Boys Golf: Both area teams hitting are hitting it long as they eye lofty goals
by: DAN BROOD, A STRAIGHT LINE — Tualatin High School senior Todd Vrooman lines up his putt on hole No. 16 during play at Monday’s Pacific Conference tourney at Tualatin Country Club.

TUALATIN - The Tigard and Tualatin high school boys golf teams have something in common.

Both teams have their sights set on some big things down the road this season.

The Tigers and Timberwolves and have something else in common. Both squads, while playing well now, are working hard to keep getting better as they eye their goals.

That certainly looked to be the situation Monday as both teams - while not totally satisfied with their performances - turned in strong rounds at the Pacific Conference tournament held at Tualatin Country Club.

For Tualatin, which won Monday's tourney by two strokes over second-place Canby, the goal is to not only qualify for the state tournament, but also to maybe surprise some people at the state event.

'No one is really talking about us this year,' Tualatin senior Todd Vrooman said following his round at Monday's tourney. 'We're a little under the radar. Everyone is talking about Sheldon and Jesuit, but when we're on our game, we can score as low as anyone.'

For Tigard, the goal is to earn one of the league's two team berths to the state tournament. That's not an easy goal to achieve when competing in a league with traditional powers Tualatin and Canby, but it's a goal the Tigers think they can reach.

'We've got a big shot of getting to state,' said Tigard sophomore Arthur Kim, who placed third, individually, at Monday's tourney with a 2-over-par round of 74 strokes. 'It's a huge goal, but I think we can do it. I don't think we're playing at 100 percent of what we can do, yet. We want to keep getting better. We want to peak at the right time.'

The Timberwolves took the top spot at Monday's tourney with a team score of 315. Canby was second with a total of 317.

The teams were tied, at 317, until Tualatin's No. 5 golfer, Michael Chizum, finished his round with a score of 85. That allowed the Wolves to drop an 87, pushing their score to the winning total of 315.

With the first-place finish, Tualatin increased its lead in the season standings to six points over second-place Canby and to nine points over third-place Tigard.

'I think we're doing pretty good,' Tualatin senior Isaiah Telles said. 'We're doing better than expected.'

Telles was the individual medalist at Monday's tourney, turning in a round of 1-under-par 71.

He picked up the win in somewhat dramatic fashion, rallying from behind to overtake Canby standout Robbie Ziegler over the final two holes.

Ziegler, who, like Telles, will play college golf for the University of Oregon, held a one-stroke lead over the Tualatin senior after the front nine holes. Ziegler's lead was at two strokes with just two holes to play.

But, on the par-4, 382-yard hole No. 17, Telles carded a birdie while Ziegler took a bogey, putting them in a tie going into the final hole.

On the par-4, 422-yard hole No. 18, Telles sank a birdie putt from about 25 feet away to get the one-stroke victory.

'That was nice,' said Telles, who carded a 34 on the back nine. 'Robbie and I push each other. We've been competing for a long time.'

Telles, who placed seventh at last year's state tourney, also has some lofty individual goals for the remainder of his senior season.

'I want to compete for first at state,' he said. 'I've been close the last three years. We'll see.'

Vrooman got off to a rough start at the tourney, carding a double bogey on the first hole on his way to shooting an 83.

'I never was able to get anything going after that first hole,' he said. 'I didn't get my confidence back.'

Senior Jason Sandvik, shooting a 37 on the back nine, turned in a round of 76 for the Wolves.

'I can't say enough about Jason Sandvik,' Tualatin coach Bob Marling said.

Chizum had an 85 and sophomore Kevo Kirakossian shot an 87.

'I know our guys are going to step it up,' Telles said.

Kim, after shooting a 40 on the front nine on Monday, finished especially strong, carding a 1-under-par 34 on the back nine.

'I was striking the ball better on the back,' he said. 'I was more calm and more focused. I sank a 15-footer on No. 12 (for a birdie). That's when I got going.'

Senior Brian Kostol also had a strong finish for the Tigers. He shot a 37 on the back nine, giving him a score of 83. Scott Deluca carded an 84 and Ryan Knolin shot an 87.

Brad Prince, who has played strong for the Tigers throughout the season, struggled on Monday and ended up with a 91.

'Tigard is doing real good this year,' Telles said. 'It's definitely more fun than the past. Now we've got two good teams to compete with instead of just Canby.'

'That's going to help get us ready for state,' Vrooman said.

The next Pacific Conference boys golf tournament will be held Monday, starting at 10 a.m., at Willamette Valley Country Club in Canby.

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