By Aaron Swaney Herald Writer
Like the weather this month, Lynnwood’s Rudy Caparas has been hot, winning both the Wesco 4A Tournament and the 4A Northwest District 1 Championships with blistering scores.
The weather may have taken a drastic turn for the worse Tuesday, but Caparas managed to remain red hot.
The Royals golfer battled poor conditions — although his early tee time did manage to keep him away from the rain — to shoot a 2-under-par 70 that put him in a five-way tie for first place after Day 1 of the 4A Boys State Golf Championships at Camas Meadows Golf Course.
For the full results of all the state golf championships, click here.
“If I could think of one word for Rudy’s round it would be grinding. He just grinded,” Lynnwood head coach Alex Pfeiffer said. “He was even on the front nine and hit a number of clutch par putts and then he really put it together on the back.”
After shooting 37 on the front, Caparas shot a 33 on the final nine holes, including birdies on holes 16 and 18 despite the fact it started to rain toward the end of his round. For the second week in a row, Caparas finds himself tied for the lead going into the final round. After finishing the first round of districts tied with Kamiak’s Chris Hatch, the Lynnwood junior shot a 71 to win the tournament.
“If you look at last week you can see what he does as a frontrunner,” Pfeiffer said. “Nothing seems to faze him.”
Caparas is tied with Union’s Eddie Abellar, Bellarmine Prep’s Greg Gildea, Eastlake’s Li Wang and Camas’ Brian Humphreys, who has the luxury of playing on his home course this week.
Lurking just three shots back is the defending state champ, Jackson’s Kyle Cornett, who is in a five-way tie for seventh after shooting a 73. The Timberwolves senior shaved three strokes off his front nine score by shooting a 35 on the back nine despite inclement conditions.
“I told him I’m just going to start calling him the ‘Rain Man,’ ” said Jackson head coach Jim Anderson of Cornett, who shot a 71 on the final day of state last year despite rainy conditions at Hidden Valley G.C. in Spokane. “I said, ‘You really must love the rain.’ “
Cornett teed off two hours later than Caparas and was battling rain over the final nine holes. But he seemed to settle down and get better as the round went on, especially after making a big shot on the 10th hole to get out of trouble.
Anderson said Cornett’s history should give him confidence going into today’s final round. Besides winning state wire-to-wire last year, Cornett also came from behind to win Egbers and won the Dolan Invitational this year in a playoff.
“Kyle is so competitive and so mature,” Anderson said. “He knows what he needs to do.”
The only other local golfers to make the cut, which was set at 80, were Kamiak’s Chris Hatch (76), Arlington’s Anthony Allen (77), Snohomish’s Luke Kuna (77) and Monroe’s Owen Fenner (80).
Kamiak’s hopes to defend its state championship were dashed when two of its three golfers missed the cut. Steven Cabanday shot an 82 and Matt Kornegay finished with a 90.
If the conditions for the 4A boys weren’t good, than the 3A boys’ conditions were downright awful at Ridgefield Golf Course just up Interstate-5.
But despite playing in a rainy and windy conditions, two Glacier Peak golfers had strong rounds and have the Grizzlies in contention to win their first boys golf state title. Ben Richards shot a 71 and is a shot behind the leader, Juanita’s Frank Garber, and teammate Conner Denessen shot a 73, good enough for a three-way tie for fifth.
Denessen teed off at 8:42 a.m. and missed the rain on his front nine, but Richards, who teed off at 9:36 a.m., played his entire round in the brunt of the storm. In fact after Denessen’s group teed off no golfer broke 76 besides Richards.
“I’ve never seen (Ben) play that tough before,” said Glacier Peak coach Jeff Cornish, who added that Tuesday’s conditions were the worst he’d ever seen at a state tournament.
Glacier Peak will be battling Interlake (three golfers in the top 13), O’Dea (three golfers in the top 20), and Hanford (four golfers in the top 36) for the state title. Mt. Spokane, Seattle Prep and Bishop Blanchet all have three golfers that made the cut but would be considered serious longshots to win state.
One thing in the Grizzlies favor is the fact that top finishers are weighted more heavily, giving a team with two golfers that make the cut a real shot.
Cornish said he wouldn’t be surprised if either of his boys got hot and won the tournament.
“If Conner’s putter gets hot he’s lights out,” Cornish said. “He could win this whole thing.
“As for Ben he’s real aggressive and he’s playing very well so he’s got a chance to shoot a real low round.”
Other local finishers that made the cut, which was set at 81, included Shorecrest’s Trent Jones (73), Stanwood’s Halen Davis (78), Everett’s Mike Simpson (80) and Shorewood’s Stuart Schachle (81).
Jackson’s Laura Gay shot an 83 and is in a four-way tie for 14th, 10 shots off the lead, after Day 1 of the 4A State Girls Golf Championships at Club Green Meadows in Vancouver.
Other local finishers that made the cut, which was set at 91, included Gay’s teammate, Renee Kwak (89) and Lake Stevens’ Julia Elton (91).
Glacier Peak had two golfers make the cut, Dani Durand and Alisa Wilson, who shot 90 and 93, respectively, on the par-73 Lewis River Golf Course.
Oak Harbor’s Annie Leete shot a round of 79, but is nine shots off the lead after Columbia River’s Chloe Bartek shot a 3-under-par 70 to take the lead.
Shorecrest’s Audrey Penner, who shot a 93, was the only other local golfer to make the cut.
Granite Falls’ Austin Berg shot an 81 and is in a six-way tie for 15th, but finds himself 11 shots off the lead after W.F. West’s Brady Calkins shot a 70 on the first day of the 2A State Boys Golf Championships at Chambers Bay in University Place.
All three Archbishop Murphy golfers, Sean Goldfinch (87), Ben Thacker (88) and Quinn Stanley (91) all missed the cut, which was set at 86.
Lakewood’s Nina Forsell is in a four-way tie for 14th after shooting a 92 on the first day of the 2A State Girls Golf Championships The Classic Golf Course in Spanaway.