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Oregon City grad is No. 1 in nation

Torgerson finishes atop the field at the High School Coaches Association national championship golf tournament
by: photo by John Denny, Davis Torgerson said he averaged 24 putts for each round of 18 holes in the 54-hole tournament.

OREGON CITY - Oregon City High School graduate Davis Torgerson gained national notoriety on June 21 when he won first place at the National High School Coaches Association Golf Championships, contested at Sleepy Hole Golf Course in Suffolk, Va.

The recent high school graduate had rounds of 73, 71 and 77, to win by two strokes, with a 5-over-par total of 221.

'It was my short game that won the tournament for me,' said Torgerson. 'I didn't strike the ball that great [on the fairways], but I was able to get up and down.'

Torgerson said he averaged 24 putts for each round of 18 holes in the 54-hole tournament. He trailed the leader by one stroke at the end of the first day, headed the field by a stroke after day two, and maintained his lead on day three, despite some hard luck down the stretch.

'There were a lot of state champions and state runners-up there,' said Beaverton golf coach Brad Harvey, who made the trip with four of his own players and Torgerson. 'They were all good players, and Davis owned them. He played brilliantly.'

The road to the championship did not come without some tense moments at crunch time.

'Davis was shooting even par with two holes remaining [in the tournament], when he had a couple of mishaps,' said Harvey. 'He landed on the cart path and took the aggressive approach. He tried to hit the ball off the path and landed in the water. And he had another shot that was nearly spectacular, but it just caught the branch of a tree.'

'When I found out I had won, I was relieved,' said Torgerson. 'I'd never won a big tournament outright before. There have been so may times in the past, where I've lost by one or tied.'

'This is huge,' said Harvey. 'It's a big step in his career. It says that he can travel over 3,000 miles and compete on a national stage with top golfers, on a course that he's not familiar with, and in 95-degree heat. It says that he can compete in college at the Division I level.'

Steve Mongrain, Torgerson's coach at Oregon City High School, commented: 'When I heard [Torgerson had won the tournament], I wasn't surprised. When he's hot, he's really good. When he's on, he's as good as anybody in the state, and apparently as good as anybody in the country.'

Mongrain added: 'He's pretty consistent on his drives and he's a great iron player. When he struggles, it's because of his putting.'

'The greens weren't the fastest in the world, but they were very smooth and very true to the line,' said Torgerson.

Torgerson said the national championship tournament was played on a course similar to Waverly Country Club.

'It was a position course - tree-lined, with narrow fairways. You had to think where to hit the ball and where not to hit it.'

Torgerson plans to enroll at the University of Oregon this fall and play for the school's golf team as a walk-on. And he dreams someday of making a living as a professional.

'Winning this tournament gives me a lot of confidence that I can play with the best players in the country,' Torgerson said. 'I think this will do nothing but help my future….

'I'd like to be a touring pro, but I don't know if that will work out. There's a big difference between wanting and actually doing.'

After arriving back in Oregon Friday night, Torgerson said of his more immediate plans:

'I'm getting up Saturday morning at 6:30 and getting back on the grindstone [with a round of golf]. You've got to continue to work on your game if you want to be good. There's no days off.'

'What sets Davis apart [from other young golfers],' said Mongrain. 'is he's always in a really good mood, even when he's not playing well. And when he finishes a round, the first thing he wants to do is go out and practice, and play again.'

Torgerson says he practices golf six days a week the year around.

Torgerson is the first golfer from Oregon to win the National High School Coaches Association Championship Tournament. His title makes him a high school All-American.

Torgerson and his coaches are hopeful the national championship will take the monkey off his back. He qualified for the Class 4A State High School Tournament three times, but his highest finish at that tournament was 21st his sophomore year. He tied for Three Rivers League medalist honors and placed 50th at state as a junior, and he placed 26th at state this past season.