CORVALLIS – A third-place finish in the State Preview tournament late last month forced Summit's boys golf team to do some soul-searching.
The senior-dominated Storm, with three Division I college-bound players, knew they had to take their game up a notch in the OSAA/OnPoint Community Credit Union 6A tournament Monday and Tuesday at Trysting Tree Golf Club.
“It kind of knocked some sense into us,” senior Sam Renner said. “We knew what we had to do.”
Fueled by an out-of-nowhere performance by junior Brody Grieb, the Storm played out of their minds, setting a state record by shooting 16-under par and winning by 39 strokes. The previous record of 13-under had stood since 1967, when Medford won at Glendoveer Golf Course in Portland.
“I knew these guys always had it in them,” Summit coach Andy Heinly said after the second round Tuesday. “Every one of these guys can break par, and it was just a matter of when they could all do it together. … When we got 11-under early in the year as a team, I said, 'You know you can do it, now we've got to do it in the right spot,' and they did.”
The Storm, who won 5A titles in 2015, 2016 and 2017, picked up their first 6A championship in their last chance before returning to 5A next year. Summit shot 552 to finish ahead of Tigard (591), Sunset (595) and Lincoln (606).
Grieb shot an 8-under 134 to turn back hard-charging Mountainside senior Collin Hodgkinson (135). Summit's other scorers were Renner, who finished third at 136, and seniors Lucas Hughes and Ethan Jaehn, who tied for seventh at 141. All four Summit players were under par in the second round.
The most stunning factor for Summit was the performance of Grieb, the team's No. 5 player this season. He took the lead with a 6-under 65 on Monday and held up under the pressure Tuesday by shooting a 2-under 69 to become Summit's first individual champion.
Hodgkinson, paired up with Grieb, applied the heat down the stretch by carding an ace on the par-three, 143-yard 13th hole and an eagle on the par-five No. 16.
But Grieb stood tall under the onslaught. He knocked in a 12-foot putt for a birdie on No. 16, giving him a two-stroke lead. After a bogey on No. 17 cut his lead to one stroke, he came through on No. 18 by chipping to within five feet and dropping the winning putt.
“It's surreal. I can't describe it,” Grieb said. “Collin coming down the stretch, it was so much fun going neck and neck with him.”
The birdie putt on No. 16 stemmed Hodgkinson's momentum.
“Got to make it,” Grieb said. “Especially on that back, he had so much momentum coming off an ace. Two eagles on a side is crazy, and so I knew that he wasn't going to slow down anytime soon, so I had to make sure I got something going. And that's what did it.”
Hodgkinson, an Oregon State commit playing on his future home course, tipped his cap to Grieb.
“It's tough when they're making a lot of putts on you,” said Hodgkinson, who picked up his fourth hole-in-one. “You just try to throw some back, but he got the best of me today.”
Grieb – who finished 11th in the Mountain Valley Conference tournament a week earlier, shooting an 87 on the second day – said he thought his chances were “slim to none” of winning state. In fact, he nearly didn't play in the tournament due to a back injury that flared up late last week.
“I didn't think I was going to be able to play, but then I got over that,” Grieb said. “And to come out here and do this is incredible.”
His play left his coach and teammates in awe.
“I was talking to his mom and I was like, 'Who is this kid? And what did you do with your son?'” Renner said.
Grieb credited the high-level competition he sees against his teammates on a regular basis.
“Every day we play, it's so competitive, and that's what makes us all better players,” Grieb said. “It's just a blast. Day in and day out, we can all go neck and neck, beat each other. That's what makes it fun.”
Summit believed it had a championship-worthy team the last two years, but didn't get a chance to prove it without a state tournament. The win was especially satisfying for Renner, Hughes and Jaehn, who will head off to college careers at Washington State, Grand Canyon and Central Michigan, respectively.
“We were all just, one-last-ride kind of thing,” Renner said. “And we knew we had to do it.”
Renner, a member of Summit's 6A runner-up basketball team, said the title helped ease the sting of that loss.
“It definitely fueled the fire,” Renner said.
Westview sophomore Andrew Yang, Canby junior Jake Rogers and McNary junior Colby Sullivan tied for fourth at 138.
South Salem senior Lucas Paul provided a thrill Tuesday by recording an albatross on No. 14, a 553-yard par-five. He used a 3-wood to hole out from about 245 yards. He shot a 70 Tuesday and finished with a score of 144, tied for 13th.
