Bruin golf season tees-off under pristine conditions

By Ryan Sparks, Curry Coastal Pilot March 21, 2014 09:02 pm

Bruin golfer Alex McKee shoots from the fairway during Friday's Bruin Invitational golf meet.

The Brookings-Harbor High School boys golf team kicked-off their season against golfers from Sutherlin, North Bend and Coquille at the Bruin Invitational, Friday at Salmon Run golf course.

BHHS senior Blake Butler finished second in the event, shooting a solid 81 over the 18-hole course.

“The course has been playing really well,” said Butler of the conditions. “The sun has been out the past few days so the course has dried up.”

Sutherlin’s Tyler Franke, last year’s 4A state champion, won the individual event, shooting a 75 to beat Butler by 6 strokes.

Coquille’s Terrence Edwards placed third, shooting an 85 on the day.

“The weather is beautiful, which is really nice because it can usually get really wet around here,” said Franke.”

The course played slow due to the cold and wet conditions in the morning, but as the day progressed, the sun warmed the course and scores started falling.

By late afternoon another challenging course condition was thrown at the golfers as a swirling wind picked up, forcing golfers to adjust on the fly.

“The wind is the toughest thing to play in,” admitted Franke. “It keeps starting and stopping and changing direction which makes it challenging.”

Bruin head coach Chris McConnell states it’s nothing his golfers haven’t seen before.

“It’s golf on the Oregon coast. We play some of the hardest conditions on some of the hardest courses in the country,” he said.

The Bruins, who only return Butler and junior Alex McKee from last year’s team, are laden with freshman and first year players, but McConnell says their development is coming along nicely.

“We don’t play in a bubble and we don’t practice in a bubble. There’s a lot of golf experience out there for them and they take to it,” he said.