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Thursday, February 29, 2024
Feb. 29, 2024

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All-Region boys golf: Eli Huntington, Camas

State kicked off busy summer for Papermaker junior

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

The end of Eli Huntington’s high school golf season is really just the beginning of a very busy and hopefully successful summer for the Camas High junior.

Like other high school boys golfers in Southwest Washington, Huntington played the bulk of his golf season last fall.

But he returned this spring to finish second in the 4A bi-district tournament and then tied for fifth in the 4A state tournament, earning him the selection as The Columbian’s All-Region boys golfer of the year.

“It was my first time playing at state because my first two years got canceled because of COVID,” Huntington said. “It was a lot of fun, just getting to spend three days up there with the team was a lot of fun. I was really glad to get that opportunity.”

Two weeks after playing at state, Huntington played in the Pacific Northwest Junior PGA qualifier in Woodburn, Ore., where he posted rounds of 69 and 67 to win at 8 under par. That earned him a spot at the Junior PGA Championship on Aug. 2-5 at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Palos Park, Ill., outside of Chicago.

He was back on the course Tuesday, shooting a 1-over- 73 at Stone Creek Golf Club in in Oregon City to qualify for the Oregon Amateur, which will be played later this month.

And this weekend, he will play in the Royal Oaks Invitational Tournament.

“Pretty much once the school year ends, I don’t get a lot of practice in,” Huntington said. “It’s just playing different tournaments week after week.”

His first experience at a high school state tournament didn’t go according to play. Huntington shot a 1-under 71 at Indian Summer Country Club in Olympia, but then carded a 75 on Day 2.

“I played well Day 1,” he said. “I couldn’t get the putter rolling too well, but I hit the ball well. I think I had 17 greens in regulations, so a lot of 2 putts, but finished 1-under. Day 2, it just wasn’t my day. I just didn’t play my best.”

His first taste of state left Huntington hungry for more, but he also hopes the Camas team can improve upon its seventh-place team finish at state this year.

“We only had two seniors playing varsity this year, so most of the guys will be coming back,” he said. “So I think we’ll be looking pretty good for next year.”

An individual state title for himself remains a goal.

“I just want to go back to state and put myself in position to do well,” he said. “I just want to put together two good rounds, and see what happens.”

He also hopes a successful summer of tournament play opens some doors for him.

“I definitely want to play in college,” he said. “I’m looking at a couple of Division I colleges to play. But I probably won’t make a decision about college until after the summer.”

Rest of All-Region boys golf team

Jack Dahlberg, Prairie

Dahlberg was a 3A GSHL first-team pick, placed fourth at 3A district, ninth at bi-district and placed 18th at the state tournament.

Alden Fay, Columbia River

Fay was a 2A GSHL first-team pick, placed fourth of at 2A district, placed 16th at the state tournament, helping River place second.

Dane Huddleston, Woodland

Huddleston was the 2A GSHL player of the year, the 2A district champion and placed 15th at the 2A  state tournament.

Grady Millar, Mountain View

Millar was the 3A GSHL player of the year, the 3A district champion, bi-district champion and placed 11th at the state tournament.

Spencer Moody, Mountain View

Moody was a 3A GSHL first-team pick, placed second at 3A district, 2nd at bi-district and placed 32nd at the state tournament.

Alex Rigby, Mountain View

Rigby was a 3A GSHL first-team pick, placed third at 3A district, fifth at bi-district and placed eighth at the state tournament.