By David Krueger Herald Writer
EVERETT — In the history of the Tom Dolan Invitationalonly two teams have ever had their names etched on the team championship trophy.
Monday afternoon, the Archbishop Murphy boys golf team added a third.
Junior Ben Thacker shot an even-par 72 and Sean Goldfinch and Ethan Crout shot 6-over par 78 as the Wildcats edged Kamiak by seven strokes to take the team title at the 13th Annual Tom Dolan Invitational at Everett Golf and Country Club.
“It’s wonderful,” said Archbishop Murphy head coach John Serwold. “The kids have worked really, really hard for a long time and we’re just elated. The kids were shooting good scores and we were just hoping that it might be enough.”
Kamiak had won the previous three tournaments — including last season when the Knights beat second-place Archbishop Murphy by six strokes — and five of the past six events. The Knights and Jackson were the only two teams in the invitational’s history to hoist the team trophy.
“It was exciting,” Thacker said. “We had three scores in the 70s, Ethan Crout came in with a good round and Sean Goldfinch came in with a good round. It feels good to beat Kamiak. Finally. We were close last year but took them down this year.”
Thacker anchored a strong Archbishop Murphy team where all five golfers that were scored shot under 85 (the highest score of the five is thrown out). Thacker finished second in the individual event, after a playoff with Shorecrest’s Trent Jones, who won the playoff hole on the par-4 No. 1 hole at the club.
“It felt good. I think it was good competition,” Thacker said. “I’ve known Trent for awhile and I play golf with him. It was fun to play in a playoff with him. Just didn’t come out with the win.”
Thacker and Jones, both juniors participating in their third Tom Dolan Invitational, finished with a 72.
“I was feeling pretty good,” said Jones, who shot an 81 last season. “I played really steady. I didn’t have more than a bogey, which really helps your score, and I was able to throw a couple birdies in there too.”
Jones, like Thacker, felt some nerves on the playoff hole. He told himself that it was a huge accomplishment just to get to that point.
“It’s kind of nervew-racking at first,” Jones said, “but I just kept trying to remind myself that it was great to make it this far and whatever happens, happens.”
A good consolation prize for Thacker was the team title. He walked up with his teammates — including Goldfinch, Crout, Quinn Stanley (85) and Bryan Lucas (85) — to collect a plaque for the team championship.
“It feels pretty cool,” Thacker said. “There are 20-some schools here. It was fun to win such a big tournament.”
The Tom Dolan Invitational honors the former member of the Everett Golf and Country Club who passed away in 1981. Dolan left money to the club to fund the invitational for young golfers. The 13th annual installment featured 118 golfers from 26 different local schools.
The Archbishop Murphy coach hopes the prestigious victory is something the Wildcats can use to jump start the rest of their season.
“We have a lot of young kids that are playing quite well,” Serwold said. “Hopefully, we’ll build on this and build on something bigger. Let’s hope it just continues to go that direction. I know the kids are going to continue to work hard.”
Lake Stevens and Snohomish finished tied for third behind Archbishop Murphy and Kamiak in the team standings. Rowan Foxley from O’Dea, who was invited by the country club to participate, took third with a 73, followed by Monroe’s Owen Fenner (75) and Rudy Caparas (76) of Lynnwood, who took fifth after winning a chip-off with Kamiak’s Steve Cabenday.