By Jeremy McDonald
KEIZER, Ore.– South Salem’s Maddie Dustin came out ready to go in the second round of the Mountain Valley Conference Girls Golf Tournament Tuesday at the McNary Golf Course in Keizer.
The Saxons sophomore shot a 40 over the first nine holes before finishing with a 43 on the back nine to take the round with a 83.
“I think I did way better, last week was the first match and I feel like I wasn’t focused enough and I made dumb decisions. This week I feel like I did a lot better besides the last hole,” laughed Dustin about the first week. “ I made it tricky. (Illahe Golf Course) that’s my home course I live there I should’ve done better. Anyways next week…I’ll have a bit more focus, also just make some putts and keep practicing is how I’ll improve.”
The 18th hole of Tuesday’s round proved to be the toughest hole that Dustin, Sprague’s Maddie Neufeld and West Salem’s Camille Harrington to play as the creek by the putting green raised havoc for the trio who finished the hole with nine strokes.
“It was rough because we all had bad shots, some of us went into the water. I had it down next to the water a few times, but that was hard after a long day,” Harrington said.
Harrington finished third on the day with a 106 as the Titan looks to improve entering Week three’s round at the Santiam Golf Course in Stayton. Wishing she could’ve done a few strokes differently on the fast course on Tuesday.
“Today was alright. If I could’ve eliminated a couple of strokes. But I definitely been able to improve a lot just this season, just a couple of tournaments, so that’s been good to see,” Harrington said.
For Neufeld, her short game was one area she could work on coming out of the course on Tuesday. After shooting a 53 on the front nine, the Olympian senior started the back nine holes strongly with a three-shot on ten to shoot a 48 to close out the 18-hole round in Keizer.
“I took my time more on all of my shots than the first nine. But it went better, there’s a lot to improve on with my short game,” laughed Neufeld. “If I can get my puts and chips, I can shorten my scores so much. I think just practicing all that, taking my time on my shots and seeing how far along water and stuff are, I think I can improve.”
The Salem-area schools will tee-off Wednesday at the Santiam Golf Course at noon before heading to Cross Creek April 19 in Dallas.
Dustin (South Salem)-83
Neufeld (Sprague)- 101
Harrington (West Salem)-106
Grossnicklaus (South Salem)-107
Wilch (West Salem)-111
Photos By Jeremy McDonald