By Rich Myhre Herald Writer
EVERETT — With the state high school golf tournament only a few weeks away, and with a goal of defending his Class 4A individual state championship, Jackson’s Kyle Cornett was looking to polish his game at Monday’s Tom Dolan Memorial Invitational.
And he did exactly that, shooting a 1-over-par 73 at Everett Golf and Country Club to tie Arlington’s Anthony Allen for first place through 18 holes of regulation, and then winning with a long par-saving putt on the first playoff hole.
“I really wanted to win,” said Cornett, a senior who tied for fourth at last year’s Dolan Invitational. “This is like the only tournament I hadn’t won, so I’m very pleased with that.”
The playoff victory salvaged a round that was steady, though less than spectacular for Cornett. He finished with three birdies and four bogeys, and two of those bogeys came on the final three holes of regulation, leaving him “a little frustrated after my round,” he said.
And victory was anything but certain in the playoff when Cornett pushed his tee shot on Everett G&CC’s No. 1 hole into the right rough. The ball ended up in a muddy patch and he thought he might get relief from casual water, but head pro Brent Webber ruled “there was no water coming up, so I had to hit from the muddy area,” Cornett said.
His second shot was also less than stellar — “I tried cutting it and I chunked it,” he said — leaving him about 20 yards from the green and 40 yards from the pin on the par-4, 391-yard hole. He chipped on and had a 16-foot putt to save par.
Allen, meanwhile, hit his tee shot down the right side of the fairway and pitched to the fringe just short of the green. His third shot, a putt, ended up about 6 feet from the cup.
Putting first, Cornett rolled his ball slightly uphill and into the hole with a break of almost 2 feet right to left.
“It was a scrambling par, definitely,” Cornett said with a grin. After three so-so shots, “it all works out with a (good) putt.”
Allen followed with a try that barely missed to the right, ending the match.
Overall, the round “was kind of indifferent,” said Cornett, who will play next year on the Seattle University golf team. “I didn’t play very good, but I also didn’t do anything terrible. … I birdied my first hole (on Everett G&CC’s No. 3 with the shotgun start) and that was nice. It’s always nice to get off to a good start.”
For Allen, who is also a senior, it was his second runner-up finish at the Dolan Invitational, following a tie for second two years ago.
Monday’s tournament was held on a mostly ideal afternoon for golf. The field enjoyed sunshine and blue skies for most of the day, though clouds came in late and there was a brief squall as most of the golfers were wrapping up their rounds.
But the rains let up and the clouds began to part just as Cornett and Allen headed back out for the playoff.
“The weather was perfect,” Allen said. “You couldn’t ask for a better day. The conditions were awesome and the course was in great shape.”
Sean Goldfinch of Archbishop Murphy finished third with a 2-over 74, one stroke better than Kamiak’s Chris Hatch and Monroe’s Owen Fenner, who tied for fourth.
Kamiak won the team title with three golfers shooting in the 70s. In addition to Hatch at 75, Chris Trent had a 77 and Steven Cabanday shot a 78 for the Knights, who finished with a 309 total. Second place went to Archbishop Murphy at 315.
The tournament honors former Everett G&CC member Tom Dolan, who died in 1981. Prior to his death, Dolan bequeathed money to the club to promote the game for young golfers.