Mead High’s Taylor Mularski started out birdie, birdie, birdie in Tuesday’s final round of the District 8 3A girls tournament at Liberty Lake Golf Course.
That prompted a conversation among spectators about the course record from the gold tees (5,216 yards). There was even more chatter after Mularski lipped out a 20-footer on No. 9 and settled for a 5-under 31 on the front side.
“I’m like, ‘OK, three under through three,’ and someone quickly asked me, ‘Well, what’s the course record?’ ” Mead coach Keith Ross said.
Ross checked at the turn and learned it was 69. About two hours later, Mularski holed a birdie putt on No. 18 to finish off a 4-under 67 in style and establish a new course record. The Greater Spokane League player of the year added district champion to her resume with a two-day score of 139 – 12 strokes ahead of Southridge’s Angela Park, who has signed with Washington.
Southridge captured the team title by 36 shots over Mead. The Mid-Columbia Conference school led by 29 after the first round. Southridge, Mead and Mt. Spokane earned trips to the state tournament next week at MeadowWood.
Mead dominated the boys’ tournament with the top four in the individual standings and a two-day score of 584. The Panthers will be joined at state next week at Liberty Lake by Mt. Spokane (637) and Ridgeline (660).
Mead’s Bradley Mulder followed Monday’s 70 with a 72 for a five-stroke win over twin brother Benjamin (73) and teammate Ty Anderson (72).
Mularski now owns a pair of course records during her impressive senior season. The first came early on with a 6-under 66 at Horn Rapids in Richland. She also fired a 9-under 63 at Palouse Ridge, but apparently there isn’t a course record from the tee boxes that were used on that day.
“It’s been just kind of surreal,” the Gonzaga-bound Mularski said. “Coming out of winter it’s like, ‘I’ve put in all this practice, will it pay off?’ Obviously there’s been good days and bad days, but scoring well in tournaments, it’s kept me having high expectations for myself. To be able to have days where I achieve those, it’s been cool.”
Mularski bogeyed Nos. 10 and 11 and missed a 4-foot birdie putt on No. 12 after a gorgeous bunker shot from a green-side bunker. She shook it off by sinking a 14-foot birdie putt on the next hole.
She waited for the green to clear on the 266-yard 18th before launching a drive that cleared the water and ended up just right of the green. She got up and down for her seventh birdie.
Bradley Mulder faced adversity early with a triple bogey on No. 5, but responded with birdies on two of the next three holes.
“My putting was really good,” the junior said. “The greens were firm and it was hard to hit the greens, but I was getting up and down. My short game saved me.”
Mulder picked an ideal time for his first prep victory.
“My mindset was, ‘Don’t stop, just keep going, don’t cruise to the finish,’ ” he said. “It’s actually the first (tournament) I’ve ever won so it’s really good to win this one. I’m looking forward to state.”
So is coach Paul Peters, who applauded his team’s scores of 291 and 293.
“Very consistent,” Peters said. “If you can take those two scores and transpose them to next week I think those would hold up very well.”
District 8 4A: Gonzaga Prep’s boys earned the district crown by shooting 294, four strokes better than Monday’s round at Horn Rapids in Richland. Richland finished second, 11 strokes behind the Bullpups, with Kamiakin third.
Gonzaga Prep’s Alex Cooke closed with a 70 for a 138 total to win the individual title. Teammate Matthew Durkin (69) finished second at 140.
Lewis and Clark’s girls closed with a 350 to take second and join champion Richland and third-place Kamiakin as state qualifiers. LC’s Amanda Nguyen carded a 1-under 71 to claim second place, five strokes behind Pasco’s Jillian Breedlove (71-144).
District 8 2A: Shadle Park’s Jake Wilcox carded a two-day total of 144 to win the boys district title at Esmerelda GC. Parker Legried of Pullman was second at 152 and Highlanders Conor Weber (155) and Brayden Kelly (159) finished third and fourth.
On the girls side, Lauren Greeny of Pullman shot 144 to earn the victory. Spencer Cerenzia of West Valley was second with a 152 and Pullman’s Ryliann Bednar was third at 177.