Daniel Snoey was always there, right there, either on top or close to the top of the leaderboard. In the fall, and then in the spring.
No, he did not have the finishes he wanted. At district, he took second. At Class 3A state, he tied for ninth, five strokes off the lead. His teammate, Blake Jones, won district and was one stroke better at state, tying for fourth. Then, there was another golfer who won a state championship: Connor O’Neil of Washougal in the 2A tournament.
All fantastic golfers, for sure.
The Columbian decided to go with overall excellence for the season. Snoey, who won the 3A state tournament last year and had another top-10 finish this season, had the best scoring average of any Clark County golfer this past school year. For that excellence, he is our All-Region boys golfer of the year.
What can you say about those other two golfers who were finalists for player of the year? “Blake has improved a lot over the three years I’ve been playing with him. He’s tried to be a much more consistent player, and he accomplished that this year. It’s something he’s developed over the three years. I’ve played with Connor a few times. He didn’t have the (fall) regular season that he wanted, but that’s great for him to win state. He must have worked hard over the winter.”
Most memorable moment: “At state, I was 4-under through 14 (in the first round), then I ended up shooting six-over the last four holes. That was tough. The second day, I wasn’t playing well, but the last four holes, I was three-under.”
Advice to a younger player: “I’ve learned a lot this year. There are a lot of ups and downs in this game.” He noted that a golfer can score well when playing poorly, but also play well and end up with a bad score. “Just stick with it and practice. Just keep working hard.”
Thoughts on being the player of the year … again: “It’s always great. I’m excited. I know I’ve worked hard over the years. It’s nice to have some appreciation from people who recognize that. There are other deserving players, as well, so it’s an honor.”
Snoey has big golf plans for the summer, and it started graduation weekend with the Royal Oaks Invitational. Describe those days: “It was a wild, wild night. I was go-carting until about 4 in the morning.” That was last Friday night into Saturday morning. On Friday morning, he played in the first round of the Royal Oaks, then went to graduation and the all-night part at Bullwinkle’s. The next day, he had to golf in the second round of the tournament. “I hopped out of bed and just made it to my tee time. It was fun, but it was tough to do.”
What else this summer? Snoey, a member of the Polish men’s national amateur team, is scheduled to leave today to join his teammates. They will practice, play a tournament, and then head to Sweden for the European Team Championships in July. He will come home, play a couple more amateur events in Oregon, then prepare for college at the University of Portland. “I’ll be really busy. That’s nice. I’ll get a lot of practice time.”
Joining the Pilots: “I’m really excited to be going there,” he said, noting he has received a full scholarship, 80 percent for golf, 20 percent for academics. He carried a 3.75 grade-point average in high school.
What is a goal, associated with your sport, that you would like to accomplish in the next few years? “I want to help our team to a West Coast Conference championship.”
What is a goal, away from your sport, that you would like to accomplish in the next few years? “I had a really fun senior project. I job-shadowed an accountant. That’s the degree I want to pursue.”
What is one thing some people do not understand about your sport? “It’s a lot more difficult than people assume. You have to have athletic ability, hand-eye coordination. Weather is a big factor in our sport, too. You have to be dedicated to go out when it’s raining, and windy, and blowing.”
Other sports: Played basketball through his sophomore year, then did not play as a junior, only to return his senior year. “I already had my scholarship for golf, and I wanted to enjoy my senior year. It was really fun.”
Most embarrassing moment of the year: When The Columbian came out to do a story on the Camas team last fall and the reporter walked a round with his group. The other three players kept heckling Snoey, the defending state champion, because of his awesomeness.