Everett boys golf holds its own at elite tournament

The Seagulls are in the middle of the pack at the Champions’ Invitational in Indio, California.

INDIO, Calif. — The Everett boys golf team acquitted itself quite well on the first day of competition Friday at the Champions’ Invitational, a gathering of some of the West Coast’s elite teams, at The Golf Club at Terra Lago.

Playing 18 holes in the morning on the South Course and another 18 in the afternoon on the longer, tougher North Course, the Seagulls compiled a team score of 626 among its top four golfers.

That total was good enough for 21st out of the 40 teams in attendance. Coronado High School, of Henderson, Nevada, led the team standings with 582.

Austin Duffy and Andrew Martin were both tied for 51st place individually with 36-hole scores of 154. Duffy shot 75 in the morning and 79 in the afternoon, while Martin carded a 74 in the morning and 80 in the afternoon round.

Ronny Kildall shaved 12 strokes off the 84 he shot in the morning with a 72 on the North Course in the afternoon for a total of 156. Josef Koznek shot an 83 and an 81 for a total of 164.

The Seagulls will play another 18 holes Saturday afternoon to wrap up the competition.

“I’m really proud of my boys,” Everett coach Darrell Olson said. “They’ve just competed so darn hard. Thirty-six holes in one day isn’t just a grind on you physically, but also mentally. There were a couple hiccups out there, but our goal was to finish in the top half, and we have a chance to do that.”

Olson said that the three practice rounds his team played between Wednesday and Thursday were pivotal, as it allowed the Seagulls to learn about the different obstacles Terra Lago would pose than the courses in Washington.

“The ball rolls a lot down here, and even if it gets on the fairway, it can roll places that you didn’t think it could roll to,” Olson said. “The greens are different, too. Ours are relatively flat and not too undulating, but these have serious undulations and false fronts.”

Olson said he first heard about the Champions’ Invitational last summer, and after contacting the tournament director, he submitted an application that detailed the Seagulls’ bona fides. Everett received its formal invitation to the tournament in October.

He added that in addition to the team’s own fundraising efforts, a number of organizations including an Everett golf alumni group, EHS’ Blue and Gold booster club and Legion Memorial Golf Course’s senior men’s club contributed to the $8,000 needed for the Seagulls to make the trip.

“We had a lot of people step up,” Olson said. “We’re all very thankful.”

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