Golf Report: Golf news, events and course information for Spokane and the Inland Northwest

Wind a factor at District 8 4A golf

Mead senior Kristen Hansen’s Wednesday included an Advanced Placement calculus test and dealing with The Creek at Qualchan on a windy afternoon.

So what was tougher?

“Probably the AP test, but the wind really made the course play hard,” said Hansen, who carded a 4-over 77 for the lowest girls score on the first day of the District 8 4A golf tournament. “I’m not sure about the test; it’s kind of up in the air.”

Hansen graded out fine on the course, overcoming a couple of missed putts from short range with a solid ball-striking round. She’s one shot in front of Lewis and Clark’s Sierra Kersten and three ahead of Mead’s Lydia Kim and Lewis and Clark’s Megan Haase, Sydney Kersten and Katie Larson.

Mead senior Stephen Thoen holds a five-shot lead in the boys event after firing a 1-under 71. Ferris teammates Tanner Comes and Eric Ansett each shot 76 and Lewis and Clark’s John-Michael Larson had 77. Central Valley’s Mark Beck and Dakota Pearce and Mead’s Evan Dyar finished with 78s.

The boys and girls fields were trimmed from 36 to 18 for Tuesday’s final round at Liberty Lake. Seven boys and seven girls will advance to state.

Thoen, the Greater Spokane League regular-season player of the year, was 3 under after the front nine but experienced a “little train wreck from 10 through 13.” It started with a 3-wood that sailed through the fairway and found trouble, leading to a double bogey on 10. He dunked his tee shot in the water on the difficult par-3 11th, but made a nifty up-and-down for bogey. Bogies at 12 and 13 capped a four-hole stretch of 5-over.

Thoen turned it around by making a 6-foot par putt on No. 14. He birdied 15 and 16, but dropped a shot at 17. He finished in style, draining a 30-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th.

Thoen’s goal was 68, and that was within reach after nine holes.

“Then I hit No. 10, and 11 …,” he said. “After that I realized (68) probably wasn’t going to happen so I said, ‘Let’s finish strong.’ ”

The girls’ leaderboard is more crowded than the boys’. Five players are within three shots of Hansen, a two-time state qualifier. Two of those pursuers are freshmen – LC’s Sierra Kersten and Mead’s Kim.

Kersten was steady, making 13 pars and five bogies.

“It was fairly straightforward on the front,” she said. “The back was a little rough, but I had some good saves for par.”

Kim rebounded from an 8 on No. 17 (her eighth hole) to shoot 37 on her final nine. She canned 7-foot putts for a birdie and a par on the last two holes. She hit driver instead of finding the fairway with iron on 17 and ended up in a hazard.

“I could have easily shot in the 70s, but I just messed up that one hole,” Kim said. “I just focused on each shot on the last nine and I one-putted a lot.”