes of winning the Three Rivers League district championship this week.
'Connor Givan shot the best round of his life by three shots,' Huffmaster said. 'Barring any disaster at district, we secured our spot at state.'
The Pacers apparently have gotten any disaster out of their systems. Three weeks ago they were on the verge of winning the Langdon Farms Tournament when a scorecard mishap caused their top player to be disqualified.
'He glanced over his scorecard and simply didn't look at is closely enough,' Huffmaster said. 'One of his scores (on a hole) hadn't been filled in.'
The misfortune not only cost Lakeridge a tourney title but it knocked them down from first to fourth in the standings for qualifying for the state tournament.
Fortunately, the Pacers came back strongly. Prior to Monday's victory, they finished second in the Clackamas County Championship last Thursday. Top player Matt Kitto took second in the medallist standings with a 73, while teammate Jackson Mayne took third with a 74.
With such team depth, it is hard to imagine any disaster happening to Lakeridge at district, which will be played at Stone Creek Golf Club today and Friday.
'Our whole team is playing well,' Huffmaster said. 'We're really excited about our chances.'
Lake Oswego still remains firmly entrenched in first place heading into the district tournament. The Lakers tallied consistent rounds on Monday as Matt Montpas and Gerik Illo tied for their team's low round with a pair of 79s but their teammates weren't far behind.
Chris Mei shot an 80 and Colby Reis, playing in his first varsity match of the year, shot a solid round, carding an 82.