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OSAA Golf: Engle storms through Quail Valley Friday, May 29, 2009

Daniel Engle of Phoenix High School tracks his tee shot on the par-three fourth hole May 19 in the second round of the 4A state championship tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks. The senior cruised to the individual title, scoring 67 (-5) in both rounds to win by 12 strokes. The Pirates team finished fourth.

Last week I shot the second rounds of the 4A and 3A/2A/1A boys golf tournaments at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, about 20 miles west of Portland. The weather wasn't as nice as it had been for the first round (when I wasn't there), but apart from a brief downpour around 11 a.m., the rain basically held off for the day. But sun and clouds were continuously performing do-si-dos all day, making it a challenge to keep the exposure right.

In the morning (4A) I had three golfers to cover: Ryan Melnychuk and Garrett Shwietert from North Valley, and Daniel Engle of Phoenix. Now I don't golf very often, and if I'm going to shell out dozens of dollars for greens fees and club rentals, I'm darn well going to get as many strokes per dollar as I can. These guys clearly have the opposite philosophy.

Schwietert, a senior, played well, shooting 75-78-153 (+9) in the two-day affair to finish tied for ninth. Melnychuk tied for third with a score of 76-72-148 (+4), particularly impressive for a freshman.

Daniel Engle drives from the third tee May 19 at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks, Ore.

But Engle blew the field away. The senior shot 67 in round one to take a three stroke lead into day two. The next day—under tougher conditions—he shot 67 again to set a new tournament record (-10) and win by 12 strokes. He played like a machine. And to top it off, he finished disappointed with a bogey on the 18th hole. As he told the Medford Mail Tribune, "The first five minutes after that I was kinda bummed," added Engle, "but then I realized I'd won by 12 strokes so it was OK."

[right] North Valley freshman Ryan Melnychuk was impressive, scoring 76-72-148 (+4) in the two-day event to finish tied for third place. His even round on day two was the second-best score of the day.

[far left] Garrett Schwietert putts on the ninth green. Schwietert scored 153 (+9) in the two-day tournament to finish tied for ninth. [left] Myron Clements of Henley High School ran into trouble on the 9th hole as his drive embedded itself two inches into the boundary line on the water hazard. The senior held on for a bogey on the hole, and finished tied for ninth overall with a two-day score of 76-77-153 (+9).