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Canby’s Jake Rogers and Tyler Olson overcame seasons packed with adversity and challenges to compete in the pinnacle of their sports earlier this month, as both brought their talents to their respective state golf tournaments.
Of the two, Rogers managed the best finish, capping a sensational season four under par to claim a fourth-place finish in the Oregon state boys golf tournament at Trysting Tree Golf Club in Corvallis.
After the first day, Rogers was just outside of the top five. He had a harder go of it on day one, parring 14 holes but shooting a bogey on hole 4 and a painful double bogey on the seventh.
Despite this, he followed both bogeys with birdies to stay in the hunt, though the junior was not impressed with his first day. He knew he would have to approach things differently.
“I came into the second round in a different mindset completely than the first,” Rogers said. “I was trying too hard in the first round, and in the second round, I was just trying to have a good time and enjoy my first state tournament. For me, it was all mental.”
Sitting in sixth place, one over par, Rogers burst out of the gate on fire, piling up seven birdies against just two bogeys to score a 66 on the day — tied for the best round of the day among 87 other golfers.
His total score of 138 was good for a three-way tie with Westview’s Andrew Yang, who also shot a 66 on day two, and McNary’s Colby Sullivan, who did so in the first round.
While the tournament was won by Summit’s Brody Grieb, who tallied a 134 over his two days, Rogers was just happy to compete. In his three years as the Canby No. 1, Tuesday marked his first appearance at state. The two previous outings had been canceled due to Covid-19.
An hour south as the crow flies, fellow Cougar Tyler Olson, also a junior, was competing in the state girls golf tournament at Emerald Valley Golf Club in Creswell.
She finished 27 over par with a score of 171, tying her for 26th place with Grants Pass senior Kye Daywitt. The course conditions proved challenging for most competitors, with only one — three-time Oregon Junior Golfer of the Year Kyra Ly — finishing under par.
“This year had some of the worst weather conditions I’ve ever experienced playing golf,” Olsen told the Current. “In times like that, you just have to focus on one shot at a time. I didn’t score how I would’ve liked but I’m proud of myself for playing through those conditions.”
Ly came 14 strokes under to win the title easily. Olson struggled both days, finishing 14 strokes over on day one for a score of 86 and 13 over on day two for a mark of 85. She recorded one birdie in each round.
The junior still saw the two-day tourney as a huge step for Canby girls golf. With most of the girls’ team never having played a full round prior to the season, her appearance shone as a landmark for the team’s commitment over the year.
Both Olsen and Rogers will have a chance to make state yet again, this time at the 5A level, next year.
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