CORVALLIS - McKennon Cimmiyotti likens Trysting Tree Golf Course to Wildhorse Resort Golf Course.
So maybe it's not that surprising the Pendleton junior shot a 79 for third place on the first day of the OSAA 5A Girls Golf State Championships at Trysting Tree. She shot 7-over and was three strokes off the lead. Thurston's Erica Omlid was in first place with a 76. The second and final round is today.
"I actually really like Trysting Tree," Cimmiyotti said. "It reminds me a lot of Wildhorse and that's good for me. It's open enough that you can be a little off and still be in an OK position on the course."
Good thing, too. She admitted there were several tee shots she could have placed better, which would have made getting the ball on the green easier.
"She played really good," coach Terri Prouse said. "She struggled on a couple of holes. She stayed pretty much on the fairways. She got it up to the greens and had some nice chip shots."
Cimmiyotti, however, was pleased she managed to avoid the various hazards on the back nine. She said she was trying to play against herself and not the course.
"I could have done a few things different and maybe had a lower score," she said. "You have to be happy with a score in the 70s, though."
Prouse said Cimmiyotti thinks she can lower her score by three or four strokes.
Meanwhile, fast greens and starting off the back nine made it tough for the Hermiston boys golf team to find its rhythm on the first day of the 5A Boys Championships. The Bulldogs shot 38 over for a score of 326 and are tied for ninth place.
"Our No. 1 and 2 played really well today," said Hermiston coach Bill McLeod. "The greens are pretty fast. I think most of our kids are finding out if you are above the hole here, you are in trouble. It cost us four strokes at least."
Added junior Scott Shockman, "I had a bad day putting. I couldn't read the greens. I don't know what happened, because that's (putting) usually part of my game."
Shockman, who shot an 87, however, was one of the few Bulldogs who wasn't bothered by the fact he had to start on the back nine, which is considered to be more challenging than the front nine. As a result, several of his teammates said it was difficult to get off to a good start.
"I wasn't real excited about that in the first place," said senior Aaron Puzey. "I played really, really horrible. That's all you can really say about the back nine."
McLeod admitted beginning with the back nine on Monday was tough, but that his team knew what it was going against. The Bulldogs played the course over the weekend and played the back nine well. They, however, started with the front nine then.
"We started on the back nine at the OGA last year," McLeod said. "That's just the way it's set up. The number-two teams out of the conference play off the back, so we were aware of it coming in. You got to be prepared and play smart."
Puzey recovered after the turn to shoot a 36 on the front nine, a five-stroke improvement from the back. He finished with a 77 which left him tied for 19th place.
Senior Anthony Faretta was the Bulldogs' top performer, shooting 4-over for a 76, good for 17th place tie. He and Puzey are the only Hermiston players in top 25.
"It felt good," Faretta said of his first day round. "I couldn't hit the greens early and get anything started, but I made a lot birdie puts to stay in the game. On the front nine, I hit the greens and made my putts, I still couldn't get any pars though. Overall though, it wasn't a bad day."
Senior Brent Driscoll (86) and sophomore Travis Coffelt (87) were the other scorers for the Bulldogs. And while they didn't perform as well as they had hoped on Monday, history favors the Bulldogs today.
"We didn't have a great day last year on the first day either," McLeod said. "On the second day we shot a 300, so the possibilities are good that we'll play better today."
Pendleton's Matt Corley finished with a 77. He too, struggled on the back nine, shooting a 43, but flourished on the front with a 35.
Putting woes hurt him as well; he said he didn't make a putt outside of four feet.
"I started off pretty bad," Corley said. "I was six-over through four holes, but I held together and played pretty even after that."
First-place Bend shot 10-over to finish with a 298.
Team scores - 1, Bend 298; 2, Crescent Valley 300; 3, Wilsonville 305; 4, West Albany 307; 5, Springfield 320; 5, Ashland 320; 9, Hermiston 326; 9, Cleveland, 326
Individual scores - 1, Justin Kadin, Crescent Valley, 70; 2, Casey Crownover, Bend, 71; 2, Damian Telles, The?Dalles-Wahtonka, 71; 4, Colin Inglis, Churchill, 72; 4, Hans Reimers, West Albany, 72; Connor Rumpf, Sherwood, 72
Team scores - 1, Summit 325; 2, West Albany 370; 3, Bend 377; 4, Thurston 391; 5, Glencoe 392
Individual scores - 1, Erica Omlid, Thurston, 76; 2, Molly Black, Summit, 78; 3, McKennon Cimmiyotti, Pendleton, 79; 3, Tiffany Schoning, Summit, 79; 5, Kathleen Adame, Summit, 83; 5, Alli Hunt, Sherwood, 83