For Dom Francks of Olympia High, Wednesday’s final round of the State 4A boys’ golf championship at The Creek at Qualchan golf course was all about low numbers.
For the Bellarmine Prep team, it was all about superior numbers.
In the end they all added up to the same thing, a state title.
Francks, playing in a final group that finished nearly a half-hour after the group ahead, posted a 1-under 71 over the 6,599-yard course, for a two-day total of 141 and a three-stroke victory.
“I bogeyed a couple holes on the front nine, but I knew they were playing difficult and other guys might bogey them too,” the junior said, mentioning an early wind that roughed up scores. “If I just hang in there, the back nine is easier and the wind died down, which also made it a lot easier.”
Or he made it look that way.
“I played well both days,” he said. “I didn’t play spectacular. Honestly, I’m kind of surprised that 141 won it.”
For the Lions, the 95.5-89 win over Eastlake was a comeback of sorts.
Last year Bellarmine Prep was edged by Lewis and Clark, 88-80.5 in Kennewick, denying the Lions their eighth state title.
This year, with the Eastlake’s top two, Li Wang (144) and Evan Alston (145), putting the pressure on, Bellarmine Prep’s Chris Tedesco, playing in the penultimate group, knew he needed to get going.
“Out on the back nine I kept hearing the guys coming in and what they were shooting,” he said. “I said (to myself) ‘I’m going to have to start making some birdies here.’”
He made enough.
A birdie on 18 gave him a back-side 34, 2 under, resulting in a 72 and a two-day total of 145, good enough for the Lions to hold off Eastlake.
“We’ve prepared all year for this,” Tedesco said. “It feels right.”
Mead’s chances of competing for team title seemed to improve early as junior Stephen Thoen, playing in the third group, went out in even-par 36 and, thanks to an eagle-3 on 18, finished at 1-over 73, six strokes better than his first day. His 152 tied for 15th.
“I did overthink a lot of stuff yesterday and that was one of the problems,” Thoen said. “I wasn’t thinking clearly as much as today, where it was just get it on the green and make a putt.”
But Aaron Henderson couldn’t get it going, with a two-day total of 157, and Evan Dyar, who shot 75 Tuesday, followed up with a tough 77. The round even included a nose-bleed on 14, which didn’t help.
“I started out really well, with birdies on one and three, so I was 2 under,” said Dyar, who attends St. George’s but plays for Mead because the Dragons do not have a team. “Then the bogies started coming. But I played the last five holes 2 under, so it worked out.”
The Panthers finished eighth with 53 points.
District 8 champion Robby McKee of Lewis and Clark improved by two strokes Wednesday, with his 76 giving him a two-day total of 154.