Othello golfers have it rolling

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Golf has a way of driving me crazy. True, it’s a short drive, but it’s crazy nonetheless.

I played Bandon Dunes a few years ago. Bandon is the closest thing to Scottish links golf you’ll find on American soil and was designed by Scotsman David McLay Kidd, who also designed Gamble Sands in Brewster.

Golf Odyssey, the premiere newsletter focusing on golf travel, named Bandon Dunes, “The Best Place on the Planet for Golf.”

Having walked the hallowed ground on the Old Course in St. Andrews and played the New Course (built in 1895), I’m thinking it would be nice to add the American answer to links golf to my resume of places I’ve slapped a golf ball round.

The only thing I can say about Bandon Dunes is to make sure you have something to eat first, because it will eat your lunch. They have since removed some of the gorse, but I walked off, like a novice skier on an expert slope, thinking I had no business being there. I play to a 15-handicap, but Bandon exposed every weakness in my bag, which started with driver and ended with putter.

Of course the next week they hosted the U.S. Mid-American Golf Championships and the real golfers came in and lit it up to the tune of 68, shooting not only under-par, but holes in every complaint I might have had. Golf has a way of speaking for itself.

The guys down in Othello have it rolling pretty good, having posted a program-low score of 340 at the CWAC League match at Black Rock Creek Golf Course in Grandview last time out.

Ben Garza played at the 2A state championship last season. He’s getting his game in shape and has a little company this season with freshman Patrick Azevedo adding his game to the cause. Azevedo turned in a 4-over-par 76 at Black Rock Creek Golf Course to lead the Huskies. Garza double-bogeyed the last two holes to finish with an 82. If things went a little differently, that school record could have been even lower.

“We did awesome, that’s a team low and a team record for us,” Othello coach Brian Lumsden said. “We had some new faces in our lineup, which is part of our depth.”

The key to team golf is at the No. 4 slot and more than one golf coach has said, “My kingdom for a fourth guy.”

From a team perspective, a lot is riding on Isaiah Garza and Sam Azevedo. They came through nicely with 85 and 97, respectively, at Black Rock Creek. They don’t necessarily have to shoot even par, but if they can beat other teams’ No. 3 and No. 4, it will go a long way toward moving up on the leaderboard.

The Othello guys are up next, ironically enough, at McLay Kidd’s Washington state links creation Gamble Sands on Wednesday.

Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at rharwood@columbiabasinherald.com

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