The Tualatin girls win their 10th straight girls golf conference crown

by: DAN BROOD - ROLL IT IN -- Tualatin senior Hayley Mortensen watches her putt on hole No. 9 during play Monday at the Pacific Conference district tournament.CORNELIUS — For most of the 2014 high school girls golf season, Tualatin senior Hayley Mortensen was forced to just sit back and watch.

But, at this week’s district tournament, she got to play.

And, wow, did she ever play well.

Mortensen, who missed most of the season due to a back injury, showed she’s back and ready for action as she claimed medalist honors at the Pacific Conference district tournament, held Monday and Tuesday at Forest Hills Golf Course.

“It went really well,” Mortensen said. “This means a lot to me. I was gone for almost the whole season, and to come back and play well felt fantastic. I made up for it to myself.”

Not only did Mortensen claim a district title, but the Tualatin team also roared to tournament gold.

The Timberwolves claimed the conference championship — marking the 10th straight year they’ve done so — with a two-round team score of 708 shots. That put Tualatin 69 strokes ahead of second-place Forest Grove, which carded a 777.

“We’re thrilled about that,” Mortensen said of the Wolves’ 10th straight conference crown. “We went out and played our game. We focused on that.”

The Tualatin girls, with their district tourney momentum, will next be playing at the Class 6A state tournament. The top two teams from the conference, and the top three individuals who are not part of the top two teams, advance to play in the state event, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at the Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.

“We’re really excited for state,” Mortensen said. “We know we’re not one of the top teams, but we’re hoping to do well. We’re just going to go out, play our game and see what happens.”

That strategy worked out well for Mortensen at this week’s district tourney.

by: DAN BROOD - DRIVING -- Tigard senior Sooji Kim watches her drive on hole No. 12 during play Monday at the Pacific Conference girls golf tournament.She carded a three-over-par round of 75 on Monday and followed that up with another 75 on Tuesday.

Her two-round score of 150 put her six shots ahead of Forest Grove senior Hannah Swanson, the defending Class 6A state champion, who had a score of 156.

“I’m very happy,” Mortensen said.

Mortensen is hoping to have more reasons to celebrate at the upcoming state tourney.

“I’d like to finish in the top 10,” she said. “It would be nice to do that three years in a row.”

As a sophomore Mortensen tied for sixth place in the individual standings at the state tourney, helping the Timberwolves claim the team championship. Last year, she finished in fourth place.

Other Tualatin players also seem to be playing well heading into the state tournament.

Timberwolf junior Janelle Decker finished fourth in the individual standings at the district tournament with a two-round score of 170.

Decker shot a 93 in Monday’s first round and followed that up with a personal-best best score of 77 on Tuesday — marking the first time she’s had a round under 80.

“She was really excited,” Mortensen said.

Tualatin junior Bridget Nolan finished in sixth place with a score of 187, which included a 90 in Monday’s opening round.

Timberwolf junior Mandy Pozo tied for 10th place in the standings with a score of 201. She shot a 103 on Monday and bettered that with a round of 98 on Tuesday, marking her first round under 100.

by: DAN BROOD - NICE SHOT -- Tualatin's Janelle Decker puts her bunker shot onto the green during Monday's action at the Pacific Conference girls golf tournament.Also for the Wolves, Carly Schlenker shot a 115 in Monday’s round and Rachel Piazza shot a 127 on Tuesday.

Tualatin, as a team, shot a 361 on Monday and then topped that with a round of 347 in Tuesday’s second round.

The Tigard girls finished in fourth place in the team standings at the district tourney with a score of 859. The Tigers shot a 441 on Monday and came back strong on Tuesday to card a SUBMITTED PHOTO - DISTRICT CHAMPS -- Tualatin's (from left) Mandy Pozo, Janelle Decker, Hayley Mortensen, Bridget Nolan, Carly Schlenker and Rachel Piazza teamed to win the Pacific Conference title.

Senior Sooji Kim led the way for the Tigers, finishing in ninth place with a score of 199. She shot a 106 on Monday and bettered that in a big way on Tuesday, carding a 93. Kim just barely missed out on qualifying for the state tournament for the second straight year, as she finished one shot behind McMinnville’s Emily Keller, who earned the final individual bid to state with a score of 198.

Also for Tigard, Megan Liles finished in 15th place with a total of 214 and Katie Bogert was 21st at 232.

Hannah Williver had a 114 and Erin Heath carded a 125 for the Tigers in Monday’s first round.

Lauren Doan had a 107 and Megan Priaulx shot a 112 for Tigard on Tuesday.

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