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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Ephrata’s Aaron Whalen wins 2A boys golf title

Ephrata’s Aaron Whalen opened the state 2A boy’s golf championship with a course record on Wednesday. Although someone else broke the record again on Thursday, Whalen held on for a 3-stroke victory at Liberty Lake Golf Course.

Whalen, a senior who won in 2013 and finished second last year, shaved one stroke off the course record from the blue tees with his 66 on Wednesday. But Bellingham’s Nick Nolan shot a 64 on Thursday to break the record.

However, with his opening round of 72, Nolan finished three shots back from Whalen (133) to finish second (136).

“After Nolan finished, Whalen had to finish with a 69 or better,” tournament director Paul Manfred said. “But (Whalen) finished with a 67 to win.”

Along with freshman Kenedee Peters’ runaway win in the 2A girls tournament, Ephrata pulled off the double victory on Thursday.

Manfred said he watched Wednesday as Whalen hit his tee shot on the 330 yard Par 4 18th.

“He hit the ball over the flag to the back of the green. That was the only shot I saw him make,” Manfred said. “(Whalen) tore it up.”

Diego De La Torre of Hockinson finished tied with Matt Marrese of Sammamish for third place (139). Marrese’s finish helped Sammamish win the team championship over Liberty of Issaquah.

Cody Culletto of Clarkston shaved three strokes off his Wednesday score of 77 to finish tied for 18th place (151).

Entering the day, East Valley’s Ryan Brown was tied for 20th place. Brown shot a 76 but fell into a three-way tie for 24th place.

“I definitely left some shots out there,” said Brown, a senior who finished 17th last year.

Brown said his best shot of the day was a 308-yard drive on the 411-yard Par 4 14th hole that led to a birdie.

“I can pull a lot of positives away from it,” Brown said of his effort.

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