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Camas’ Ryan Wang wins three-player playoff to win 4A boys golf district title

Union edges Camas for its first team title since 2017

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
6 Photos
Braeden Reese of Skyview hits his tee shot on the No. 18 hole at Heron Lakes Golf Club Great Blue course at the Class 4A boys golf district tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.
Braeden Reese of Skyview hits his tee shot on the No. 18 hole at Heron Lakes Golf Club Great Blue course at the Class 4A boys golf district tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

PORTLAND — After finishing his round at Heron Lakes Golf Club on Wednesday, Camas senior Ryan Wang dutifully put his golf bag in the team van.

He thought he was done for the day after shooting a round of 81.

“I think today I played worse than yesterday,” Wang said. “I wasn’t even thinking about a playoff.”

But that’s where Wang found himself after finishing tied for first with teammate Jackson Barnes and Union’s Mason Bluestein.

On the first playoff hole, Wang sank a birdie putt to claim the 4A district title.

Barnes and Bluestein played in the final foursome at Heron Lakes. When Wang heard there would be a playoff for first place, he thought it was just Barnes and Bluestein.

“I thought I was just going to watch Jackson and Mason from Union play,” Wang said. “But then my coach to me and said ‘Ryan, hurry up and get your bag.’ ”

With no warmup, Wang was first to tee off. Two shots later, Wang and Barnes were on the green, while Bluestein took four shots to get there.

With darkness rapidly falling, Camas coach Bob Foster was starting to wonder if the tie wasn’t broken on the first playoff hole, the result might have to end in a tie.

“I don’t think we can play another hole,” Foster said. “I can’t even see the ball when it’s 30 yards from me.”

Fortunately, another hole was not necessary. Barnes ran his birdie putt attempt past the hole, then Wang followed by sinking his from eight feet away.

“I walked up the green, and I thought this is definitely a distance I can make a putt from,” Wang said. “I was confident in the putt, but I was still pretty nervous. My hands were trembling a little bit. But in the end, I still made it.”

After the ball went in the hole, Wang let out a loud “yeah!” with a fist pump.

“It was pretty exciting,” Wang said.

While Wednesday’s second round went long – almost too long – it was much better than Tuesday’s first round, which ended after 13 rounds because of heavy downpours that left Heron Lakes’ Great Blue course unplayable.

“The rain didn’t affect my game that much, until the pins were completely filled with water,” Wang said. “The rain before that was too bad. I actually played better in the rain.”

Wang shot 58 in the first round, four over par. His 81 on Wednesday was nine over par. Wang, Barnes and Bluestein finished with a 36-hole total of 139. Union’s Ty Rushing was fourth (140) and Skyview’s Braeden Reese (145) was fifth.

Bluestein and Rushing did help Union edge out Camas for the team 574-582. It was Union’s first team title since 2017 after the Titans had run out eight straight district titles.

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