After struggling on the front nine Tuesday during the first round of the 4A boys golf state championship, Kamiak’s Alvin Kwak knew he’d have to rebound in a big way on the back nine to get himself into contention.
Kwak did just that, finishing with an even-par 72 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Spokane. He enters Wednesday’s final round tied for fourth place, two strokes behind leader Drew Warford of Mt. Si.
Kwak was 4-over par after nine holes, but righted himself on the back nine, posting an eagle on the 15th hole and adding two birdies to pull even.
“That’s what I love about him. He said at the turn, ‘Don’t worry, coach. I’m going to take care of business on the back side,’ and he did it,” said Knights coach Vic Alinen. “He just (willed) it into existence.”
Alinen said Kwak, who finished tied for 10th at last year’s state tournament and tied for ninth two years ago, has a good chance to win the state championship Wednesday.
“He believes he can win it,” Alinen said. “If he shoots in the high 60s, he’s going to win it. (Kamiak golfer) Devin (Kim) has played with (Warford), and (we know) that Alvin is a better golfer than (Warford) is. Alvin just needs to stay focused, attack when he needs to attack, hold back when he needs to hold back. He’s learned all of that from playing in the tournaments that he’s played. I trust that (Wednesday) is going to be a great day for the Kamiak Knights.”
Kim, who placed fifth at last year’s state tourney, tied for 14th with a 75, and teammate Alex Kim tied for 35th, shooting 78.
Glacier Peak had two golfers break 80 — Chase Gardner, who shot 77 to tie for 29th place, and Tyler Spalti, who fired a 78 to tie for 35th.
Lake Stevens’ Cameron Webb was in 44th place after recording a 79.
Jazzelle Caparas of Mariner shot a 1-under 71 at Sun Willow Golf Course in Pasco to finish the first day of the 4A girls state tournament in fourth place, five shots behind the leader, Montgomery Ferreira of Bellarmine Prep, who fired a 66.
Everett sat in first place in the team standings after the first day of the 3A boys state tournament, according to Seagulls coach Darrell Olson.
The Seagulls had four golfers in the top 25 at The Creek at Qualchan Golf Course in Spokane — Ronny Kildall (74, 11th place), Austin Duffy (75, tied for 15th), Josef Koznek (75, tied for 15th) and Andrew Martin (77, tied for 24th).
“I like where the Seagulls are,” Olson said to the Herald by text. “(A) big day awaits us in round two.”
Oak Harbor’s Nick Krantz shot 72 to tie for sixth place.
Cody Oakes of Arlington fired a 79, tied for 38th place.
The first-day leader was Mountain View’s Graham Moody, who recorded a 4-under 68.
Two local golfers tied for 10th place after the first day of the 3A girls state tournament at Indian Canyon Golf Course in Spokane.
Frances Monahan of Edmonds-Woodway and Haley Wong of Shorewood shot 10-over 81, eight strokes behind the leader, two-time defending state champion Brittany Kwon of Central Kitsap.
Fulton Brawner of Archbishop Murphy shot 77 to tie for 16th place after the first day of the 2A boys state tournament, held at Columbia Point Golf Course in Richland.
Dylan Apodaca of Selah and Liberty’s Chase McIntosh are tied for first place, both shooting 3-under 69.
Casey Spurr of Cedarcrest shot 85 and sits in ninth place after the first day of the 2A girls state tournament at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland.
Archbishop Murphy’s Jenna Suh tied for 14th place after shooting 89.
Ephrata’s Kenedee Peters, a two-time state champion, took a five-stroke lead with an even-par 72.
Grayson Giboney of King’s shot 80 and is tied for ninth place after the first day of the 1A boys state tournament, held at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Liberty Lake.
John Hayes of Bear Creek School is on top of the leaderboard after shooting 1-under 69.
South Whidbey’s Kolby Heggenes shot a 74 and finished the first day of the 1B/2B/1A girls state tournament at Hangman Valley Golf Course in Spokane in third place.
Heggenes placed second at the state tourney in each of the past two years. Last year she finished 15 shots behind Davenport’s Kaysa Panke, who put herself in position to win her third state championship Tuesday after firing a 3-under 69.
Grace Academy’s Trenton McKinney fired a 95 to sit in 33rd place after the first day of the 1B/2B boys tournament, held at Hangman Valley Golf Course.