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The Tualatin girls continue their roll in league golf play

by: DAN BROOD - ROLL IT IN -- Tualatin High School junior Hayley Mortensen watches her ball roll toward the cup on hole No. 17 during play Monday at the Pacific Conference tournament held at Tualatin Country Club. TUALATIN — It seemed like absolutely nothing was going to get in Hayley Mortensen’s way.

Well, that’s not totally true.

There was that pesky squirrel.

But even an annoying squirrel couldn’t slow Mortensen, or the rest of the players on the Tualatin High School girls golf team, as they stormed to victory at the Pacific Conference tournament held Monday under mostly sunny skies at Tualatin Country Club.

“It went really well,” said Mortensen, a Tualatin junior who earned tournament medalist honors with a round of 77 strokes. “I had a few miss hits, but I stayed consistent.”

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves rolled to their fourth straight league tournament win — and they got their latest win in dominating fashion.

Tualatin took first place at Monday’s tournament with a team score of 372. That put the Wolves 88 shots ahead of second-place Newberg, which had a score of 460.

“The team has been doing great,” Tualatin senior Cheri Luikart said. “We have a lot of girls who are improving so much and we’re having a super amount of fun. It’s been awesome.”

Mortensen got off to a somewhat awesome start to her round on Monday, as she carded a 38 on the front nine holes.

But things got interesting as she started the back nine.

As Mortensen was lining up a putt for par on hole No. 10, she noticed a squirrel approaching her golf bag. And, just as Mortensen sank her 20-foot putt for par, that squirrel leaped up onto Mortensen’s bag, looking to climb in.

That caused Mortensen to run over to chase the squirrel away.

“It just kept coming over, closer and closer,” Mortensen said with a laugh.

But even the squirrel distraction couldn’t throw Mortensen off her game.

She carded a 39 on the back nine, giving her a final score of 77. That put her three shots ahead of Forest Grove standout junior Hannah Swanson, who was second with a round of 80.

“A 77 is nice,” Mortensen said. “I definitely had some nice shots, but I played everything sort of careful. I hit my drives onto the fairway, got the greens in regulation and two-putted.”

Tualatin senior Aidan Grealish had a round of 93 at Monday’s tournament, putting her in fourth place, individually.

Timberwolf sophomore Bridget Nolan placed sixth with her score of 99.

Luikart, who played only one tournament last year as a junior, as she recovered from foot surgery, had a round of 103.

“I shot OK,” she said. “I pared three holes, and that’s my record, but today was more about fun for me.”

Tualatin sophomore Mandy Pozo had a round of 113 in Monday’s tourney.

The Timberwolves, who won the Class 6A state tournament last year, but have a different looking line-up this year, are looking for more big things as the 2013 season goes on.

“We’re hoping to keep finishing first in these tournaments and win district,” Luikart said. “And we want to go back to state.”

“It’s definitely a change this year,” Mortensen said. “But we’re continuing to practice hard and get better. The team bond is really strong this year. I think we’re going to have a good mindset going into district and, hopefully, we’ll go back to state.”

Tigard had just three players competing in Monday’s tournament after one of the Tiger players had to withdraw.

Junior Sooji Kim, a first-year player for the Tigers, led the way for the team with a round of 116.

“It was fun,” said Kim, who played in a group that included Nolan. “Bridget was really good to play with. It wasn’t my best round, but it was good experience.”

Also for the Tigers, freshman Megan Liles had a round of 147 and freshman Molly Davis shot a 151.

“I’m having fun getting to know the girls better,” Kim said. “We’re improving and we still have a lot to work on.”

“We don’t have players with much experience,” Liles added.

The next Pacific Conference tournament will be held Tuesday at Meriwether National Golf Club in Hillsboro.

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