The Lions finish second in the district tourney highlighted by Sitton's 65

by: VERN UYETAKE - CJ Sitton chips onto the green at Stone Creek last week. He fired a 65 on the opening day of competition and won the tournament by three strokes. West Linn's boys golf team put a capper on the regular season with a very strong showing at districts last week.

Playing through some tough weather conditions at Stone Creek, the Lions found themselves in a tie with defending state champion Lake Oswego after the first day of competition, shooting a 294, its lowest team total of the season by seven strokes.

West Linn would settle for second with a two-day total of 599 but built some momentum heading into state.

The Lions also boasted the district champion after CJ Sitton fired a jaw-dropping 65 on the opening day of competition, giving him a six-stroke lead over teammate Ryan Kelly and Lake Oswego's Cole Madey.

Sitton then held on Thursday with a 74, playing the final few holes in a downpour.

Sitton appeared to have the tournament locked up with two holes to play, however, on a rain-soaked green, he four-putted the 17th hole.

He would rebound instantly, however, with a birdie on 18 to seal the win.

“CJ was unbelievable on the first day and then I was really proud of how he was able to keep his composure,” interim coach Eric Viuhkola said.

Kelly would also shoot his two best rounds of the season with a pair of 71s that were good enough to tie him for second place individually with Kelly.

Lake Oswego's depth was just a bit too much on the second day, however, as the team didn't card a score higher than 74.

“You know LO is going to have four scores in the 70s so you have to play your best. But those teams are buddies and play together a lot during the year. I don't think we're in awe of them which helps,” Viuhkola said.

Hayden Coppedge came in with two strong rounds of 77 and 82 for the Lions and Sorne Carr shot an 81 and an 83.

Brett Bushnell shot a 78 on the second day of competition to help the Lions.

West Linn will now gear up for state at Quail Valley in Banks. The Lions will play the course on Sunday but hope to put together a complete tournament and potentially earn a trophy.

“It's just a really good group of kids who genuinely want each other to do well,” Viuhkola said.

Sitton also hopes to be in contention for the individual crown in his final high school golf tournament.

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