With Josh Gliege’s putter on fire, the rest of the 5A state tournament field didn’t stand a chance.
Gliege shot a 7-under 65 after a first-round 71 for a wire-to-wire win at Avondale Golf Course on Tuesday in Hayden Lake.
The Eagle junior and Texas A&M commit’s big day lifted the Mustangs (600) to their sixth consecutive title by seven strokes over District Three champion Rocky Mountain (607).
Teammate Graysen Huff, a senior who has signed with Auburn, finished third (144), and Paul Simpson (152) also landed in the top 10. Derrick Lodge (168) rounded out the scoring for the Mustangs.
“I pretty much made every putt I looked at,” Gliege said. “The greens were in great shape, so it was easy to roll putts in. Everything just clicked for me, it was just one of those rounds.”
Added Huff, the 2013 individual state champion: “All credit to Josh. He almost made it impossible for anybody to come get him, because he played so well.”
Eagle trailed Rocky by three shots heading into the final round and had lost to the Grizzlies in two regular season meetings.
“All year long, we have been battling with Rocky. ... Every time we played them, we just kept getting a little closer and a little closer,” Eagle coach Jeff Dunn said. “We said at the very beginning you don’t have to beat them every time, you only have to beat them when it counted.”
EAGLE SENIOR OVERCOMES ODDS
A little more than a year removed from spinal fusion surgery that kept her away from golf for 15 months, Natalie Mullins is finally back.
She was one shot back of leader Payton Fehringer of Highland with three holes left. But Mullins went birdie-par-par to overtake Fehringer by one shot for the 5A girls individual championship. Mullins closed with a 3-over 77 on Tuesday to go with a first-round 81 at Avondale.
“I didn’t worry about what place I was in, I was just worried about my next shot,” said Mullins, who will compete for the College of Idaho. “I’ve gone through a lot this past couple of years, and all my hard work finally paid off.”
Diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic scoliosis at the age of 7, Mullins had to wear a back brace every day for the past six years until her surgery last April.
“She’s worked so hard at her craft,” Eagle coach John Hart said. “She’s overcome a lot of adversity.”
Highland won the team title with a 697, followed by Idaho Falls (719), Centennial (723) and Eagle (733).
MIDDLETON GIRLS, BK DOMINATE
The Vikings ended Bishop Kelly’s reign at 4A state, snapping the Knights’ string of three straight titles and winning their first championship since 2009.
Kathryn Wagoner paced Middleton with a two-day score of 86-86—172 at The Links Golf Course in Post Falls to finish fourth, and teammate MJ Karst (90-85—175) finished three strokes back in fifth.
Bishop Kelly took the top individual spots in the boys and girls tournaments.
Boise State commit Kinsley Bonfilio carded two of the three best rounds in the girls tournament, shooting a 6-over 78 on Monday and a 2-over 74 Tuesday to finish at 8-over 152, seven strokes clear of second place. It is the third straight year a Bishop Kelly girl won state.
The title is Bonfilio’s first, adding to her first district title last week. The senior finished her career with an exclamation point, eagling the par-5 18th hole 10 yards out from the bunker with a lob wedge.
“It was a great way to finish,” she said.
BK junior Hunter Ostrom started the final day of the boys tournament in fourth place. Coach Vince Derig said Ostrom hit the range after his round Monday and woke up with “laser focus” Tuesday and fired a 3-under 69 to win the 4A title by three strokes after finishing second last year by one shot.
He was the only golfer to break 70 in two days.
“Sixty-five was the number in my head going into today,” said Ostrom, who also won state as a freshman. “I almost got there, but I had like three puts that held me back, and that was really about it.”
Ostrom hit 3-under when he birdied the 10th hole and maintained his score through the final eight holes. But he said he was focused on his team’s score, not his own, throughout Tuesday.
BK shaved 23 strokes off its first-day score to shoot 295 and rally to finish second behind Twin Falls.
WEISER GIRLS WIN 3A
The Wolverines won their third team title in five seasons, totaling a 794 over two days at Twin Lakes Village in Rathdrum to beat Kimberly by 20 strokes.
Kate Rose Hamilton led the way for Weiser with a two-day score of 94-92—186, good enough for third place.
“It was great to be able to win again as a team,” said Hamilton, who was a part of Weiser’s title team in 2012.
Fruitland’s Abigail McKinney and Emmett’s Jessica Lyter each finished 36 holes at 166, but McKinney birdied the first playoff hole for the individual title.
NEW PLYMOUTH’S AVERA REPEATS
Lacy Avera led by six shots after the first 18 holes, and extended that lead Tuesday for a nine-stroke win at Bryden Canyon in Lewiston.
Avera, who qualified as an individual, shot rounds of 8-over 80 and 12-over 84.
Lighthouse Christian won the 2A girls title, and Aberdeen beat Cole Valley by six strokes for the boys win.