TUMWATER — Ilwaco golfers have had to cross the mountains for the State tournament in recent years, winning their team boys’ title in 2016 and Blake Kukula’s individual titles the last two seasons at Eastern Washington courses.

This year, the State tournament will be played at Tumwater Valley Golf Course. The course was also announced last week as the site of the District tournament. The team took the opportunity to compete there Thursday, April 11.

Coach Bob Enos said the course can be particularly tough as a girls’ course.

“A couple of the par fives for girls are straight up hill, with trees on both sides,” he said. “Boys tee off further back, so they have a choice to open to the left.”

Kukula, who has played the course before, takes that approach. He shot a 40 in the nine-hole competition to win the medal at an event where Life Christian golfers were Ilwaco’s only competitors. Teammate Tenyson Ramsey shot a 49, helping Ilwaco to a 193-198 victory.

Charlie Short and Ethan Knopski sustained improvements they have shown early this year, each shooting 52.

“They’re both getting more shots in play,” Enos said. “Ethan has gone away from his driver on some holes to control the shots a little better.”

For the girls, Faith Richardson shot a 54, Maggie Jacobson had a 58 and Sunny Kemmer shot 74.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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