REDMOND With four golfers shooting 76 or less, and riding monster rounds from Todd McAndie and Bill Waldrop, the La Grande golf boys caught Sisters Tuesday, winning the Class 3A state golf championship in record-setting fashion.
La Grande blew away the competition at the state tournament last year, except for one team Sisters. Sisters won the state championship with La Grande finishing second. No other teams in the state were even close to these two.
This year, Sisters couldn't fend off the Tiger linksters. La Grande finished its first day at Eagle Crest Resort with a team score of 300, nine strokes behind Sisters. That Sisters' score of 291 was a one-day state tournament record.
However, La Grande came storming back in the wind and the rain Tuesday with a 293, 21 strokes better than Sisters.
La Grande's overall score of 593 is a 3A state record. The Tigers' top four golfers finished among the top 17 at state.
Todd McAndie led the second-day charge. After getting off to a rough start, shooting a 41 over his first nine holes Monday, he finished his first-day round with a 32 on the back nine for a 73.
McAndie kept up the momentum Tuesday, shooting a 3-under par 69. He ended up 7-under par over his last 27 holes and led the tournament with 14 birdies in 36 holes.
McAndie finished with a 142, good for second place in the state individually. It took a Tuesday round of 66 by Jesse Schutte of Siuslaw to keep McAndie from winning the state individual title.
McAndie said after the first nine holes, he "started putting my stuff together and making putts. It felt great."
McAndie said La Grande was concerned about the nine-stroke lead. "We knew it was going to be tough to make that up with a team as good as Sisters," he said.
McAndie's big charge at the end was the finish of his high school career. While he was concentrating hard on his golf, McAndie said it did "feel kind of weird teeing off on the 18th."
Waldrop likewise put on a late charge. He didn't have his best day Monday, shooting an 81, but he improved by nine strokes with a 72 Tuesday.
Waldrop's score beat his Sisters' opponent by 18 strokes. After beating his man by so much, Waldrop said he knew La Grande was in good shape. "I knew if everyone (else) stuck with their man" La Grande would win.
Tyler Tucker, who shot 70 on Monday to help keep La Grande within range of Sisters, shot a 76 Tuesday, and finished with a 146, good for eighth in the state individually.
Tucker wasn't as confident as McAndie and Waldrop because, for him, he had a bad day Tuesday. He wasn't aware that Waldrop had beaten his man by 18 strokes.
"I had no clue," Tucker said. "I was playing poorly. I felt really bad." After he returned to the clubhouse, his teammates told them they were beating Sisters.
"I said, Are you kidding?'" Tucker said.
Tucker said Tuesday has been the story of La Grande golf all year. If one player struggled, others picked up the slack. "If it's not one guy, it's the other.
"We've been working so hard. We knew we could do it. It's a dream come true," Tucker said.
Ricky Gloria was the most consistent of the top four. He shot 76 Monday and 76 Tuesday for 152. Waldrop said Gloria deserves a lot of the credit for the win, too, for a fourth-place golfer to turn in consecutive rounds of 76.
La Grande's Corey Steele had a good tournament, shooting 170, good for 57th. However, because the rest of the team was so strong, Steele's score didn't count toward the team score.
It is the second boys state title this year for La Grande. The La Grande swim boys won their fourth-straight state title in March.
Boys 3A State Golf Tournament
1, La Grande, 300-293-593 (state record); 2, Sisters, 291-314-605; 3, Sherwood, 313-296, 609; 4, Siuslaw, 305-308-613; 5, Taft, 316-315-631; 6, Stayton, 314-320-634; 7, Marist, 320-323-643; 8, Wilsonville, 315-329-644; 9, Seaside, 320-338-658; 10, Henley 332-329-661, Ontario, 327-334-661; 12, Astoria, 339-328-667; 13, Newport, 336-333-669; 14, Sutherlin, 332-343-675; 15, North Bend, 337-354-691; 16, North Valley, 365-354-719.
1, Jesse Schutte, Siuslaw, 70-66-136; 2, Todd McAndie, La Grande, 73-69-142; 8, Tyler Tucker, 70-76-146; 15, Ricky Gloria 76-76-152; 17, Bill Waldrop, 81-72-153; 57, Corey Steele, La Grande, 82-88-170.