La Salle Prep junior William Koch shot a 2-over 73 in the second round Tuesday to overtake Corvallis senior Cole Rueck and win the 5A title at Trysting Tree.
Koch -- who entered the day in second place, one stroke behind Rueck – finished with a 1-over 143. Rueck followed his opening-round 69 with a 76 and settled for second place at 145.
“I started off slow and had to climb my way back,” Koch said. “But I’m proud that I could show up for my junior year. A lot of close situations where I didn’t come through helped prepare me for this.
“I knew it was going to be tough. Cole’s a great golfer. It could’ve gone either way.”
Corvallis senior Jaxon Wallis and Churchill senior Matthew Forsyth tied for third place at 150, ahead of West Albany junior Nick Anderson (152), Thurston senior Kellen Humphries (153) and Lebanon freshman Ryland Carrol (153).
Koch was 3-over through six holes Tuesday before his round turned when he birdied the par-four seventh hole. He chipped from the deep rough to within 10 feet of the cup and made the putt.
“It totally changed my sway,” said Koch, who added three birdies on the back nine and nearly made a 35-foot eagle putt on No. 16, but it lipped out.
In last year’s season-ending 5A meet, Koch tied with Rueck for second place behind Humphries. Koch entered this season with high expectations and sensed his opportunity heading into the second round.
“I felt a ton of pressure,” Koch said. “Talking to my coaches, I just tried to stay humble and do what I do, play my game, and whatever happens, happens.”
Koch is La Salle Prep’s second state champion. The first was Bill Hart, who won the 3A/2A/1A title in 1991.
La Salle Prep coach Mark Mollenkopf said Koch “mentally really pulled it out” on the back nine Tuesday as he played five groups ahead of Rueck.
“He focused, got into the zone a little bit,” Mollenkopf said. “He didn’t really know where he was in the standings, so he was just pushing for a good score. He did a really good job of staying strong and not getting down on himself. He’s a really positive player.”
Corvallis coach Mark Kalmar said the Boise State-bound Rueck was unable to capitalize on makeable putts. His round included three double-bogeys, one bogey and an eagle.
“Looking at his body language, he’s a little bit disappointed not being able to execute,” Kalmar said. “Such a great career. He really brought this team up to be much better than they probably would’ve been without his influence.”
Rueck’s performance led Corvallis to the team title, the Spartans’ first since going back-to-back in 2010 and 2011. They shot 633 to finish 21 strokes ahead of runner-up Crater (654), getting solid play from Rueck, Wallis, Vance John (166) and Colin Smith (172).
“These guys just care for one another, they care for the game, and making the special memory and moment,” Kalmar said. “It’s a great honor to be a part of their success.”
Banks won its first title by edging Valley Catholic and Baker/Powder Valley by three strokes in the 4A tournament on Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
The Braves shot a two-day total of 661 to beat the Valiants and Bulldogs, who tied for second at 664. Marist Catholic – the 5A champion in 2018, 4A champion in 2019 and winner of the 4A Showcase last year – was fourth at 674.
Senior Aaron Brown led Banks with an 8-over 152. The Braves' other scorers were seniors Ben Cost (166) and Jake Walters (171) and junior Bo Wormington (172).
Tillamook junior Elliot Lee shot 148 to become his school's first individual champion, finishing ahead of Woodburn junior Ty Beyer (150), Seaside senior Carson Kawasoe (151), Baker/Powder Valley freshman Isaiah Jones (152) and Banks' Brown.
Oregon Episcopal, which won its first title in 2019, pulled away from St. Mary's of Medford in Tuesday's second round to win the 3A/2A/1A championship at Quail Valley.
The Aardvarks, who held a two-shot lead over St. Mary's after the first round, finished with a two-day score of 615 to hold off the Blues (629) by 14 strokes. Bandon (674) and Catlin Gabel (693) were third and fourth, respectively.
Oregon Episcopal's lineup featured senior Ethan Tseng (145), sophomore Alex Tseng (156), senior Henry Ehrlich (156) and junior Matthew Chan (158).
St. Mary's junior Brock Drury shot an even-par 144 to beat Ethan Tseng by one stroke for the individual title. He is the Crusaders' fifth state champion.
Brookings-Harbor freshman Lucas Vanderlip (147) finished third, Catlin Gabel junior Harrison Bell (149) took fourth and Riverdale junior Anders Nielsen (151) was fifth.