District IV 1A boys golf: Sand takes second; Hoquiam earns team hardware; Elma sends three to state

TUMWATER — Four Grays Harbor golfers will have a long winter to wait for their shot to play in a state golf tournament.

Following the second and final round of the District IV 1A boys golf tournament at Tumwater Valley Golf Course on Tuesday, Hoquiam’s John Sand finished second overall to lead his teammates to a tie for second-place finish in the team standings.

Elma will have three golfers qualify for next spring’s state 1A tournament, including one who beat two fellow Grays Harbor competitors in a two-hole playoff for the 15th and final individual spot.

Sand, a freshman, followed an even-par first nine holes with a 3-over back nine to finish seven strokes behind the eventual district champion, Woodland’s Ryan Sturdivan. Sturdivan finished 3-under for the two-day tournament at 141, with Sand at 149 and Rochester’s Deric Hawes and Woodland’s Tanner Huddlestone tied for third at 150.

Woodland easily won the boys team title, sending five individual golfers to state.

“He’s only 14 and he’s playing against a very mature field,” HHS head coach Larry Dublanko said of Sand. “He managed his way around the course and didn’t have any back-to-back disasters. He did very well.”

Elma’s Austin Neary and Mitch Helland finished tied for 10th place at 175 to qualify for state. Neary needed a sub-45 back nine to qualify after going 90 in the front nine. Teammate Bryson Burrows won the three-man playoff on the second hole against Montesano’s Kyler Landry and Hoquiam’s Josh Bishop.

Bishop needed a birdie in the final hole in regulation to get into the playoff. He got it when he hit a 160-yard approach shot to tap-in range, while negotiating trees and a water pump shed due to an errant drive.

All three golfers bogeyed the first hole, with Landry nearly chipping in for par from just off the green. Burrows sank a par putt on the second playoff hole to win the final individual state berth. Bishop earned the first alternate spot with a bogey, while Landry took the second alternate spot.

“We had a great season, one of the best for Elma boys golf in a long time,” Elma head coach Erik Lindley noted. “Austin bouncing back in the back nine was really big for him.”

The state 1A boys golf tournament site, plus the full list of state allocations, will not be determined until early in the spring sports season.