KELSO — Blake Kukula took first place, Tenyson Ramsey had a career day, and Zac Tapio had his best day in two years at the District IV 2B tournament at Three Rivers Golf Course in Kelso on May 17-18. All three qualified for State. Tenyson Ramsey finished 11th and will go to State as the second alternate. Ilwaco took the District title.
Kukula shot 73-76 to win his second straight District title. He outlasted the surprising Hayden Johnson of Kalama, who was one under after nine holes. Kukula shot a four on every hole of the back nine to take a three-stroke lead into Thursday, then built a five-hole lead with a birdie on hole one.
Tapio’s second-day score of 78 was his best score since his sophomore season. He shot 165 for the tournament, good for fifth place. “(Coach) Jon Kukula and I knew Zac just had to control his tee shots to score for us because Three Rivers is pretty open and you have escape routes from off line shots,” said Ilwaco coach Bob Enos.
Ethan Bannister shot 39 on the front nine on Wednesday and finished at 83 on the day, his career best mark. On Thursday, he was at 37 through eight holes, but hit two shots into the water on nine, taking a nine on the hole. Bannister was solid the rest of the way and had a two-day score of 172, finishing seventh place.
Ramsey had a 96 on Wednesday, putting him in 16th place, then passed five golfers on Thursday with an 89, his career-best score for 18 holes.
Ilwaco’s 70 team points beat second-place Life Christian with 58, bringing the Fishermen their third straight District title.
Enos said Jon Kukula did much of the hands-on coaching at the tournament. “I was pressed into service as starter and scoring table official and wasn’t able to walk the course as much as I normally do….I would like to thank Jon Kukula for picking up the slack and moving from group to group to support and assist the kids. His expertise is invaluable.”