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Lakeland’s Derek Bayley makes U.S. Open bid

For the second straight year, Lakeland’s Derek Bayley played in the Idaho 4A State tournament and a couple days later made a run at the first stage of qualifying for the U.S. Open.

Bayley won his second state title with a two-round total of 4-under 132 at Twin Falls Municipal. Derek and his dad, Mike, flew out of Boise at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday and arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, in the early morning hours Wednesday.

He played a practice round Wednesday at Settlers Bay Golf Course in Wasilla and then shot a 76 Thursday. He finished in second place, one stroke behind the winner. Bayley was told he has a strong chance to move on as the first alternate.

Bayley eagled the 10th hole but he hit a rough closing patch, playing the last five holes in 5 over. Three times he airmailed the green on approaches, one ending up a foot beyond an out-of-bounds stake.

“Yes, very mad (at myself),” said Bayley, who shot 75 a year ago, three shots off the pace. “It was pretty much distance (control).

“It was a good experience trying to qualify for a professional event, much less a major. It was intense, to say the least.”

Bayley qualified for the state tournament as an individual, which meant he had to tee off Tuesday long before others on the leaderboard. Bayley posted a second consecutive 66 and waited around as the last players completed their rounds. Bishop Kelly’s Hunter Ostrom finished one shot behind Bayley.

“I went in and ate and relaxed,” said Bayley, who also won state in 2012. “My dad went out and watched Hunter Ostrom play the last four, five holes. He was giving me updates. He was texting a bunch of people.”

Bayley has a busy summer of golf before he joins Washington State University’s team this fall.

Second time around

Greater Spokane League golfers, particularly the 4A boys, are looking forward to another crack at the state tournament. The Vancouver area will host the 4A and 3A boys and girls for the second year in a row. Rainy conditions plagued last year’s events.

“I forgot my rain gear,” said Gonzaga Prep’s Michael Brutocao, who qualified Thursday by placing third at the District 8 4A tournament. “I just toughed it out. It was fun. I didn’t make the cut, but it was good experience.”

Eric Ansett won the district title with a two-day score of 136, edging Ferris teammate Tanner Comes, who shot a 65 at MeadowWood on Thursday, by one stroke. Ansett was the GSL player of the year with a 70.5 average; Comes was next at 70.75.

“Hopefully, it’s a little better weather,” said Ansett, who has signed with Division I Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. “I think it’ll help going back to (Camas Meadows) but all of the other (returning qualifiers) will have the same advantage. It’s a tricky, kind of funky course and the more experience the more comfortable you are with it.”

Saxons coach sidelined

Ferris boys coach Clarence Hough won’t be with his players at state. He tried to put it off as long as he could but he had hip surgery recently.

“I took a fall last year and it never healed up,” he said. “I have to make sure this heals correctly.”

Hough has been staying in touch with his players via text messages. Grady Emmerson is pinch-coaching.

“I consider myself the chauffeur, as long as I can get them to the course on time,” Emmerson said. “This is Clarence’s group.”

Sierra & Sierra

There are no sure things in golf but it’s pretty safe to assume Lewis and Clark junior Sierra Kersten and Mt. Spokane senior Sierra Bezdicek will be in the hunt at their respective state tournaments.

Bezdicek won the district crown by 21 shots. She sandwiched second-place finishes around her 2012 3A state championship. Kersten won the 4A crown last year in a one-hole playoff. She finished fifth as a freshman.

Another Wildcat wins

Kellogg’s Jessi Gibbons shot a two-round total of 170 at Clear Lake Country Club in Buhl to capture the 3A title. Her championship comes after a four-year title run by Kaceelyn Pouttu, who plays for Weber State.

The Wildcats finished second behind Marsh Valley.