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2A Boys Golf: Bearcats Scratch Out Strong Team Score in Defeat of Rochester

2A Golf: Andrew Kim of W.F. West Earns Medalist Honors with an Even Par Performance
By Jordan Nailon
jnailon@chronline.com
W.F. West junior Andrew Kim turned in his best scorecard of the season on Monday and earned medalist honors for his effort as the Bearcats turned away Rochester at Newaukum Valley Golf Course by a score of 209-252 in 2A Evergreen Conference boys golf.
Kim mustered an even par score of 36 in his round, a full four strokes below his previous best. He said that a proficient performance in the short game paved the way to that happy total. Kim noted that driving the ball has been his strong suit since he took up the sport four years ago but this year W.F. West coach Bruce Thompson has been insisting that his players work on the less glamourous skill sets of chipping and putting.
“He’s been pushing us to work a lot on our short game,” said Kim, who got off to a good start on Monday when he chipped in on the third hole before lodging a pair of birdies later on in his pace setting round.
Fellow Bearcats Jaron Howell, Bryce Dobyns and Wyatt Magnuson all turned in scores below their season averages as well with tallies of 41, 42 and 44, respectively. In fact, five of the Bearcats top six finishers finished with scores better than their season average. That trend was reassuring to Thompson as the season takes makes turn toward the back nine. He noted that the District tournament is now a mere three weeks away.
“That’s when you want all of your players clicking,” said Thompson. “The big thing right now is what part of your game is working and what part can you work on just a little bit that could really help you out later.”
With 23 golfers toting bags for the Bearcats this season Thompson says it takes a lot of trust to know that each player is doing everything they can to get better as they spread out across the course. Thompson says that this year’s team is still reaping the benefit of talented, and particularly motivated, players who have signed scorecards for the Bearcats in the past.
“It makes a big difference the quality of players we’ve had in the past because they set the tone. They set an example,” said Thompson.
Kim says that being a part of a historically successful program that’s still stocked with state contenders has a way of holding everyone accountable and keeping the team focused.
“Since there’s a lot of players who are so good it just motivates me to play better,” said Kim.
Thompson said it’s somewhat surprising that Kim had never been a medalist prior to Monday’s round since he consistently turns in competitive scores.
“He’s a good enough player to hit that even par. It just haven’t happened up until now for whatever reason,” said Thompson. “Typically one of his fellow teammates turns in a great score and undercuts him.”
While there were periods of undeniable struggle for Rochester on Monday, coach Kyle Sprague was able to find a silver lining from his perch just beyond the sandtrap.
“Our scores were getting pretty high there for awhile but we’re trending in the right direction now,” said Sprague. “For most of our guys it’s been a mental thing and getting them not to press. Just go play.”
Logan Fry led the Warriors with a team best score of 45 and Braden Norquist counted up a 48 on his scorecard.
On Wednesday W.F. West will travel to Black Hills while Rochester will host R.A. Long in a makeup match.

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