Separated by 372 miles, two Washington County high school golfers began NSAA State Championships competition Tuesday.
Blair High School senior Easton Chaffee played 18 of his 36 Class B state holes at Monument Shadows Golf Course in Gering, while Arlington High School senior Eddie Rosenthal played 18 Class C holes at Elks Country Club in Columbus. Play continued Wednesday, concluding after press time. Full results are currently online at enterprisepub.com/sports with coverage set to continue in next Tuesday's Washington County Pilot-Tribune.
After 18 holes in Gering, Chaffee was tied for 16th with 76 strokes. The BHS senior carded three birdies and shot par on 10 more holes.
“Solid day,” Bears coach Ross Udey commented, describing the score. He said Chaffee played himself into contention during the first day of the state tournament and, most importantly, didn't play himself out of it.
The Blair standout — a multiple-time state qualifier — closed his first round strong, shooting 1-under par on holes 13-18. He birdied the par-3 No. 17.
Udey said Chaffee would look to make his move up the leaderboard during Wednesday's second round.
In Columbus, Rosenthal started with 99 swings across 18 holes in Class C. He finished with just 42 strokes on the front nine holes, but carded 57 across Nos. 10-18 to finish 78th out of 91 golfers at the midway point.
“We struggled today on the back,” AHS coach Landon Walkenhorst said. “On the front, he did really well hitting fairway and having a great look at the green on his second shot.”
The senior Eagle sunk a birdie on No. 3 and shot par on both Nos. 6 and 7, but shot over par on every hole from there.
“Overall, played his game and shot well,” Walkenhorst said. “On the back, just got a lot of unlucky breaks and could never get the mojo back from the front nine. Struggled off the tee and fighting to save bogey.”
Rosenthal is the first Arlington golfer to compete at state since Walkenhorst, who played the Kearney Country Club state course in 2018.